FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ART, AIDS AND ACTIVISM AIDSTRAVAGANZA LAUNCH, THURSDAY 10th DECEMBER 2015
In the weeks leading up to World AIDS Day 2015, ACT UP London (1) have been reaching out to artists in the city and beyond, to integrate new designs and visual subversion into the contemporary fight against HIV. In the past year in London, ACT UP LONDON have occupied the front of the Home Office in a huge dance-a-thin protest at their desires for doctors to help enforce border regulations, and ramped up pressure on the government to support pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) on the scale we all need, forced UKIP out of their South London office by dumping half a tonne of manure on their doorstep (2) and carried out HIV anti-stigma classes at the front of HIV- phobic Nigel Farage’s pub (3) and organised ‘HIV / HEPC Blind Date’.
Culminating in a celebration of creativity, action and diversity at Hackney Attic on December 10th 2015, AIDStravaganza marks the starting point of a new generation of artists, whose ingenuity, originality and connection to the ongoing HIV movement will spur on the current and future generation of activists until there is an HIV cure available to all. We are inspired and driven by the era defining graphics of Gran Fury, whose dynamic artwork symbolised ACT UP’s prolific activities during the ‘First Silence’ of the ’80s and early ’90s.
We are now in the ‘Second Silence’. Here in the UK, thanks to (4) the £200 million Government cuts to HIV education, prevention and support services (5) the record-level rise in transmission levels and (6) unregulated pharmaceutical greed – we need to fight back! To do this we are calling for all artists to help design the new logos and designs of the new ACT UP era of activism. ACT UP LONDON’s World AIDS Day AIDStravaganza will involve a motley crew of artists, activists, game-changers and subvertisers to choose the new designs, vejazzled performers, life-drawing, outrageous cabaret and free and fabulous graffiti stencils for you to take to the streets to expose the bare naked cuts to services and celebrate the anger, sweatiness and fabulous fierceness of the community living with HIV and HepC in the UK.
We are proud and honoured to confirm that we will be screening a world exclusive interview with Gran Fury artist Avram Finklestein (http://avramfinkelstein.com/), as well as a direct response to the current HIV crisis and activism movement from world renowned choreographer Mehmet Sander (http://mehmetsander.blogspot.co.uk/).
The event is open to all and takes place at the Hackney Attic on Thursday 10th December, from 19:30 to 23:00. ACT UP have a jam packed evening lined up, including alternative life-drawing, a premier performance from the feminist performance artists ‘Body Commissioners’, cabaret from the outrageous London drag troupe, Denim (https://www.facebook.com/Denim.Cambridge)
For press enquiries and photos, please contact
Dan Glass / Phone 07717811747 and Dani Singer / Phone 07904 328 060
Notes to Editors / Journalists
1. ACTUP London is a revitalised chapter of the non-partisan international movement, founded in 1987, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ACT UP London is a diverse group of individuals united in anger. We are committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic. We are committed to fighting to end all inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. We are part of the global ACT UP network. AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS (PWAs) and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives.
2. ‘World Aids Day 2014: HIV positive activists dump manure outside Ukip office in protest against ‘bull****”
3. Farage fracas: my day with the anti-Ukip cabaret he called ‘scum’ www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/mar/23/beyond-ukip-cabaret-nigel-farage
4.London HIV groups say funding cuts will lead to more
5.HIV Infections continue to rise – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hiv-infections-continue-to-rise
6. Greed-driven pricing strategy behind Gilead’s $1,000 per pill hepatitis C drug launch – http://fairpricingcoalition.org/2015/12/03/the-fair-pricing-coalition-fpc-applauds-the-wyden-grassley-us-senate-bipartisan-sovaldi-investigation-spotlighting-a-greed-driven-pricing-strategy-behind-gileads-1000-per-pill-hepatitis-c/