Queer Culture Ireland launches with an HIV/AIDS Exhibition to mark World AIDS Day 2020

The HIV/AIDS Exhibition will have some of the Irish names quilts on display as well as material on AIDS activism in Ireland curated by Dr Patrick McDonagh.

HIV/AIDS Exhibition
Image: @QueerCultureIre

Queer Culture Ireland (QCI) are set to launch a new HIV/AIDS exhibition titled ‘The Quilt: Echoes of Memories’ on World AIDS Day, December 1. QCI has collaborated with Dublin Pride in making the exhibition come to life.

The Names Quilt is now in the care of QCI and will go on display as part of the exhibition. The story behind the Names Project will also be told with material from Gay Health Action from the Cork LGBT Archive and Bill Foley. The story of the AIDS support connections in Outhouse will also take centre stage with video footage of key events, people and material being provided by Cathal Kerrigan.

Curating the exhibition is Dr Patrick McDonagh who has written a vast amount on the history of LGBTQ+ Ireland.

Curator of Visual Arts at the Project Arts Centre, Lívia Páldi has provided input. Project Arts Centre recently hosted Chapter two of Project’s Active Archive – QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE.

The second chapter QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE explored LGBT+ histories and, even more specifically, looks into lesbian, female-identified and feminist activism and practices. With a special focus on the 1980s and 1990s and the HIV campaigns the project departs from the ongoing research by Hannah Tiernan (artist, NCAD MFA) on Project’s LGBT+ theatre history with a selection of plays she identified with gay and lesbian issues and her current investigation into the GCN archives.

Plans for the QCI’s exhibition are still ongoing and it is planned to run well into the new year and will be added to as time goes on. There are plans to add a section on the current situation to link the history with what is happening now.

Beyond the physical exhibition, QCI are aiming to create a centralised website with a wide range of resources telling the history of HIV/AIDS in Ireland. As part of this, they hope to create a virtual interactive version of the Irish Names Quilts.

QCI tweeted saying by doing this they hope to “honour the memory of all those lost to HIV/AIDS in Ireland and to make their panels more accessible to family members and loved ones. As the time between the creation of the quilts and now grows, the memory of who is represented may be lost.

People may not even realise their loved ones were honoured in this way. We have no idea how we will fund this project or how long it will take, but we will do all we can to put the quilts online and with the additional HIV/AIDS archives and collections coming to light, we hope to create a vital, centralised online resource of Irish HIV/AIDS history and the wider LGBTQ+ community.

Also happening across Ireland in the coming weeks, the LGBT History Club have an upcoming public talk on Tuesday, November 24 at 8 pm on ‘Queering the Castle’ by Kris Reid. If you would like to attend, contact the LGBT Heritage Project Co-ordinator, Dr Richard O’Leary on [email protected]

In Cork, Orla Egan and the Cork LGBT Archive have now launched the Cork LGBT Archive Interactive Tour. Plaques have been placed on buildings around Cork city with QR codes linking to exhibits on the Cork LGBT Archive. The map can be downloaded here.

‘The Quilt: Echoes of Memories’, an HIV/AIDS exhibition, launches on December 1 in Filmbase, Temple Bar. For more information follow Queer Culture Ireland on Twitter.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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