17 May 2012

AIDS Heritage Action

Press Release April 19th 2012

Join The AIDS Heritage Action

When we think of Keith Haring (1958 -1990), religion is perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the last work of the artist, completed just weeks before his death - of AIDS - is a triptych, 'The Life of Christ'. Made of bronze and gold, it constitutes the altarpiece of the Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. Hanging at the rear of the chapel is a block of the ‘mother of all AIDS Memorial Quilts’, founded in San Francisco in 1987 and now comprising over 5800 quilt blocks, each block consisting of eight quilt panels.

In over three decades of AIDS, hundreds of memorials have been established worldwide, ranging from highly individual written documents to public monuments and recurring events like AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Recent years have shown digital versions of established forms like the quilts. For the first time, these AIDS memorials are now being documented. Initiator Jörn Wolters of The NAMES Project Netherlands rightly considers them to be part of our cultural heritage, that needs to be cherished, conserved and, even more important, kept alive. The NAMES Project Netherlands Foundation is the keeper of both the physical and the digital Dutch Quilts.

AIDSmemorial.info and memorialSIDA.info features an overview of existing memorials worldwide in the languages of the participating countries: English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch. Through Google Maps the visitor can zoom in on the monument. The portal is interactive: just send a photo of yourself in front of an AIDS Monument or Quilt together with your impressions to office@aidsmemorial.info

The AIDS Heritage Action pays tribute to the objects of remembrance and contributes to their preservation. Also, it forges links between a generation that has lost many loved ones to AIDS and a new generation that experiences an HIV infection in most cases as a treatable disease. The more people participate, the more this interactive catalogue of AIDS memorials will be complete and lively. Moreover, individuals and local communities can find inspiration for establishing their own AIDS memorial, thus keeping this vital tradition alive.

In addition to the Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, the site offers a large number of other highlights. These include the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Vancouver AIDS Memorial, L'Artère - Jardin des Dessins in Parc de la Villette in Paris, the Beacon of Hope in Manchester, Wolfgang Tilman’s design in Munich, and the Monuments in Nickerie (Suriname) and Durban. The site is built by the Amsterdam design agency Gebr. Silvestri and sponsored by the PlanetRomeo Foundation, Global Quilt and the Aids Fund Netherlands.

Photo © Sherry and Joe

For further details please contact Jörn via office@aidsmemorial.info

AIDS Heritage Action

May 20th is International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
This event marks the begin of the PR for the international multilingual webportal AIDSmemorial.info continuing through various Gay Prides and the AIDS Conference in Washington and ending on World AIDS Day, December 1st.
We do this in form of an action, the AIDS Heritage Action, with the simple appeal "send a photo of yourself in front of an AIDS Monument or Quilt together with your impressions to office@aidsmemorial.info

The action should not only pay tribute to the objects of remembrance from the AIDS era and contribute to their preservation but also forge links between the generations, those who have lost a loved one and those who experience an HIV infection as a treatable disease.

The NAMES Project Netherlands asks you for support by placing an article on this topic accompanied by our advertisement.

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