Tagged: HIV/AIDS

Within Our Rooms of Nostalgia: AIDS, Communication and Each Other

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“I think no one will be shocked if I say that there is a hegemonic AIDS and a peripheral AIDS,” said curator Aimar Arriola in a recent  interview, to which I responded, “You would be surprised.”

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I have never heard it myself but friends have told me many members of ACT UP from the 80s and early 90s talk about the power of “The Room”, referring to the large meeting space on the main floor of New York’s LGBT center where ACT UP met (and still meets) on Monday nights. There is a longing to return. And with good reason. It seems as if The Room was an anchor in what was an unimaginable time of loss, confusion, pain, and discovery. If the outside world was cold, uncaring violent, and indifferent, then inside – while not free of violence — could be understood as sweaty with passion and people in proximity working on a constellation of related struggles. It’s in The Room, we are told, lesbians and gay men reconciled a cultural separation; it’s where feminism was taught to a generation of activists, and where privileges were acknowledged and made productive for the many. It’s where “Stop The Church” and countless “Die-in” actions were debated and rehearsed. It’s where many learned civil disobedience, and how to get arrested, where people were told to shut up, fuck off, and to speak their minds. Hearing talk of The Room you get a sense people felt alive, vital, sexy, and a part of something bigger than themselves when they were in it. Such an atmosphere is intoxicating. Both for those there and those who were not. Continue reading

Recounting the Facts: Time is Not a Line

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Revisiting the AIDS Crisis and the Ongoing Epidemic: Public Health Challenges in the 21st Century was a three part series organized by Visual AIDS and the New School. It included a public conversation between directors Jim Hubbard (United in Anger: A History of ACT UP) and David France (How to Survive a Plague) regarding their similar yet different films about AIDS activism in New York during the late 80s and into the 90s; and a panel discussion about TB, co-infection, and AIDS as a global issue.

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