Events around AIDS conference explore different sides of the disease.
By Halle Kaplan-Allen
The 19th Annual International AIDS Conference has officially taken over Washington, bringing over 20,000 visitors to the area and providing an economic boost to the city. Notable speakers including President Bill Clinton, philanthropist Bill Gates, humanitarian and singer Elton John and actress Whoopi Goldberg are making our city home for the time being.
But even if you’re not attending the conference, there are many ways to get involved with related events around the city this week. The Global Village, located on site at the Washington Convention Center, is free and open to the public. The Village provides a forum for conference attendees and the general public to learn, network and bounce ideas off each other. For the rest of the week, the Village will feature an array of visual art exhibitions, music and dance performances and community discussions with grassroots organizations.
The Lives in 16K+ exhibition at the Spanish Embassy features the work of Pepo Subirana, a Spanish photojournalist who spent a year documenting the over 16,000 Washingtonians who are HIV positive. On Thursday, July 26th at 7 p.m., the embassy plans to host a roundtable discussion on how the media deals with coverage of AIDS-related topics. Scheduled to appear on the panel are Washington Post photojournalist Nikki Kahn as well as Washington Post graphic designer and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Michael duCille.
The Cradle Project Exhibit hosted by the Washington Studio School and cosponsored by the Firelight Foundation and Aid for Africa brings together over 20 handmade cradles, crafted by professional artists, schoolchildren and even the homeless from all over the United States. The mission of the exhibit is to call attention to the plight of African orphans, and also to raise awareness and inspire action to fight AIDS. The exhibit is free and on display through August 3rd.