How are politics and life narratives in the fields of HIV/AIDS activism in Europe entangled? The exhibition “HIVstories: Living Politics” explores different ways of living politics from the perspectives of a variety of particularly impacted communities in Europe. It is made up of a collection of oral history interviews, artefacts and art works that have been collected over the course of a three-year research project, “Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health” (EUROPACH), which explores how narratives of the past continue to impact the unfolding of the epidemic. It focuses on the ways in which lives are shaped by politics, and politics are shaped by lives, in some regions of Europe.
A section on Germany will focus on HIV prevention in prisons. In Poland, the expression of discontent through protest is narrated with the support of interview excerpts with HIV and harm reduction activists. A section on Turkey focuses on the different historical phases of HIV and AIDS, and shows the entanglements of social movements, state politics, and media representations. A section on the UK will investigate current discussions surrounding HIV by looking back to gay life before the virus as well as contemporary discussions on the prevention medication PrEP. „HIVstories” is an open invitation to look at the past and present of HIV activism from a perspective that embraces the fringes of society.
The exhibition has been developed together with international conference at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in which the themes that are put on display through the exhibition will be further conceptualised and collectively analysed and re-imagined in presentations, films and discussions. Over the coming year, the exhibition will also travel to spaces in Istanbul, Krakow and London.
Project coordination: Heiner Schulze (Schwules Museum)
Theme complex Germany: Friederike Faust (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
Theme complex UK: Emily Jay Nicholls (Goldsmith University London)
Theme complex Poland: Justyna Struzik (Jagiellonen Universität Krakau)
Theme complex turkey: Zülfukar Çetin (University of Basel/Evangelische Hochschule Berlin), Alper Turan (Das Art Project)
Theme complex Europe: Agata Dziuban (Jagiellonen Universität Krakau), Todd Sekuler (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
(Photo: HIV/AIDS conference badges. (c) Tamás Bereczky)