'Now + then: Three Decades of HIV in Merseyside' uncovers how local people and communities have responded to the challenges of HIV from the 1980s to the present day. It includes a powerful new short film, interviews, photography and objects, all exploring people's own remarkable stories and experiences.
Created by Merseyside and North Cheshire’s HIV charity, Sahir House, the display is part of the Museum of Liverpool’s partnership programme Our City Our Stories, and is is the culmination of a wider two year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The idea for the project came from service users and volunteers at Sahir House who felt it was important to record people’s own stories about HIV and Merseyside before they were lost forever.
In collaboration with Soft Octopus Design Studio and Thinking Film, the display also uses multimedia to highlight an important chapter in Merseyside’s history of activism. Merseyside’s communities were among the first nationally to respond to the 1980s crisis of ‘AIDS’. Liverpool’s pioneering drug harm reduction and needle exchange schemes became internationally renowned as the Mersey Model.
We have been part of the project since it began in 2012, when we hosted a community meeting to develop ideas for the project prior to Sahir House successfully securing £76,000 worth of funding from HLF. Since then, we have continued to provide a base for 'Now + then' public events and are extremely proud to see the display now on gallery. We hope that the display will educate and raise awareness of HIV, which could affect anyone in our local community.
The display can be seen in The People's Republic gallery until 8 February, 2015.