For Immediate Release 27.11.19 – AIDS, SEX, QUEER POWER – a herstory of Act Up London Exhibition

For Immediate Release 27.11.19 – AIDS, SEX, QUEER POWER – a herstory of Act Up London Exhibition –    Press contact –

Friday 29th November 7-9pm Launch – at Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB – facebook event page here

Image credit: Gordon Rainsford

Dalston Superstore and ACT UP London are excited to launch ‘AIDS, SEX, QUEER POWER – a herstory of Act Up London’ – a documentation of the last 30 years to celebrate World AIDS Day 2019. We would like to invite you to our private view and launch party, featuring DJs and speakers from Act Up London.

Through grief, love, lust, rage and the desire for a world beyond pharmaceutical greed, government inaction and cuts to health services ordinary people across our city have confronted the HIV epidemic.

Much progress has been made but there is still a long way to go. Our exhibition celebrates the courage of our community to honour the dead and celebrate the living. We choose to recognise ‘Herstory’ rather than ‘History’ to challenge how power maintains itself.

‘Queer clubs, venues and spaces are more important the ever in these times of such erratic and unrelenting gentrification. We are beacons of grassroots community-building, and it is so important that we use our place to honour the work of the amazing queer activists who have come before us. This World AIDS Day, we are so excited to turn the spotlight on Act Up, and all the incredible work they have done to fight the threats of Tory austerity, health cuts and bigotry over the last 30 years.’ Emma Kroeger, Dalston Superstore gallery curator

‘It’s a real honour to be invited to photograph such fabulous, gorgeous, radical activists. Allowing themselves to be vulnerable gives them, us, so much power. Their voice is so important in this age of huge media bias and prejudice, not just for Act-Up’s own issues around the struggle for HIV & AIDS rights but to show that grass roots protesting for basic dignity and rights is still happening and important in today’s messy pseudo-democracy. They make me very proud.’ Mike Kear, ACT UP London photographer

‘Meeting Act Up London gave me the strength to come out publicly, to design my Hiv status making visible the invisible. I understood only afterwards how that was important for all the people living with HIV, how inspiring and ironically contagious each sero-coming out can be. At every single Act Up poster on the wall I can feel the sound of hundreds exploding “Hiv-closets” and the thunderous applause that follows.’ Luca Er Baghetta Modesti, ACT UP London artistImage credit – Luca Er Baghetta Modesti, ACT UP London artist

Today the NHS is under attack and the Hostile Environment targets the most vulnerable in our community. Just last week Anthony Browne the former aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ‘African immigration has overtaken gay sex as the main cause of HIV in Britain’ . With bigoted comments like this Government’s Hostile Environment that regularly detains HIV+ migrants without access to medication – want us turn against each other and hide away in fear – but Dalston Superstore, ACT UP London and LGBT+ and healthcare movements won’t let it happen.

‘Doctors should never become border agents, all patients should be treated equally and healthcare is a human right for all. ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! UNTIL THERE IS HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!’

Since the outbreak of the first epidemic, AIDs Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) have helped place HIV / AIDS on the political agenda and married strategic thinking with creative activism with huge successes including forcing governments to supply Anti Retrovirals for all. Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) have now built a transatlantic movement in the 21st century to put HIV / AIDS back up the political agenda as the epidemic until the ultimate dream is achieved – healthcare for all.

ACT UP London is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic, along with the broader inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. Remembering that HIV & AIDS is foremost a political crisis, as well as a medical emergency, we will use every means possible to call out and contain this pandemic.

We are STILL not silent. Contact

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