At RADIANT CIRCUS we love the social power of screens. From huddling together in the dark recesses of our local fleapit to the domestic distractions of home cinema, screens – of all shapes and sizes – have an immense power to change and charge opinion.
Occasionally, we turn our attention away from the big screen to focus on how our worlds are being shaped by the smaller screens in our hands. And then – sometimes – we get pissed off. This is the tale of one humble time.
1st December – as every year – was World AIDS Day. We started to look for mention of this important event across the arts and cultural feeds that we friend and follow. It wasn’t great… We tried to calm down and took our time… Several cups of coffee and a few hours of entirely unscientific scrolling through social media channels later, it seemed that World AIDS Day had been forgotten by the UK’s major cultural institutions. Several of these cultural palaces raised awareness of their good causes, campaigning for funds for participatory projects in their communities, but no mention of World AIDS Day. Here are a few examples of what did happen:
30 years ago the cultural industries were being devastated by the impact of HIV and AIDS as the pandemic swept across continents. Today, creative communities remain powerfully affected by HIV and AIDS. From the stigma of a positive diagnosis to profound inequalities in access to treatment and care, World AIDS Day remains a vitally important rallying point. Organisations that care about artists, their artworks and their audiences really ought to be playing a more significant role: stepping forward to help fight the stigma and stop infection.
Ladies and gentleman, let us therefore gather together and take notice. #WADforgotten is a shameful hashtag. Next December 1st, RADIANT CIRCUS would rather lob praise: #WADdoneright. We could all do more. But to do more, we have to commit.
[PS – Apologies for any inaccuracies in reporting. We do know you care.]