Erasure and Jimmy Somerville unite on When We Were Boys in honour of Worlds AIDS Day

The short film features archival footage from 25 years ago including performances from Pride In London 1996.

Two men pose on a couch beside a glittering mannequin
Image: @Erasure (Official)

The short film and unique musical odyssey 27000@25: When We Were Boys which depicts the journey of a young gay man in 1990’s London dealing with his HIV diagnosis will hit our screens just in time for World AIDS Day, 2021. Featuring performances by LGBTQ+ pop legends Erasure and Jimmy Somerville and made up of archival footage from 25 years ago, this is one not to be missed.

Available for streaming from tomorrow, the film is bookended by a conversation with Nathaniel Hall from the modern classic It’s A Sin who shares his own story of being diagnosed at the age of 16.

It also features archival footage from Pride in London 1996 where Erasure, Jimmy Somerville, Shelia Smith and Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood performed to an audience of 160,000 people before releasing 27,000 red balloons into the air. The balloons represented all of the People Living With HIV in England at the time – hence the title 27000@25: When We Were Boys.

The film’s director, Rob Falconer, explained, “25 years ago it was tougher for LGBTQI+ people, from across the spectrum of cultural, ethnic and gender diversity, to be as powerfully visible as we are now, especially if HIV Positive, and that’s as much a part of the conversation this video has with us from our past, as on continuing HIV stigma today.

“It shines light back on the HIV/AIDS pandemic of the ’80s and ’90s, on ignorance, stigma and brutal discrimination, and their often overlooked impact on very young people.”

Andy Bell from Erasure added, “This is absolutely magnificent. Apart from being very close to my heart, it is also of historical importance and significance from a worldwide human rights perspective.”

In similar news, GCN will also mark World AIDS Day with the exhibition Living – a collaboration with HIV Ireland. An innovative, first-of-its-kind photographic exhibition showcasing inspiring portraits of people Living With HIV in Irelands taken by the wonderfully talented Hazel Coonagh, the exhibition will also highlight the stories of those involved alongside their messages of support for the community.

Tickets for the launch of LIVING at CHQ in Dublin are available online from Eventbrite here.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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