The AIDS Activist History project is hosted at Carleton University by Alexis Shotwell and a team of students; Gary Kinsman is the co-researcher. The team works with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives to document the history of AIDS activism across Canada. The project is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
The project is intended to capture the rich history of Canadian AIDS activism in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The initiative hopes to learn more about the people who struggled – many who continue to struggle – against the criminalization and stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS, and who took action to change their medical, social, and political circumstances.
For participants who feel comfortable with it, the researchers are transcribing all of their interviews and making them available for research, thinking, and better understanding of these important struggles. In June 2015 the first “wave” of interviews were posted. The researchers post on the site, “Our aspiration is that people can learn about the work and accomplishments of these amazing activists directly from them, and that having this history available can help us remember the past more adequately and support our current struggles for another world.”
The researchers want to talk with people who worked with groups such as the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), AIDS ACTION NOW!, and other smaller organizations. Please visit the site and contact them if you would like to be interviewed, or if you know someone who you think they should talk to.