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30 Exhibition Explores HIV AIDS in NZ

30 Exhibition Explores HIV AIDS in NZ

The New Zealand Film Archive presents 30, the second moving image exhibition by their 2014 Curator-at-Large, Gareth Watkins. 30 reects on HIV AIDS in New Zealand.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the rst death of a person in New Zealand with an AIDS related illness. The exhibition highlights the early years of HIV AIDS, explores changing community attitudes and responses, and acknowledges those that have past.

“I approached the curation of this exhibition reecting on an individual story of love and loss,” says Watkins, “that of Kevin Todd and his panel in the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, beautifully realised by Welby Ings and now the poster image for this exhibition.”

“The quilt panel made me think about what it must have been like in those early years when outwardly healthy young men suddenly became ill, many with Kaposi’s sarcoma - a rare form of cancer - and/or Pneumocystis pneumonia. Many died within months from a range of further opportunistic infections.”

Panels from the quilt will feature in the exhibition, alongside a range of television and lm footage from the period.

The rst death of a person in New Zealand with an AIDS related illness was in 1984 when a young man returned from overseas to his home in New Plymouth. In 1986 a paper was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal that described the rst 11 patients with AIDS to be treated at Auckland

Hospital. Over half died within 13 months of diagnosis. All were homosexual males, aged between 28 and 43.

The exhibition’s title not only marks the 30th anniversary of the rst death in New Zealand, but it also highlights the age group that many of these gay men were in when they passed away.

“I say gay men because in the early years it was gay men (and their friends and families) who bore much of the impact of HIV AIDS. Many in wider society saw it as a ‘gay cancer,’” Watkins explains. “In time, however, we were to understand that anyone could be infected and could infect others irrespective of gender, sexuality or age. “

The moving images shown in the 30 exhibition will be arranged according to the following themes:

stigma, prevention, remembrance, artistic responses, media coverage, individuals and communities aected, and self-esteem.

Join us for the opening of 30, at 6.30pm Tuesday 15 April. A screening of 30 signicant HIV AIDS moments from the Film Archive collection will be followed by a curator talk and reception.

The 30 exhibition will run from 16 April through 14 June, 2014. At the Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington. FREE ADMISSION.


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