Reenacting HIV - survival activism and the arts

Michael Annoff
Reenacting HIV - survival activism and the arts

Seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Thursdays, 16-18:30 h, 9 dates: 21.4., 5.5. (online), 12.5., 19.5., 2.6. (room 151), 9.6. (room 151), 23.6., 30.6., 7.7.2022, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 102

Forty years ago, a viral disease hit humankind. Sadly, the victims of this HIV and AIDS were let down since mainly marginalized groups got infected. In sub-saharan African societies, AIDS remained pandemic due to ongoing pharmaceutical colonialism, in so called Western societies AIDS was instrumentalized to suppress risk groups – queer persons, sex workers, drug consumers, many of them BIPocs. This course is about the history of these victimized risk groups and their impact on contemporary identity politics.
The risk of infection, harassment and death to these groups also lead to many new forms of artistic and activist practice - right before the establishment of the internet and digital devices as mass media. Just with pre-digital media support, marginalized communities struggled to survive and ran campaigns to inform, protect and console risk groups. The artists and designers amongst them have made many crucial contributions to contemporary transdisciplinary and socially engaged art. In the second part of the course we will shift our focus from a cultural and historical to a curatorial perspective. We will throw a critical look back to discuss how this artistic and activist heritage can inform artistic practices and contexts nowadays. We will read authors like Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Douglas Crimp and Paul Preciado and discuss works of Nan Goldin, Gran Fury, Zoe Leonard, Mykki Blanco.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: active participation, commitment to read.

Michael Annoff is a queer anthropologist, performer and curator. After studies in social and cultural anthropology, philosophy and museum management, M. became Academic Associate at the artistic graduate school at Berlin University of the Arts. From 2016 to 2022 M. taught curation and education at Potsdam University of Applied Science. In 2021 M. was awarded the Brandenburg Academic Teaching Prize by the Minister for Science, Research and Culture. M.'s interests focus on social justice and institutional critique in the arts and in cultural productions,  the history of queer and antiracist activism and the concept of performance in the arts and in anthropology. M.'s performances, installations and curatorial works have been shown at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, HAU Hebbel am Ufer and Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg.