“But must I beg? Must I be taken for a ride? All I know is that recently I have at least lived with dignity.”
– Ferdinando Attanasio, 1995
My intention in working with the ICI’s AIDS archive is to help me dig into some ideas I have about how the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s has (obviously) had some lasting effects (negative or positive depending on how you look at it) on the development of both individual and cultural queer subjectivities; and to think a bit deeper about the cultural amnesia created that has hidden much of the radical nature of queer (gay/sexual) theory, politics and activism of the years prior to the crisis. In my first foray I found this little article about “The AIDS Gang” a group of three ex-convicts in the late stages of AIDS who used criminal actions to bring attention to the deplorable state of care for PLWA’s in Italy.
I like these guys for many reasons, not necessarily to condone criminal acts, but because it harkens back to some of the pre AIDS ideas being put forth by people like Jean Genet or Guy Hocquenghem, who somewhat relished the idea of homosexuality-as-criminality as something anti-establishment/normative/capital etc. I’m thinking more about this…