How to Survive a Plague (2012)
Dir.: David France, 109 min.
In the dark days of 1987, America was six years into the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that was still largely being ignored both by government officials and health organizations — until the sudden emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, New York, largely made up of HIV-positive participants who refused to die without a fight. Along with TAG (Treatment Action Group), and emboldened by the power of rebellion, they took on the challenges that public officials had ignored, raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. More remarkably, they became recognized experts in virology, biology, and pharmaceutical chemistry.
On December 1st, World AIDS Day, the Fowler Museum honors 38 million people currently living with HIV and AIDS around the world, while commemorating those we have lost. In conjunction with the exhibition Through Positive Eyes, the Fowler hosts an afternoon of free drop-in programs. The day includes a screening of the 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, interspersed with dance and storytelling performances in the gallery, and a book signing of Through Positive Eyes (2019) published by Aperture.
12:30pm AND 4pm Storytelling Performances in the Gallery: Members of the Los Angeles Through Positive Eyes Collective share their photographs and personal narratives, engaging in direct dialogue with museumgoers in the final gallery of the exhibition Through Positive. These seven HIV-positive Angelenos perform twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays through the end of the exhibition, February 16, 2020.
3:30pm Performance: The UCLA Sex Squad performs new hip-hop by choreographer and Director Jackie Lopez. This UCLA student group uses humor, theater, and storytelling to open up urgent conversations on taboo topics surrounding sex. They perform on campus and at LAUSD schools to creatively and inclusively shift stigmatized culture around sexual health.
4pm Book Signing: Project cofounder and curator David Gere joins us to sign copies of the new publication Through Positive Eyes, (2019), coedited by Gideon Mendel and David Gere, and published by Aperture. The book features photography and stories by 130 HIV-positive arts activists from ten cities around the world: Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Mumbai, Bangkok, Port-au-Prince, London, and Durban. Light refreshments will be served.
4:30pm Dance Program: The Catharsis Project uses performance art and digital media to share stories and experiences from the HIV epidemic. @thecatharsisproject was founded by Tom Davis, dancer, choreographer, HIV+ advocate, and artivist with the Los Angeles Through Positive Eyes Collective.
Related Exhibition: Through Positive Eyes Photography, video, and live storytelling components produced by people living with HIV and AIDS offer intimate access to everyday and extraordinary life moments from their perspectives. Their artistic statements are powerful tools for combating stigma, one of the most formidable barriers to fighting the epidemic.
Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd $3/hr or max $13/day. Rideshare drop-off 305 Royce Drive.
Through Positive Eyes Film Series
Each month the Fowler presents documentaries and feature films that address the global health crisis created by HIV and AIDS. Programs feature talk backs and conversations cohosted by Los Angeles–based social services and community organizations following the screenings.