Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Public Memory, The AIDS Quilt

We never come to thoughts. They come to us.

Originally, "memory" means as much as devotion: a constant concentrated abiding with something not just with something that has passed, but in the same way with what is present and with what may come.
--Martin Heidegger

I was reading Seeing the Past in the Present Tense by Paula Levine and what caught my attention while I was reading the article was when she briefly mentioned the Names AIDS Quilt, a project started by Cleve Jones, notably associated with Harvey Milk, displays a response to AIDS at a time when the virus was new and stereotyped has a virus spreading only by same-sex intercourse, created a form of community art, where people affected or have friends or family affected by the virus can be memorialized in a form of a 3' 6' ft quilt, the average size of a grave. Although it's not exclusive to memorialize people who died of AIDS, but it's a message to spread awareness to the current AIDS pandemic.

I find it interesting that almost anyone can participate in this project, regardless of their artistic techniques or creativity, even the idea that you do not need to personally a person who died, but rather feel a connection to the person that they want to recognize. It helps bring the idea that AIDS is part of our history when people talk about it and become aware of it, rather than forgetting about it and repeating the past.

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