Illustrator! Artist! Exactly how much do you believe in the subversive power of art? We believe in it a lot!
That’s why, joining the struggle against silence and stigma surrounding HIV, we have pulled together a group of visual artists under the name of “ The White Rabbits- ARTivists againsts serophobia”!
Would you like to take part of it? If the answer is yes, there is no better time to join us!
From the 25th to 27th of October we will be in the main hall of the 16th European AIDS Conference presenting a collective exhibition. The European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) has invited us to present our comics and illustrations, highlighting 6 critical aspects regularly overlooked when discussing prevention and HIV.
Thousands of people from all over Europe will walk through our immersive and interactive exhibition, and needless to say that this is a unique opportunity for our unusual and self-funded project!
Your art could support us in affirming once again that HIV can not - and indeed it should not - be reduced to an exclusively medical issue! Rather, it is something that encompasses our social relations and emotional spheres. This should be the starting point of any prevention campaign aiming at influencing sexual behaviour. We do not believe in cold and scientific, yet informative, slides. On the contrary we are firmly convinced that unexpected and unforgettable art, capable of surprising and touching the emotions of the recipient can create true change.
The widespread embarrassment and awkwardness felt when talking openly about sex, and the ever present trauma that AIDS represented in our collective conscience, remain to date the two main reasons why people don’t get tested. Moreover, if mixed with the overwhelming outdated ignorance that surrounds HIV you end up with the unbearable stigma lived everyday by people living with HIV.
Help us fight HIV. Help us struggle stigma. Help us break silence and taboos.
All you need to do is (1) pick on of the #SixLittleRabbits listed below, (2) illustrate it according to your style and your unique artistic sensitivity, and (3) send it in high resolution to our email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 16th of October.
Do you want to know why the White Rabbit has become our lucky charm? There are six reasons to it, help us tell the story behind each one of them.
▲ Follow me – follow the white rabbit out of a dark rabbit hole with up to date information and you will see that - in countries that guarantee access to treatment – being HIV+ is not a death sentence.
▲ Connect – according to an Asian myth the moon rabbit is a creature of compassion and virtue. It is a symbol of the empathy that a condition such as HIV can bestow on you. If embraced, it enables people living with HIV to connect with other discriminated groups and communities.
▲ Undress me – rabbits are known for their relentless sex life. They are the symbol of sexual freedom for everybody, even for people living with HIV, to engage in a conscious and free sexual life.
▲ Confront and reclaim – time has come to fight corporate greed and reclaim your health. The lab rabbits are breaking out of their cages and shattering their chains, tired of pharmaceutical companies speculating on their health.
▲ Pull me out – Just like a magician pulls the white rabbit out of his top hat – this little rabbit represents the subversive power of visibility. Our LGBTQI brothers and sisters have taught us that visibility is the collective solution to the injustice that individuals are condemned to live every day.
▲ Get over it – just like Roger Rabbit constantly cuffed or Harvey’s invisible life partner, sometimes you just have to invoke the power of acceptance. This intrusive creature can turn itself ironically in your best friend, as he represent the proud rabbit of resilience. Being diagnosed with HIV can be an opportunity to turn your life around taking care of yourself and of the people around you.
We feel like the grandchildren of Keith Haring, one of the founders of ACT UP and one of the first artists to understand the potential of art in the struggle against HIV and AIDS.
Among these six little white rabbits choose the one that spoke to you the most and that has awoken your imagination, and donate it to our cause. Help us breed like rabbits!
If you are thinking of sending us something, here a couple of useful details:
▼ The size of your artistic donation should be A1 or below, but sticking to the A standard paper sizes. (The vast majority of works will be printed in A3 but depending on the amount of contributions we might print some of them in A2).
▼ The deadline to receive your rabbit art is the 16th of October. (If you want to let us know before hand on which of the Six Little White Rabbits you are working on it would facilitate the organization of the set up).
▼ We don’t have a budget. (The project White Rabbits lives thanks to voluntary work and contributions. Nonetheless if we have been awarded the “Best Poster Award” at the Italian AIDS Conference - ICAR2017 and we have been invited to set up this exhibition, it is because our potential is being recognized. When we will conquer the world and have funds to pull together a proper publications you will be the first to know. On top of that, as a testament of our infinite gratitude, we will offer you a drink every time we meet).
▼ There will be a selection. Artistic contributions will be selected to ensure high quality of the illustrations and the professionality of the artists. In the past we have received art from students of different ages and these deeply touched us. Nonetheless in this context we want to make sure that all exhibited art is on message. (All works of art, with no exclusion, will be available on our website at the end of the conference).
▼ We would prefer for all the artistic contributions not to be posted online until the end of October 2017. If you just can’t avoid it, it’s fine, but remember not to be shy with @ and #, tag us brutally! Our pages are @TheWhiteRabbits @ConigliBianchi and our hashtags #ComicsAgainstStigma #ArtivismAgainstSerophobia
▼ If your illustration contains some text, make sure (if possible) that it will be able to accommodate other languages. Since we are seriously megalomaniac we have the ambition to internationalize the White Rabbits. The red ribbon and the struggle against AIDS need us, and our little white rabbits will be the Trojan Horse that will bring awareness throughout the planet.
▼ Send us a short bio, your contact details, a picture of yourself and 2 samples of your work that you believe represent your artistic production. We will use this information to create an ARTivist profile on our website. (As you can see from the existing profiles, it would be great if one of your samples could be horizontal).
If you have any question or doubt - even on the contents of this call - here we are.
Thank you for sharing this call among your network and for supporting us in this elating struggle against taboos. See you soon!