Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of World AIDS day. According to WorldAidsDay.org, World AIDS Day, which is held on December 1st, “is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.”
This image captures a poster created by Gran Fury, the artistic wing of the radical (in both senses of the word) organization ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). To highlight their film Dallas Buyers Club, Focus Features put out a great slideshow of Gran Fury artwork, which describes the image:
In 1989, Gran Fury received a commission to create a work for the American Foundation for AIDS Research’s (AmFAR) “Arts against AIDS on the Road” which intended to bring artists’ work to different cities. Taking the idea literally, the collective created a series of bus-side posters entitled “Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Greed and Indifference Do.” The piece, which featured three multi-racial, differently aged couples (one gay, one straight, and one lesbian), included the coda, “Corporate Greed, Government Inaction, and Public Indifference Make AIDS a Political Crisis.” Rather brilliantly, Gran Fury used the techniques of corporate advertising, like bright and shiny Benetton clothing ads of the time, to bring attention to corporate greed. As one Gran Fury member commented, “We are trying to fight for attention as hard as Coca-Cola fights for attention.”
Read the rest of the description and check out the other works of art here.
Originally published December 2, 2013 on Feministing.