Recording History as it Happens: Frontdesk, June 2022

For many, June embodies the essence of “summer” and “activism.” June is Pride Month, and also HIV and AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Month. It celebrates the long-term survivors, those individuals who’re still here to tell the story, and to ensure that the AIDS history continues to be documented for generations to come.
Using art to preserve history and HIV and AIDS history is part of Wolfgang Busch’s DNA. Busch is a filmmaker, mentor, and activist. Over the years, he has won prestigious awards, including the 2015 Keep the Dream Alive Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award “for his social and artistic activism for the Black and Hispanic LGBTQ+ Ballroom community,” and, most recently, the 2021 A-List New York Award, which honors remarkable men who “make a difference in their work and communities.”
Wolfgang Busch is also this month’s cover story subject. While revisiting the history of HIV and AIDS, he reminds us of the importance of documenting the pandemic, and cautions about what can happen if we don’t. “We still cannot comprehend how much we’ve lost because of HIV and AIDS,” he says. “The HIV and AIDS pandemic has left such a vacuum. And if we don’t document [the pandemic] at the time when we can, all these stories get lost. Because even with COVID, people are already starting to forget.”
Also, in this issue, A&U talks with HIV and AIDS long-term survivors–artists and activists–from all walks of life, and with their allies. They all share memories, as well as artwork inspired by those early days of the pandemic, or recount stories about loss, hope, and triumph over the virus. And they remind present and future generations that “the fight is far from over” and “we still have work to do” to ensure “a world free from HIV.”