HIVstories: Living Politics

Opening: 14 March 2020 18:00-21:00
14 March- 10 Apri 2020
Dramaqueer, Istanbul Sanat Derneği
Tarlabaşı Bulvarı 232/3 Beyoğlu

How are politics and life narratives in the fields of HIV/AIDS activism entangled? This exhibition explores different ways of living politics from the perspectives of a variety of countries, communities and regions. It focuses on the ways in which lives are shaped by politics, and politics are shaped by lives in Poland, United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany and on the European level. This research exhibition, which will be opened at the venue of Dramaqueer in Tarlabaşı on March 14 after Berlin and Warsaw, can be seen until April 10. A series of speeches, tours and performances will accompany the exhibition. Exhibition can be seen everyday except Mondays and Tuesday from 13 to 19 pm.

The World Health Organisation has identified Europe as a region with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. While the impact and spread of the virus unfolds differently
and unevenly across the region, it has evoked multiple responses from civil society, religious institutions and European states and governing bodies. A multiplicity of lives and politics demonstrates that the fight against HIV/AIDS cannot be recounted as a single coherent story. Instead, it is presented here as an ongoing struggle with many disparities
and a-synchronicities – all of which take on unique expression in each political, legal and social context. Taken together, HIVstories offers a glimpse into the complex, creative and
at times contradictory dynamics of HIV/AIDS activism across the region. It reveals Europe as a historically shifting, disputed, and dynamic geographic, social and political entity.

The exhibition is made up of objects that have been collected over the course of a three-year international research project. Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health (EUROPACH) explores how narratives of the past continue to impact the unfolding of the epidemic. Researchers from Kraków, London, Berlin and Basel, in collaboration with a great many community partner organisations, collected artefacts, archival documents and art works, and conducted oral history interviews with activists,
advocates, politicians, bureaucrats and medical practitioners. These lively materials evoke only some of the multiple lives and faces involved in the struggle against HIV/AIDS in
the European region. The excerpts from life narratives as presented here, and many more, are part of the European HIV/AIDS Archive (EHAA).

The ‘HIVstories: Living Politics’ exhibition, where the output of the EUROPACH research was presented, opened at the Schwules Museum in Berlin in September 2019. It was exhibited in Warsaw, Biennale Warszawa during February 2020. The exhibition will open on March 14, 2020, at the venue of Dramaqueer, the collective of queer art and activism, in Istanbul Tarlabaşı, and can be seen until April 10. For Istanbul exhibition, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, has produced a performance work titled ‘there / not there’ and inspired by Murtaza Elgin, Turkey’s first known AIDS case. In addition to the performance, a series of tours and speeches will be held throughout the exhibition, the dates of which will be announced later.

Funding for the research that was used to produce this exhibition was generously provided by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) as part of their 3rd Joint
Research Programme under the rubric “Uses of the Past.”

Curators: Emily Jay Nicholls, Noora Oertel, Todd Sekuler, Justyna Struzik, Zülfikar Çetin, Alper Turan