This year PosterVirus struggled to find its footing. We looked critically at ourselves. We aim to understand our own limitations. How can we challenge the logic of the AIDS industry? What can art posters change? What do people care about in the AIDS response? In a movement divided by identity politics, how do we make sure that voices are being heard (and not only the ones with the privilege to shout the loudest)? Are we just talking to each other - what about all the people around the world who are not (or do not want to be) part of the mainstream HIV discourses?
Due to recent films such as How To Survive a Plague, Dallas Buyers Club and United in Anger, hipsters across North America are flocking to get down with the AIDS movement and embracing some of our lost warriors. We are swimming in nostalgia. As we continue to romanticize the past, is the popular imaginary forgetting that AIDS still impacts us today? Has this created the false appearance that AIDS has made its way back on political agendas?
People are still dying. People still don’t have access to treatment. People don’t have housing. People are increasingly criminalized. People still spread ignorance and hate. And yet mainstream AIDS industry and media suggests that stopping all this is as simple as a “cure”. A simple pill to make AIDS go away.
This year we focused on issues of the prison industrial complex, religion, the consequences of being labelled “risky”, the failure of condoms, racism, countering individualization, and challenging heteronormative assumptions. We want to problematize language, poke holes in the way that terms are used and continue hard discussions. We worked with artists Scott Treleavan, Natalie Wood, JJ Levine, Alexis Mitchell, Vincent Chevalier, Ian Bradley-Perrin, Ted Kerr and Chris Jones.
We want to push for open hearts, open arms, open ears, and open thoughts. We want to be reflective and critical about our role in the AIDS response. We call for people to announce their fears and push for complex conversations. We are sick to death of death - we should be focusing on life. This project continues in attempting to bring our communities together to support and love one another… AIDS ACTION NOW!