Our second blog post from one of our excellent speakers from OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History conference, which is coming to the Museum of Liverpool on 25 February, is Andrew Dineley. Andrew is the Creative Director of Soft Octopus Design Studio and will be discussing his activism and work designing, amongst many other things, Liverpool’s influential first HIV/AIDS public health materials in the 1980s.
Andrew tells us more -
"It was the AIDS crisis of the 1980s that sparked my teenage political awakening as I found myself working in and coming out to an increasingly hostile and dangerous world. Section 28, an uncaring government and a sickeningly homophobic media formed an unholy trinity of unpleasantness that made me realise things weren’t going to get better unless we fought for them.
Whilst I was able to help get information about HIV/AIDS out there as part of my job, I also got involved in local activism, attended my first demo in Manchester and helped out with design for a big Section 28 protest event that happened in Liverpool. It felt like we were making a small difference and doing nothing wasn’t an option.
I was a warrior with some marker pens, glue and a photocopier, and around me, the media was using the AIDS crisis as an excuse to vilify and erode our recently gained steps toward equality, and people were dying. It was a literal battleground.
We’ve come a long way in just three short decades and it chills me to see some of the things happening in politics now. We can’t go back, and to quote the first chant I shouted at my first demo in Manchester in 1988 – we’re Never Going Underground."
Don’t miss Andrew’s talk, ‘Three decades of HIV/AIDS design. The perspective of a gay man designing national public health campaigns during a hostile period of inequality in Liverpool over 20+ years’ at the OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History conference.