World AIDS Day

Capturing a Pandemic

Today is December 1, World AIDS Day, WAD 2017. On this World AIDS Day, I just want to share a few HIV and AIDS stories I’ve covered over the years.

Here’s a picture of one of my favorite angels, the Bethesda Angel in Central Park. This particular image is a #tbt taken in 2009 with a Lensbaby composer using a star-shaped aperture ring (for those who’re interested).

Angel in Central Park. Lensbaby photography by Alina Oswald, inspired by the movie Angels in America.

Kurt Weston is only one of the artists whose work was inspired by Angels in America. Read more about his life and his art in Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography.

In 2007, I captured the image below at a World AIDS Day event. The image, Identity, was later included in one of the annual Fresh Fruit Festival shows, at Leslie Lohman Museum, in New York City.

Identity. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Identity, as displayed at the Fresh Fruit Festival, Crossing Boundaries. Leslie-Lohman Museum, NYC. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Over the years, I’ve covered a variety of HIV- and AIDS-inspired shows and contributed to a few of them, too:

I’ve also had the opportunity to interview and photograph amazing and inspiring HIV and AIDS activists like Carlos Idibouo, Omar Garcia, Nancy Duncan, Steve Hayes, Jennifer Flynn Walker, and many more.

Or captured activists in action:

Capture the action:

Sometimes becoming part of the artistic…action–What Is Undetectable Flash Collective and Ideas City.

Ideas City 2015
What is undetectable? Write down the answer on a red balloon. Ideas City event in NYC. Photo by Alina Oswald.

While working on a Bauhaus photography assignment, I ended up creating my Bauhaus rendering of the rainbow flag, including the black stripe, a reminder of those lost to the AIDS pandemic.

Hope. Bauhaus Rendering of the rainbow flag, including the color black.
Hope: A Bauhaus Rendering. Here’s my own Bauhaus rendering–the rainbow flag, with the rainbow colors, including black (and also white, for peace), in geometric shapes–triangles, squares, and circles.

A few years ago I found myself in Washington Square Park, in Manhattan, and discovered a few bracelets. Just couldn’t resist:

Rise-Up to HIV and ACT UP Bracelets. Photo by Alina Oswald.

This World AIDS Day, let’s remember those we’ve lost to the epidemic, those who have survived it and are here to tell its story, and let’s continue to make our voices heard. After all:

AIDS ON GOING GOING ON bags designed by Kay Rosen for Visual AID
Representing AIDS. Bags. Photo by Alina Oswald, published in A&U Magazine.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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