Virtual AIDS in Africa Memorial launched
Museum of AIDS in Africa's first public programme
Timed to coincide with the International AIDS Conference in Washington, the Museum of AIDS in Africa has just launched its first major public programme – the ‘Virtual Memorial’.
The Virtual Memorial is an on-line public memorial where people will be able to contribute names, photos, and stories of people who have died in Africa's AIDS epidemic. Currently, people can only add names to the memorial online but soon there will be the capacity to add text messages as well as store video and audio. Visit the memorial at http://museumofaidsinafrica.org/
People can also contribute to the memorial via a traveling memory booth at key events such as the International AIDS Conference.
The Memorial seeks to locate individual lives in a collective story in a way that is simple and powerful. It is a step toward achieving several of the Museum's goals - preserving stories in the public trust, providing a place to share memory and grief, and connecting people in a pan-African and global dialogue about the impact of the epidemic, towards our goal of an Africa free from AIDS.
The Memorial is a unique creation, although still very much a work in progress – as is the Museum of AIDS in Africa itself.
Dreamed up by Ngaire Blankenberg and Stephanie Nolen, the museum is a pan-African institution that aims to transform the individual and social response to the African AIDS epidemic by honouring those who have lost their lives, empowering those infected and affected, and building knowledge and understanding about the history, science and response to the pandemic in order to support the ultimate goal of an Africa free from AIDS.
Incorporated as a non-profit organisation in South Africa, the museum is intended to be the world’s premiere public institution to collect, preserve, remember, interpret, share and exhibit the history of the origins, spread, and impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa as well as the past and present experiences of AIDS in Africa.
The plan is to open the museum in a dedicated site in South Africa in 2016 but in the meantime, the institution is undertaking a variety of public programmes virtually and across Africa to start the work of preserving and telling the story of Africa's AIDS epidemic.