A series for LovePositiveWomen2020; #LPW2020, pre-C

Image: $oropositiva, by Micaela Cyrino for LovePositiveWomen2019
Collage on greaseproof paper and serigraphy
30 x 40cm

In some ways the whole LUV experience has geared us up for Love Positive Women 2020. In March 2019 I visited Egypt and afterwards, Paris where I met the Ankh (Arab Network for Knowledge on Human Rights) Association. The Ankh guys moved to Paris after a long period of activism on access to HIV meds in Cairo. From Paris they made the Points of Life exhibit that featured artists and activists from Egypt and the Middle East living with HIV. ‘Behind the Curtain’ is an image and text by Iman, an artist living in Egypt. Daniel Santiago Salguero’s project, Luciérnagas began with the idea to consider the changing situation–HIV info, support and medication access–in Bogotá with new arrivals of Venezuelans in the wake of that country’s financial crisis. It ended as an experimental performance in Bogotá’s Botanical Gardens. I met Jackie during the project’s conclusion in October 2019. Daniel interviews her for LovePositiveWomen2020 and further reflects on the Luciérnagas process. 

On a previous project I met the Nhimbe Trust based in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), and its founder, Joshua Nyapimbi. Originally there was meant to be an event there at their offices during LPW2020, but due to a roof collapse this is not possible. A women’s HIV support group, CHOOSE LIFE meets at Nhimbe Trust and developed a play, MAIDEI to highlight local issues pertaining to HIV care and treatment. CHOOSE LIFE recognizes that there are resources already available in Gokwe South (District where  Bulawayo is located), but positive women do not have full access to these yet. The Nhimbe Trust and CHOOSE LIFE offered the script of MAIDEI to be serialized throughout LPW2020 in six installments. I interviewed Joshua on the history of the piece, and he explained that “the play has been used extensively, initially created with a rural-based support group for HIV positive women who acted in the play. Now it is done by professional actors [trained to] create links with support groups for positive women wherever we tour.” Old African connections yielded a good bit of activity on LPW2020. I met Oma Elzubair when we both worked for the ‘mother of forced migration studies’, Barbara Harrell-Bond in Cairo; Oma is now back in Khartoum (Sudan). She will blog about a range of local activities in Khartoum she’s conducting for LPW2020. And graphic designer, Adham Bakry (Cairo/Port Said, Egypt) made two Arabic versions of the LPW logo in conversation with Oma in Sudan.

Our goal for the next 14 days is to feature mostly articles by women, but also work by others in honor and support of women. On February 2nd, the day Yemanjá (goddess saint for fishers) is celebrated in his home region of Bahia, artist Thiago Correia Gonçalves shares three specially-designed posters (EN, PT, ES) for LPW2020. 

Making an HIV-related project brought me back in touch with an old friend, Emanuel Brauna-Lechat who is making a film on access to healthcare for people of color in Brazil entitled, Dora Não Cansou de Viver… In his second piece for LUV he interviews its lead actress, Momô de Oliveira. We start the series with ‘Feasting with Panthers (and Palestine): Edmund White’s Jean Genet’ by Sarah Schulman. Sarah wrote this piece on the occasion of Edmund White’s 80th birthday. This is her third piece on LUV, including What Does a Queer Urban Future Look Like? and more recently, ‘People in Trouble’ at Thirty: On Realism, Trump, and the AIDS Cataclysm. In the same direction, we invited Cadu Oliveira to comment on LGBTI / HIV activism in the present political climate of Bolsonaro’s Brasil. Our LPW2020 series ends with a Field Note from Paula Nishijima for the Think Twice Collective based in Leiden (Netherlands). 

Here’s a table of contents. We invite you to follow along and join us in celebrating LovePosivitveWomen2020!

*Pre-teaser: New versions of LPW logo in Arabic, Portuguese & Spanish by Adham Bakry & Gustavo Marcasse (Jan 31)

(1) ‘Feasting with Panthers (and Palestine): Edmund White’s Jean Genet’ by Sarah Schulman
(2) ‘Bobó for Yemanjá’ by Thiago Correia Gonçalves
(3) ‘Maidei’, Synopsis + Scene 1: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)
(4) Emanuel Brauna-Lechat interviews Momô de Oliveira
(5) ‘Maidei’, Scene 2: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)
(6) Interview with Cadu Oliveira on LGBTQIA+ organizing in São Paulo
(7) ‘Maidei’, Scene 3: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)
(8) ‘Behind the Curtain’ by Iman (with Ankh Association)
(9) ‘Maidei’, Scenes 4 & 5: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)
(10) Blog from Khartoum by Oma Elzubair
(11) ‘Maidei’, Scenes 6, 7, 8: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)(12) Daniel Santiago Salguero interviews Jacqueline Sanchez for Luciérnagas
(13) ‘Maidei’, Scenes 9, 10: Choose Life Women’s Group (Bulawayo)
(14) Field Note from Paula Nishijima

*Post-teaser: A special surprise from one of my favorite graphic novelists, Power Paola at the end of LPW2020 

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