On Saturday, September 24 at 7 p.m., a Book Art Rendezvous gathering will take place in Brooklyn and, for the first time since the anthology of plays, Positive/Negative: Women Of Color and HIV/AIDS (Aunt Lute 2002) was first published, artists, writers, and contributors will meet up after fourteen years. This gathering is the first meet-up of core contributors and co-editors Imani Harrington and Dr. Chyrell D. Bellamy since 2003, when excerpts from the book was first presented to the public at SOMA Arts Gallery in San Francisco.
Positive/Negative: Women Of Color and HIV/AIDS addresses the importance of the issues of violence, sexuality, race, gender, class and immigration, stigma, and other themes that are topical today in the pandemic. Contributors include Ernest Andrews, Kulwa Apara, Kehinde Apara, Q.V. Atkins, Joanne Bealy, Zelma Brown, Mark Campbell, Migdalia Cruz, Luis Delgado, Michael John Garcés, Mario Golden, Ntombi Howell, V. Thandi Sulé-James, Marijo, Chiori Miyagawa, Alfonso Ramirez, Carmen Rivera, Sandra Rodríguez, Cándido Tirado, Dorinde Welle, and Shay Youngblood. A number of the contributors, such as playwrights Imani Harrington and Migdalia Cruz, have had work featured in A&U Magazine. The event will also honor those contributors who have died.
Most of the contributors are well-known and locals to New York City area, while others (not all present) live on the West Coast. Many of them have continued their actions to help raise awareness on topics about the work in the anthology. These activists, advocates, and guest supporters will grace the space and celebrate and honor those lives lost to the pandemic.
Says Harrington: “AIDS is not over…nor is violence and issues of social distancing that were experienced in the early days of the pandemic. They still persist! And fears of associating or fraternizing with any body but the ‘clean’ body and ‘clean’ person, [saturated with] preceptions about sexuality, identity, race, are factors that tip the scale of discrimination. People who openly tell or share their status are to this day often dismissed or not included…there are some exceptions, but dismissals are real in 2016! Try hiring a person who is HIV-positive to be your ‘personal trainer’ for your gym. Need I say more? [Additionally] positions of power are not always given preference to ‘known’ positive folks…”
Conversations and discourse highlighting the contributors and the work yet to be done to fight the fear and stigma around AIDS will be shared at the reception, which begins right at 7 p.m. Join them in shedding light on the continued need for the importance about keeping the engagement of the work about HIV/AIDS and other social topics addressed in the public domain.
This Rendezvous is taking place at AOT (Architecture of Tomorrow), a nonprofit arts organization whose founder, Douglas Turner, is collaborating with the co-editors. Some of the core contributing authors along with the co-editors invite you to learn more about the anthology and celebrate and acknowledge those who are now ancestors and those who are living. This is an intimate event that you do not want to miss!
Space is limited: first come, first served!
159 Hope St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Take the L Train to Lorimer Street, from Union and Keap walk two-minutes on Union towards Hope St. and take a right
Or from the J/M to Hewes St. Walk 10 minutes down Hooper towards Grand St., right on Grand St., left on Union Ave., left on Hope St.
***ACCESSIBILITY: The gallery is located on the second floor, with one flight of stairs. (No elevator)
For inquiries, contact Douglas Turner at AOT by phone at (929) 324-1117.
To purchase a copy of Positive/Negative, log on to: www.auntlute.com.
Many thanks to Imani Harrington for her help in writing this article.