On Saturday, June 4, Visual AIDS hosted “an evening of performance, presentations and dialogue that highlight the experiences of women artist-activists from the 1980s to the present.” Held at the Brooklyn Museum, “Women, Art, AIDS and Activism: Here Then, Here Now,” featured the work of Joy Episalla (ACT UP), Kia Labeija (GrenAIDS), Jessica Whitbread (AIDS ACTION NOW), Egyptt Labeija (TransJustice, Audre Lorde Project) and art duo Sue Schaffner and Carrie Moyer (Dyke Action Machine) and was moderated by L.J. Roberts.
The program was held in conjunction with the museum’s Agitprop! exhibit, which also explores the intersection of art and activism. The concept of agitprop (derived from agitation and propaganda) originated during the Russian Revolution and has long been used by artists to effect social change. One of the pieces featured in the exhibit is Visual AIDS’ Play Smart Trading Cards.
Play Smart Trading Cards are safer-sex kits that promote HIV prevention while raising social awareness around HIV/AIDS. The latest edition of the Play Smart series, a project begun in 2010, highlights women and HIV awareness. The front of each card features artwork created by and for women, and the back of each card features educational and inspiring messages about women’s health, sex positivity and reproductive justice. The kits also include external (male) and internal (female) condoms and lube.
Play Smart VI was collaboratively created by Tania Anderson, Beverly Bland Boydston III, Jean Foos, Reina Gossett, Kia Labeija, Alice O’Malley, Elizabeth Marie Rivera, Morgan M Page, Jamie Q, L.J. Roberts, Sue Schaffner, Sarinya Srisakul and Jessica Whitbread.
Check out all the Play Smart series here:
For more information, visit the Visual AIDS website.