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How Do We Take Care?

How Do We Take Care?
An evening of under appreciated classic short videos created primarily about and by women of color in the early 1990s that highlight the role radical sex educators and caregiving videomakers played in the early days of the known AIDS epidemic in the US. Followed by a discussion with AIDS activist videomakers Alexandra Juhasz and Juanita Mohammed (from the Women’s AIDS Video Enterprise) and members of the What Would An HIV Doula Do? collective about representation—past and present—of  activism and other forms of life saving labour within the ongoing epidemic. Free Admission, donations appreciated.

Party Safe with Bambi and DiAna, Ellen Spiro, 1992, Digitalized Video, 25 mins 

We Care: A Video for Care Providers of People Affected by AIDS, Women's AIDS Video Enterprise, 1990, Digitalized Video, 33 mins 

About the Curator(s):
The What Would the HIV Doula Do? collective is a community of artists, activist, academics, chaplains, doulas, health care practitioners, nurses, filmmakers, AIDS Service Organization employees, dancers, community educators, and others from across the movement joined in response to the ongoing AIDS Crisis. We understand a doula as someone in community who hold space for others during times of transition. For us, HIV is a series of transitions in someone’s life that does not start with being tested or getting a diagnosis, nor end with treatment or death.Foundational to our process is asking questions.


Party Safe! with Bambi and DiAna, Ellen Spiro; 1992. 25 mins. In this sequel to DiAna’s Hair Ego, DiAna and her partner Bambi Sumpter, travel from South Carolina to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto, where they hold safer-sex information parties (often in people’s homes), complete with ingenious games guaranteed to make the participants more comfortable in imaging, talking about, and carrying through with their decisions about sex. Includes explicit and frank discussions about human relationships. Clearly articulated and important perspectives on AIDS. 

We Care: A video for Care Providers of People Affected by AIDS, Women's AIDS Video Enterprise, 1990. 33 mins. Targeted at low-income women of color, this tape was collectively produced by WAVE, an unusual “ video support group” sponsored by the Brooklyn AIDS Task Force. For six months, seven women met to talk and learn about AIDS and video. The result is a rich grassroots effort which documents many challenges that AIDS present to care-givers and which rebukes many common myths about HIV/AIDS. One HIV-positive member provides and intimate tour o her home while she speaks of daily life with the virus demonstrating how things have changed for her and her family. Also includes interviews with a doctor, volunteer and several educators. The women not only speak about men’s resistance to condom use, and the need to face death realistically, but also offer resources and referrals. 

From Videography, by Catherine Saalfield in Alexandra Juhasz’s book, AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video

Earlier Event: May 22
Later Event: May 25
VR Film Club