For Day With(out) Art 2020, Visual AIDS presents a program of seven newly commissioned videos considering the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States.
The video program brings together artists working across the world: Jorge Bordello (Mexico), Topher Campbell (U.K.), Gevi Dimitrakopoulou and Vasiliki Lazaridou (Greece), Lucía Egaña Rojas (Chile/Spain), Las Indetectables (Chile), Charan Singh (India/U.K.), and George Stanley (Uganda).
2020 Visual AIDS Day With(out) Art does not intend to give a comprehensive account of the global epidemic, but provides a platform for a diversity of voices from beyond the United States, offering insight into the divergent and overlapping experiences of people living with HIV around the world today.
The seven commissioned videos cover a broad range of subjects, such as the erasure of women living with HIV in South America, neocolonial public health campaigns in India, and the realities of stigma and disclosure for young people in Uganda.
The hour-long video program will premiere on December 1, 2020. Visual AIDS partners with museums, galleries, universities, and organizations around the world to present over 100 free screenings on/around December 1.
Jorge Bordello will address recent reforms to Mexico’s health department that left hundreds without HIV medication and cut funding for AIDS services, prioritizing corporate concerns and economic policy over the needs of people living with HIV.
Topher Campbell will weave together a narrative of intersecting anecdotes about Black people navigating sex and sexual health, using the ubiquitous swipe of dating apps as a formal device to traverse the African diaspora in London.
Gevi Dimitrakopoulou and Vasiliki Lazaridou will create a portrait of Zak Kostopoulos, a well known queer AIDS activist who was publicly lynched to death in Athens in 2018. Zak's chosen family and community will highlight Zak's activist life and the response that his murder has galvanized.
Lucía Egaña Rojas will challenge gendered representations of HIV and AIDS, investigating what Lina Meruane has called “female disappearance syndrome”—the erasure of women living with HIV from conversations about the epidemic.
Las Indetectables will produce a video based on the poem “Me cuido” (I take care of myself/I’m careful) by Noelia Shalá, which questions the relationship between colonial paradigms of health, religious guilt, and the stigmatization of people living with HIV in Chile.
Charan Singh will explore the colonial dynamics of HIV services for subaltern “queer” people in India by highlighting the disjuncture between imported Western public health concepts like MSM (men who have sex with men) and local indigenous identities such as kothi (a community encompassing feminine men and trans people).
George Stanley Nsamba will reflect on the experience of producing a film about the lives of teens born with HIV in Uganda and the pervasive stigma that surrounded the project.