It was a time when we had to listen up. A time when we had to Act Up. Our friends were dying. Our governments were turning a blind eye and we were pretty much alone facing a disease that would take way too many of our nearest and dearest. When the HIV/AIDS crisis hit I was young and fuelled with rage. I was sick of hearing stats when those stats were names I knew. I was angry with those who spat and stared and shouted as we tried to have our voices heard. And yet.
And yet there was community. We may have been diminished but there was love and camaraderie even though there were too many gaps on the dancefloors where our friends had once been. The clubs became our churches as our community came together to support, to fundraise, and to face a crisis the like of which I pray we never see again.
So when I was asked to curate a soundtrack for the forthcoming Because Our Friends Are Dying exhibition by local LGBT historian and photographer Alf Le Flohic I knew which part of the record shelves to raid. Tunes from 1998 to 1992. Ballads and ballsy basslines. House and humdingers. Queer pop and even queerer tunes. The love that dare not speak its name sneaking into the mainstream and soundtracking my anger, my sadness, my joy and my friendships. Its not every tune that meant something to everyone but its a good go. A soundtrack for the days we felt too much. For the fight of our lives. For the lives we lost.
World AIDS Day: ACT UP PARIS – Because our friends are dying…
Oxford Street Studio, 19 Oxford Street, Brighton. BN1 4LA
30th November – 1st December.
A series of images taken at an ACT UP demonstration in Paris 1992 by Alf Le Flohic. This two day event will be raising much needed funds for The Sussex Beacon, with limited edition prints, tombola & red ribbons. Kindly sponsored by Nick Ford Photography & Colourstream
Facebook event details here
Grab a preview of my sound selection on Spotify