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Prefigurative Performance in American and African AIDS Activism

  • Ola Johansson
Chapter

Abstract

The essay compares responses to HIV and AIDS in the USA and sub-Saharan Africa in reference to performance practices, activism and documentary films. In both geopolitical spheres the epidemic onslaught was so acute whilst no effective antiretroviral treatment was accessible that performers created prefigurative actions, which not only impelled and expedited policy, cultural and medical responses to AIDS but also activist tactics used in future social and political crises. Groups like ACT UP in New York, the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa and community-based theatre groups in East Africa provided previously uncharted contact zones between governments and communities, which have, in effect, contributed to an intensified civil society and democratisation in these parts of the world today.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ola Johansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUK

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