Selected entries from the Polish eids dictionary*:
“Seba is also dead – the flu”
“Flu with perspectives”
*From the book Język ukrycia. Zapisany socjolekt gejów by Tomasz Łukasz Nowak
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The residency of Szymon Adamczak at Biennale Warszawa takes the form of an artistic and research platform which aims at deepening the cultural reception of issues related to HIV and AIDS in Poland. The HIV pandemic, albeit explicitly addressed and present in the public sphere of certain countries of the Global North, has its regional and historically determined features. At the same time, it is subject to continuous change: it is being dynamically transformed by a cycle of biotechnological innovations, political and social negotiations, application of preventive tools, activism and human migration.
The end of AIDS is still far away in the distance. At a time of the observed revisiting of the crisis, i.e. increased cultural output concerning HIV and AIDS in the 1980s and 90s, gradual normalisation of life with HIV, and the emergence of PrEP, we should ask questions about the local specificity of the epidemic and fill in overlooked pages of the collective memory. There is undoubtedly few testimonies of people directly affected with the problem of HIV in Poland. What were personal, social and political implications of the epidemic between the 1980s and today? Which tools will enable reconstructing its course and convey the complexity of the issue? What is the value of the virus in (popular) culture? Who and where in Poland has HIV – and who died, dies, and will die of AIDS?
Exhibitions HIVstories: Living Politics in Biennale Warszawa and Creative Sick States: AIDS, HIV, CANCER in Municipal Gallery Arsenał in Poznań presented activist actions and policies, as well as artistic practices. The POLISH EIDS platform wants to continue the conversation and reflection on the epidemic, engage with its past and present by initiating and supporting unconventional interdisciplinary research, activating private and public archives, education and creating a public programme. During the autumn residency, the research team will reach out to related initiatives across the world, including What Would HIV Doula Do? collective (New York), team of The Seropositive Files (Mexico City) and HIV Justice Network coalition.
TO FRIENDS WHOSE LIVES WE DID NOT SAVE
ROAD TO DECRIMINALISATION
PLEASURE, FEAR AND ARCHIVE
This action is inclusive, exploratory and long-term. We will gladly accept visual materials, documents and testimonies which will help us better understand and recount Polish eids. We would like to hear from people living with HIV, and everyone else interested in supporting this initiative with their experience, time and knowledge.
Please contact us at:
Theodore (ted) Kerr