PICS: Commemorate World Emancipation Day and Aids Day at Iziko Museums

2017-12-01 14:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - It is World Aids Day and Emancipation Day and one can commemorate this by joining locals at Iziko Museums of South Africa for a free exhibition. 

World Aids Day takes place on 01 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, as well as show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an Aids-related illness. 

ALSO SEE: World Aids Day 2017: Fastjet enters new 'Holidays' partnership to help fund the fight in Africa

The public is invited to view a unique photographic exhibition at the Iziko Slave Lodge, 'Through Positive Eyes'.

This unique exhibition, co-directed by London-based South African photographer and Aids activist Gideon Mendel, who has been chronicling HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa since 1993, puts cameras into the hands of people who are living with HIV/AIDS encouraging them to document their daily lives. 

'Through Positive Eyes'

Over the past ten years, 122 people living with HIV/AIDS in ten major cities have participated in this collaborative photography project, contributing to an archive of photographs and mini-documentaries.

According to Iziko Museum, the project resonates with the untold history of the disease in Cape Town during the slavery period.

A hospital in the eastern wing of the Slave Lodge treated the enslaved women who suffered from venereal disease. Slaves with leprosy were sent to a house on the seafront to prevent the spread of the disease, while sailors and soldiers were treated in a different hospital, opposite the Slave Lodge. 

(Picture: Supplied)

Unlike the enslaved, whose bodies were not legally their own, and whose voices were seldom allowed to be heard, Through Positive Eyes makes it possible for 100 voices to be heard, as the narrators or ‘artivists’ tell their personal stories. 

Iziko says the positive outcome, as a result of a well-networked exhibition and partnership, truly resonates with their theme at the Slave Lodge "from a site of Human Wrongs to a space of Human Rights". 

"Visitors are able to engage with local ‘artivists’ who are available daily to tell their stories about living and coping with the stigma of HIV and AIDS," says the museum. "This exhibition hopes to facilitate dialogue and dynamic debate in a space with a history of oppression, silence and pain." 

(Picture: Supplied)

NOTE: The exhibition ends on 28 February 2018. 

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