This article was published on September 4th, 2021
The National AIDS Memorial has released a new documenting outlining the lives and stories of people living with HIV. The documentary focuses on their triumphs and of overcoming addiction, fear, and stigma with resilience. The documentary hopes to feature the voices of AIDS survivors and advocates.
The initiative has a powerful impact because it tells the story of AIDS through survivors’ voices. The documentary will tell the stories of those living with HIV during the pandemic. In America, since 1981, more than 700,000 US lives have been claimed by the virus. The virus has had a huge impact in America, with more than 1.2 million people living with the virus. HIV has a greatly disproportionate impact on communities of color in the southern region of the USA.
The initiative mini-documentary is titled “substance users, the recovery community & AIDS” and will have two exclusive screenings at Frameline 45 and SF queer Film fest 2021. Both festivals are LGBTQ+ and promote a message of inclusion and acceptance through their mini-movies and films. You can watch the mini-documentary series here, where they feature individual interview segments of those living with HIV and advocates.
It is a great honor for the National AIDS Memorial to have features at two very influential film festivals. The struggles our community has faced and will continue to face because the AIDS pandemic is at worldwide pandemic levels. The film captures in detail the powerful personal stories of the survival of AIDS advocates and survivors. HIV/AIDS in the gay community strongly correlates to substance abuse due to the mental effects society places on our sexuality. The discourse you will see is raw, uncensored, and exactly what we need. Our stories need to be told by us, from us, and in an honest and true light. Too often are we marginalized and forced to present a whitewashed reality of our lives.
Our community has faced many struggles before the AIDS pandemic, and the chance for our community to tell their story is nothing shy of monumental. The depiction of individual strength, power, hope and resilience will show why our society needs to stick together. The importance of community spirit is overwhelmingly required and should promote a healthy dose of respect and dignity. The stories portrayed will leave you flabbergasted at the strength of our community. It will present our community in a vulnerable light, which is refreshing. The younger generations are starting to forget that we struggled and fought to get where we are today.
The director of the documentaries is Jörg Fockele, and long-standing National AIDS Memorial partner, Chevron, funds the project.
The surviving voices program is meant to capture the essence of the gay struggle. We need to retain these important moments and share them with generations to come. Failure to correctly present our community leaves history to repeat itself. The mini-series documentary is the 6th project to be released by the National AIDS Memorial.
Fockele stated, “I hope that these mini-documentaries will be as inspiring for current and future generations confronting their challenges as they were for us when we filmed them,”
You can learn more about the Surviving voiced documentary by the National AIDS Memorial and provide your support at www.aidsmemorial.org. Check it out. Our community needs people from within to support us. If we leave it to mainstream media, then our heterosexual counterparts will never learn our true story. Ignorance is not bliss. Let’s force our history on them so they can recognize and understand our struggles.
Watch the trailer: