AIDS and the Distribution of Crises engages with the AIDS pandemic as a network of varied historical, overlapping, and ongoing crises born of global capitalism and colonial, racialized, gendered, and sexual violence. Drawing on their investments in activism, media, anticolonialism, feminism, and queer and trans of color critiques, the scholars, activists, and artists in this volume outline how the neoliberal logic of “crisis” structures how AIDS is aesthetically, institutionally, and politically reproduced and experienced. Among other topics, the authors examine the writing of the history of AIDS; settler colonial narratives and laws impacting risk in Indigenous communities; the early internet regulation of both content and online AIDS activism; the Black gendered and sexual politics of pleasure, desire, and (in)visibility; and how persistent attention to white men has shaped AIDS as intrinsic to multiple, unremarkable crises among people of color and in the Global South.
Contributors. Cecilia Aldarondo, Pablo Alvarez, Marlon M. Bailey, Emily Bass, Darius Bost, Ian Bradley-Perrin, Jih-Fei Cheng, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Roger Hallas, Pato Hebert, Jim Hubbard, Andrew J. Jolivette, Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, Alexandra Juhasz, Dredge Byung'chu Kang-Nguyễn, Theodore (Ted) Kerr, Catherine Yuk-ping Lo, Cait McKinney, Viviane Namaste, Elton Naswood, Cindy Patton, Margaret Rhee, Juana María Rodríguez, Sarah Schulman, Nishant Shahani, C. Riley Snorton, Eric A. Stanley, Jessica Whitbread, Quito Ziegler
Camcorder AIDS activism is a prime example of a new form of political expression—an outburst of committed, low-budget, community-produced, political video work made possible by new accessible technologies. As Alexandra Juhasz looks at this phenomenon—why and how video has become the medium for so much AIDS activism—she also tries to make sense of the bigger picture: How is this work different from mainstream television? How does it alter what we think of the media’s form and function? The result is an eloquent and vital assessment of the role media activism plays in the development of community identity and self-empowerment.
An AIDS videomaker herself, Juhasz writes from the standpoint of an AIDS activist and blends feminist film critique with her own experience. She offers a detailed description of alternative AIDS video, including her own work on the Women’s AIDS Video Enterprise (WAVE). Along with WAVE, Juhasz discusses amateur video tapes of ACT UP demonstrations, safer sex videos produced by Gay Men’s Health Crisis, public access programming, and PBS documentaries, as well as network television productions.
From its close-up look at camcorder AIDS activism to its critical account of mainstream representations, AIDS TV offers a better understanding of the media, politics, identity, and community in the face of AIDS. It will challenge and encourage those who hope to change the course of this crisis both in the ‘real world’ and in the world of representation.
Alexandra Juhasz University of Minnesota Press, 2020 Library of Congress HM851 | Dewey Decimal 302.231
More important than flagging things “really fake” is to understand why they are dismissed as fake
The new truth is the one that circulates: digital truth emerges from lists, databases, archives, and conditions of storage. Multiple truths may be activated through search, link, and retrieve queries. Alexandra Juhasz, Ganaele Langlois, and Nishant Shah respond by taking up story, poetry, and other human logics of care, intelligence, and dignity to explore sociotechnological and politico-aesthetic emergences in a world where information overload has become a new ontology of not-knowing. Their feminist digital methods allow considerations of internet things through alternative networked internet time: slowing down to see, honor, and engage with our past; invoking indeterminacy as a human capacity that lets multiple truths commingle on a page or in a body; and saving the truths of ourselves and our others differently from the corporate internet’s perpetual viral movement.
Writing across their own shared truisms, actors, and touchstones, the authors propose creative tactics, theoretical overtures, and experimental escape routes built to a human scale as ways to regain our capacities to know and tell truths about ourselves.
From experimental shorts and web series to Hollywood blockbusters and feminist porn, the work of African American lesbian filmmakers has made a powerful contribution to film history. But despite its importance, this work has gone largely unacknowledged by cinema historians and cultural critics. Assembling a range of interviews, essays, and conversations, Sisters in the Life tells a full story of African American lesbian media-making spanning three decades. In essays on filmmakers including Angela Robinson, Tina Mabry and Dee Rees; on the making of Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman (1996); and in interviews with Coquie Hughes, Pamela Jennings, and others, the contributors center the voices of black lesbian media makers while underscoring their artistic influence and reach as well as the communities that support them. Sisters in the Life marks a crucial first step in narrating the history and importance of these compelling yet unsung artists.
Contributors. Jennifer DeVere Brody, Jennifer DeClue, Raul Ferrera-Balanquet, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Thomas Allen Harris, Devorah Heitner, Pamela L. Jennings, Alexandra Juhasz, Kara Keeling, Candace Moore, Marlon Moore, Michelle Parkerson, Roya Rastegar, L. H. Stallings, Yvonne Welbon, Patricia White, Karin D. Wimbley
Baer, Nicholas Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress B105.I47U59 2019 | Dewey Decimal 153.32
We all have images that we find unwatchable, whether for ethical, political, or sensory and affective reasons. From news coverage of terror attacks to viral videos of police brutality, and from graphic horror films to transgressive artworks, many of the images in our media culture might strike us as unsuitable for viewing. Yet what does it mean to proclaim something “unwatchable”: disturbing, revolting, poor, tedious, or literally inaccessible?
With over 50 original essays by leading scholars, artists, critics, and curators, this is the first book to trace the “unwatchable” across our contemporary media environment, in which viewers encounter difficult content on various screens and platforms. Appealing to a broad academic and general readership, the volume offers multidisciplinary approaches to the vast array of troubling images that circulate in global visual culture.
We Are Having This Conversation Now offers a history, present, and future of AIDS through thirteen short conversations between Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr, scholars deeply embedded in HIV responses. They establish multiple timelines of the epidemic, offering six foundational periodizations of AIDS culture, tracing how attention to the crisis has waxed and waned from the 1980s to the present. They begin the book with a 1990 educational video produced by a Black health collective, using it to consider organizing intersectionally, theories of videotape, empowerment movements, and memorialization. This video is one of many powerful yet overlooked objects that the pair focus on through conversation to understand HIV across time. Along the way, they share their own artwork, activism, and stories of the epidemic. Their conversations illuminate the vital role personal experience, community, cultural production, and connection play in the creation of AIDS-related knowledge, archives, and social change. Throughout, Juhasz and Kerr invite readers to reflect and find ways to engage in their own AIDS-related culture and conversation.