Contemporary Conversation: Global Intimacies

What counter-narratives and global, queer visual cultures have yet to be told in the context of HIV/AIDS?

This contemporary conversation centres around debates on performance, documentary image and critical practice that open up counter-narratives to better known histories of HIV/AIDS activism. It places HIV/AIDS activism in dialogue with lesbian, trans, and globalised subjectivities, exploring how south-to-south imaginaries, performance and visual arts might help rethink archives relating to the ongoing epidemic. In a move towards decolonising AIDS-related histories that centre white, cis male, urban, US-based gay men during the 1980s and 1990s, this conversation reimagines the role of documentation and archiving as part of a larger project of queer temporalities and utopian horizons. By expanding on how exhibition-making and curatorial knowledge is part of a research practice and expanded mode of academic inquiry, it explores issues of care and consent as well as the role of the curator and the academic in consolidating cultural value around queer community labour.

This dialogue also attends to the present way in which the HIV/AIDS crisis has been imagined in relation to COVID-19, addressing whether and how medicine has learned from grass roots activism and knowledge developed around the HIV/AIDS crisis.