Using personal stories to tell the history of HIV and AIDS

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THE KwaMuhle Museum, 130 Bram Fischer Road, Durban is hosting South African Voices:  Towards a Museum of HIV Memory and Learning, a legacy project of AIDS2016.

South African Voices strives to tell the story of our HIV history in a manner that is authentic, elegant, sensitive and holistic. It marks the start of a South African collection of artefacts, artistic, historic and photographic items that pay tribute to people affected by HIV.

The collected items pay tribute to those who suffered and succumbed, and those who live with HIV every day in South Africa.

 

A partnership project between eThekwini Municipality, Avacarehealth and info4africa, it will be situated at KwaMuhle Local History Museum, adjacent to the AIDS2016 Conference parking.

“Created as a legacy project of AIDS2016, South African Voices documents a critical and defining chapter in our collective history in South Africa.  It offers all people space to celebrate the achievements and reflect on the journey we have taken from the dark days of denialism and calls to “Break the Silence” at AIDS2000, to having the largest HIV treatment programme in the world,” says project director, info4africa’s Debbie Heustice.

“Drawing from the experiences of a wide variety of stakeholders engaged in HIV-related health care in South Africa, South African Voices strives to tell the story of our South African HIV history in a manner that is authentic, elegant, sensitive and holistic,” says curator Ben Brophy.

“As our journey with HIV is far from over, South African Voices is an ever-evolving collection of memories and stories that explore the lived human experiences of the South African HIV pandemic. This South African Voices collection marks the start of a journey towards institutionalising a museum of HIV memory and learning in South Africa,” says Heustice.

A special project within South African Voices will be the construction of a Light of Hope- an interactive sculpture installation taking the form of a large HIV hope light sculpture. The Light of Hope is being designed and facilitated by Robin Opperman and Ujala Sewpersad of Umcebo Design.

Consisting of plastic leaves made from recycled materials, each leaf will carry personalised, beaded messages of remembrance, hope and celebration.

Visitors to South African Voices will be encouraged to share their lived experiences of HIV with the museum by contributing their stories as well as donating archival and contemporary materials. Beyond AIDS2016, South African Voices will continue to be a dynamic, creative and equitable space for learning, dialogue and reflection.

Opening times: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3.50 pm, and Saturdays from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.

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