15 January 2014

Activism | AIDS

The other night I attended a film screening at the New York Public Library (The famous one on 42nd Street) on AIDS Activism in the early 1990s. It was astonishing to see these early videos of such candid moments. Each of the 5 videos witnessed were created by independent film makers who attended events, witnessed interviews, showed up at rallies, chatted with friends, and the like.
The people in the videos were so touching, they fought for their cause, they fought for their life, they fought for others, and they created a safe community for one another.

The evening got me thinking about modern society and my generation, and our lack of community and communication on the human scale. For as much as I enjoy technology I have to agree with the old folks in saying that technology is grossly inhibiting our ability to communicate with one another. When was the last time you went out in public and said 'hello' to a random stranger? You went to a bar and greeted the person next to you? Think about it, in a bar you can spend 3 hours sitting inches away from someone and never speak to them, am I the only person who finds that odd? Or the preverbal family in a restaurant and all 4 of them are on their phones conversing with people outside of their immediate vicinity when they have perfectly acceptable humans in front of them. I know this topic has been preached over and over, but there is much truth to it. The people involved in the AIDS rallies were a community, they called each other, they had a support system, they met up and fought their cause as a group. Medium's like Facebook could be great at bringing more people together, but the question lies in how do we use it to improve our communication and communities without allowing it to divide us on that intimate level?

Act Up, Fight AIDS