Ohio University

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Published: November 29, 2017 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University School of Art + Design hosts a World AIDS Day screening and discussion event, “Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 in Mitchell Auditorium, followed by a gallery intervention and reception from 5-7 p.m. in the Ohio University Art Gallery, Seigfred Hall. Both are free and open to the public.

The 28th annual iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project, “Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings,” is a program of video artworks curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett for Visual AIDS, an arts organization dedicated to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues at the national level. The program is curated to prioritize black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic, and includes seven new and innovative short videos commissioned from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye and Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden and Brontez Purnell.

In spite of the impact of HIV/AIDS within black communities, larger artistic and historical narratives constantly exclude black stories and experiences. In 2016, African Americans represented 44 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Given this context, it is increasingly urgent to feature myriad stories that consider and represent the lives of those housed within this statistic. “Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings” highlights marginalized voices within broader black communities nationwide, including those of queer and trans people.

The commissioned projects include intimate meditations of young HIV positive protagonists; a consideration of community-based HIV/AIDS activism in the South; explorations of the legacies and contemporary resonances within AIDS archives; a poetic journey through New York exploring historical traces of queer and trans life; and more. Together, the videos provide a platform for voices deeply impacted by the ongoing epidemic.

This event is co-presented by the Ohio University Art Galleries, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, the Multicultural Center and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center. Post-screening discussion will feature a conversation with Gloria Aidoo-Frimpong, graduate assistant in the College of Health Sciences and Professions; delfin baustista, director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University; Jennie Klein, professor and chair of the Art History Department; and Loran Marsan, lecturer in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.