With the name of Anarchivo sida, the collective Equipo re has been developing a research and production work on the cultural and social dimension of the continuing HIV / AIDS crisis in the Spanish State and in Chile, together with case studies from other contexts from Latin America. This exhibition gives continuity to the project, taking into account the local context – the city of Barcelona – as a spatial axis and the nineties as a temporal axis.
Attention towards the nineties responds to the conviction that, close and distant at the same time, it is the decade that helps us to understand the present. In this context, the year 1996 functions as a hinge date, defined by the emergence of antiretrovirals, which make a turn in the so-called AIDS pandemic: HIV / AIDS ceases to be a matter of life or death, which constitutes a point of inflection for the spaces of struggle.
This framework approached from the Anarchivo SIDA will be displayed in the sample from a double gesture. On the one hand, the drawing of two story lines: one, the ways of doing in / the public; the other, the pharmacologization of life. From the crossing of both arise three cases of study: the action of the collective of cultural activism Act Up-Barcelona, the realization of the mural of the artist Keith Haring Todos juntos podemos parar el sida and the encounter of heroin with AIDS.
The first case, Act Up Barcelona, will tell the story of the group from public and unpublished documents and the interlocution of several members, avoiding the simplistic reduction between north and south, global and local, own and foreign.
Upon reaching the 30th anniversary of the mural by Keith Haring, this case reviews the crossings that take place between policies of urban transformation, cultural policies and political night, in relation to the AIDS crisis.
And the third case examines the time of entry of HIV, which finds in Barcelona a deadly route of spread: the use of heroin. This leads to a complex and diffuse framework of stigmatization, neglect, control, invisibility and death.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a study group whose central focus will be the plot lines of the project: the pharmacologization of life and the debate about the so-called public sphere, in relation to the present moment. In addition, a program of parallel activations will be organized that will cover different formats around documents, bibliographic and audiovisual materials.
While in the first two decades of the HIV / AIDS crisis the priorities were prevention and survival, this project assumes that the reality of living with HIV today is different according to who and where. In Barcelona, living with HIV in 2018 does not necessarily mean transmission, treatment or death. In other contexts, however, the reality is different. As a sample, a button: in 2018, Chile has declared HIV “a national emergency”, due to the resumption of transmissions added to the lack of access to updated therapies. As the HIV crisis continues, the answers must follow.