the AIDS activist project
It’s been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, 49 years since the first Pride March, 38 years since the first AIDS cases were reported, and 32 years since ACT UP began.
Thats a lot of history. We’ve had to fight for the progress we’ve made. One theme that runs through all of this is activism. We’ve made tremendous progress in LGBTQ Rights and the fight against AIDS.
I came of Activist Age in 1988 after my partner died of AIDS. I somehow ended up in an ACT UP meeting in NYC. I met some amazing people there, dedicated, smart, angry and effective. I saw how dedicated they were and how committed to their cause they were. I thought “People need to know…”
Out of my experience in ACT UP came “the AIDS activist project”, remembering and honoring the people who fought and changed the course of the AIDS crisis. The desperation we felt in the ’80’s created the in-your-face activism and that brought us where we are today. This movement, thankfully, changed things for the generations that have come since, who didn’t have to live through the nightmare of the AIDS Crisis.
I began photographing members of ACT UP New York in 1989. I then traveled to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and cities around the U.S. documenting AIDS activists.
I created ‘informal” formal studio portraits of activist, allowing them to portray anything they wanted. They were the message, I was just the messenger. I strived to create honest images and capture the spirit of each activist.
In this book, you will meet the people I met along the way. I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder these great activists. History needs to remember this activism, and we need to remember the ones we lost to AIDS, especially during Pride. They fought AIDS, but didn’t make it here with us to celebrate.
This project and the book were a long time in the making, over 30 years. This book is a labor of love, sharing my experience, and letting folks get to know the people who were involved in AIDS Activism. The fact that people will get to know about the people, the activists who fought and made a difference in the book, Anne, Moises, Tom, Kate, Floyd, Mona, Tigger, and so may other amazing activists.
This book is dedicated to the power of activism. It is a powerful and compelling tribute, celebrating the spirit of the people who grace its pages. It is dedicated to the ones we lost along the way. Though they are no longer with us, their activism and spirit paved the way and lives on today.
the AIDS activist project is an independently published and distributed book, and is available through this website.
Please visit “the images” section of this site to see work from the book.
Fine Art Prints
Here are a few of my photographs that are available for purchase.