Actions and Detail Panel
Remembering AIDS Activism in Ottawa: A Video Screening and Celebration
Thu, 24 November 2016, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST
The AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) and the AIDS Activist History Project (AAHP) are excited to kick off World AIDS Awareness Week on November 24, 2016. Join us at the ByTowne Cinema from 6:30 to 8:30pm for a collaborative showing of two short videos by John Greyson (1989), documenting key moments in the history of AIDS activism in Canada. This event will also feature highlights from the ACOXXX legacy project and coffee table book, and will mark the launch of the AAHP’s first wave of interviews from their Ottawa collection.
ABOUT THE VIDEOS
John Greyson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, activist and educator. His experimental, provocative and political orientation to film and video making has garnered recognition at film festivals around the world. His extensive experience with AIDS activism in both the United States and Canada have formed the basis for a number of his earlier video projects, including The Pink Pimpernel and The World is Sick (Sic). Read and watch highlights from AAHP’s 2014 interview with John Greyson here.
The Pink Pimpernel is a 38-minute video retelling the reactionary French Revolution thriller, The Scarlet Pimpernel, in the context of smuggling AIDS drugs into Canada from the United States. Featuring interviews with members of AIDS ACTION NOW! and other community activists, the video illustrates how AIDS activists struggled against state and medical institutions for the release of treatment drugs not yet available for people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada.
“The World is Sick (Sic)” was very much intended as a documentary of the activist interventions at the Montreal conference in ’89. Colin Campbell and myself went and we shot all weekend, all that week, including the opening demonstration where Tim grabbed the microphone. We stormed the barricades and grabbed the microphone and opened the conference...” (AAHP Interview with John Greyson, page 2).
The World is Sick (Sic) is a 38-minute documentary showcasing activists’ interventions at the 5th International Conference on AIDS in Montreal in June 1989. This video centers the voices of grassroots AIDS educators, activists and people living with HIV/AIDS from Trinidad, Thailand, South Africa, the United States and Canada, and captures powerful moments from AIDS activists’ demonstrations in Montreal and Toronto.
“‘The Pink Pimpernel’ was specific to AIDS ACTION NOW! And was looking in particular at the work of drug smuggling, and using the metaphor of drug smuggling as a way to open up what the work of AIDS activism was.” (AAHP Interview with John Greyson, page 2)