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In the summer of 2020, Positive East approached 14 artists, both local and international, whose works are rooted in tackling social injustice, championing LGBTQ+ equality and fighting HIV stigma, to create or choose an image that they felt represented the mission of the Charity.
We wanted to explore the intersection between HIV activism and visual artistry; demonstrating how artistic expression has helped shape the cultural and political response to HIV, from the pandemic’s origins in 1981 to the present day.
During this period, artists’ responses to HIV have been diverse – reflecting the experiences of people and communities living with HIV, both intimate and collective. Creative and activist engagements with HIV have highlighted and strengthened urgent political and social struggles and as prevention and treatment developed, to celebrating advancements and hope.
Through this collaboration, we wish to make a small but meaningful contribution to the dialogue between HIV and cultural expression, while raising awareness of Positive East’s mission to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities affected by HIV whilst we live under the shadow of yet another global pandemic – COVID-19.
The 14 artists involved in this project all reflect the ethos of our charity and the diversity of the communities we support. All works presented are original commissions or were selected especially for this project. They include photography, illustration, graphic design, spoken word, photomontage, and painting.
All tees are printed ethically (Fare Ware, GOTS, Vegan) and the shop will remain open from 30th October 2020 to 1st January 2021. Each tee will retail for £30. 100% of proceeds will remain with Positive East.
Thank you to everyone who has made this project possible.
Lubaina Himid, Hatty Carman, Sunil Gupta, John Walter, Linder, Wednesday Holmes, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Jack Hughes, AA Bronson/General Idea, Wolfgang Tillmans, Fredrik Andersson, Alex Mein, Kai Isaiah Jamal, Joy Yamusangie, Sinuo Guo, Mark Bloomfield, Tom Merhtens and Seamus McCormack.