South Africa

The following plan is a tentative look at what my 2nd semester will look like for my Master’s program. This will help to shape the future of Our Viral Lives as a project.

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Packet 1 Deadline – September 7

social_innovationMajor objectives

  • Articulate social innovation as it relates to narrative and archives around HIV/AIDS
  • Complete final version of social innovation and sustainability essay

Resources

Packet 3 Deadline – October 19

AIDS_sign_in_Tanzania

Major Objectives

  • Host 1 event in NYC — ideally related to using photography as a documentary, narrative and archival tool in LGBTQ communities
  • Research more cross-cultural perspectives on HIV/AIDS to prepare for my upcoming travels to Mexico City and South Africa
  • Solidify contacts in all travel locations and find out more about archival materials and community organizations
  • Continue connecting with HIV/AIDS within NYC in a variety of contexts, to further refine social innovation and articulate possible future archival strategies

Resources

Packet 5 Deadline – November 30

5550349271_834a5054c5_b

Main Objectives

  • Collect at least 7-10 written interviews (and find appropriate translation services when necessary)
  • Create an extended hybrid essay that combines autoethnography, archival research and more formal scholarship that focuses on at least 1 location that I traveled to
  • Create a tentative thesis statement to prepare in advance of G3 semester

Resources

There are so many urgent problems worth solving in this world that it becomes difficult to decide what your focus will be. Focus should not be assumed as such an absolute. Instead, it should be considered a method for approaching one particular social problem in a way that promotes better equity and innovates in some way. A problem like HIV/AIDS can never be “solved” and one “solution” will always be ineffective, but there is, at least, space for new targeted prevention and treatment programs to pop up, and better yet, there are ways in which we have failed whole populations for decades and are finally recognizing our errors.

When it comes to the HIV/AIDS crisis, nothing is too late because it’s a crisis that endures. It’s a crisis that, despite all of the dollars and knowledge and political will (depending on where you live), remains intractable. My background might not be in public policy nor have I worked directly with health organizations in an official capacity, but it’s not impossible to envision solutions given my background in HIV/AIDS history, contemporary art, and storytelling. My own story begins again and again. The narrative of my sexual history and consciousness has meandered many times, calling into question the crux of why HIV/AIDS remains omnipresent in queer communities: the interplay between identity and desire.

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