Who are the Stewards of the AIDS Archive?

1.76 October 1, 2016 4:45 pm - 6:30 pm

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Presenter biographies will be linked below as they become available. Final program subject to change.

Alexandra Juhasz
Theodore Kerr

In this public conversation, “Who are the Stewards of the AIDS Archive,” Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr explore the dominance of white gay men as the main subjects and makers of AIDS-related culture that gets made and circulated about the ongoing epidemic. Examples include: Dallas Buyers Club, How to Survive A Plague, A Normal Heart. This conversation will be less of a call-out and more of a proactive investigation: how do we move forward, look back, and make sense of what we are seeing in current representations of HIV/AIDS? How do representations make some histories and current realities more visible, while making other less visible?

Over two published conversations, and one public presentation academic / activist filmmaker Alexandra Juhasz and writer / organizer Theodore Kerr have explored the representation of HIV/AIDS within the media ecology of the US over the last 30 years. Primarily focused on moving image (including but not limited to activist tapes, independent documentaries, feature films and YouTube videos), Juhasz and Kerr, coming from different generations, countries, gender locations, and institutional affiliations, have illustrated the ways in which class, race, gender, sexuality, time, location, and notions of history inform what “AIDS Media” gets created, disseminated and discussed.

Via a public conversation Juhasz and Kerr will share their findings in relation to their questions:

  • How and why is AIDS activist history largely understood to be the provenance of gay (white) men and what is lost in this vision of patrimony?
  • How does the movement balance the need for stories of gay white men and their relationship to the epidemic along with the stories of other communities over represented by the epidemic?
  • How has the over representation of gay white men in relation to HIV/AIDS impacted the LGBTQ rights movement and the ongoing response to HIV/AIDS?
  • How has the over representation of gay white men in relation to HIV/AIDS impacted the creation, maintenance and accessibility to what may be known as AIDS archives?

Responding to these questions, Juhasz and Kerr will draw largely upon: the video activist work of trans/women, people of color, poor people, and others who practice, save and share their activism and media on the margins of AIDS and Queer Inc.