Imagine Me Positive: The Poetics of Women Living with HIV in Brooklyn.
This digital humanities project, Imagine Me Positive, assembles a poetics of space by mapping metaphors that Still Surviving participants used to describe life with HIV/AIDS. Metaphors are a grammatical device to articulate relationships through a visual expression. Reading for metaphor provides a way to listen to life experiences through the portal of poetics. Listening for metaphors acknowledges the humanity in each of us as poets and seekers and creative beings. Metaphors are commonly identified through the use of comparative terms “like” and “as.” Searching transcripts for the use of “like” and “as” allow the researcher reading an interview transcript to identify poetry in the prose. In the act of highlighting metaphors, concrete prose of medical and social diagnosis, are re-imagined in terms of abstract representations.
Digital Humanities challenges ways of reading using digital technology. Using Qualitative Analysis Software (QDA), we […]
Looking through the History Moves content, I was surprised by the impression the audio interviews left on me. Although looking through the photos and the book was informative, neither left as strong of an impact on me as listening to the women’s stories. That said I want to focus my project on what the best way would be to incorporate the audio files to present their stories.
I think it would be interesting to have the stories told through an interactive website which is a mix of a blog and a map. Looking at this website, I like the clean layout and that the reader can either actively choose a topic to explore, or can scroll through the main page feed and read the most recent posts. I think it would be interesting to present the women’s stories of History Moves in a similar manner. Obviously, this website is only […]
I started to go through the history moves material by listening to the women’s records and looking at their pictures. Listening to these stories I felt two things. First I was very different from these women: They were middle-aged women, had kids, most of them were women of color, they came from fairly poor background, they had had really really tough lives and they are HIV positive. Something that also has its importance, they are American. I am in my early twenties, white, come from a middle class family who has been able to support me emotionally and financially until now that I’m in college without me even asking for it. I am HIV negative I am also French. Let’s put it this way, I am privileged. Second I admired these women so much for being so positive after all they had been through.
After listening to recordings I went through […]
The various forms and iterations of the History Moves I’m Still Surviving project materials do an excellent job of representing the fourteen women involved through their own stories. The book layout interweaves these narratives with contextual information about the changing environment of racial politics, community activism and health and wellness resources in the decades that their stories span. I propose that a section of the digital interactive component be dedicated to visualizations that contextualize the History Moves stories in the greater fabric of New York history. These visualizations would be of two types: a map and a timeline. The map will overlay the familiar terrain of the New York boroughs with dropped pins and pop-up images, when available, of places and resources mentioned in the oral histories. This includes every place mentioned from the high schools where the women attended to the STAR Health Center at SUNY Downstate, where they […]
I feel that an iOS and Android application would be an interesting way to present the information collected into History Moves. I want it to be a walking tour app of sorts. This app would ask for access to your phone’s GPS, so it can track where you are. Certain bits of information, like the interviews, would only be accessible if the user is at that location.
When the app is first opened, a map of Brooklyn will appear with pinpoints. This will be a stylized map. These pinpoints are key locations from History Moves interviews. The user can click on each pinpoint, and the address and name of location will appear. No details about interviews will be provided so that one place isn’t deemed more important than another by the developers. As the user comes to a pinpointed location (physically), the particular interview or part of an interview having to […]
For my proposed History Moves project, I was inspired by two different sources: Jean Baudrillard’s essay “Xexrox and Infinity” and the photo series by photographer Adrian Chesser entitled “I have something to tell you.” The specific quotation from Baudrillard’s essay that I am taking egregiously out of context is that, “the screen works much like a mirror.” If the previous quote is taken quite literally, it parallels beautifully with Chesser’s photo series, wherein he snapped portraits of friends and family in the moments after disclosing to them his news of being HIV positive (the series can be seen here). In the case of Chesser’s photos, his camera lens became the mirror through which family, friends, and the whole world could see the raw emotion reflected by those closest to him after hearing the news of his diagnosis.
Baudrillard’s words, […]
Motivation and connection with the History Moves projects
The book dedicated to the Chicago HIV/AIDS women has done an excellent work to capture the individuals’ voices. The similarities interviewees shared contribute to the collective memories and identities to the history of Chicago’s HIV/AIDS women. What strikes me the most is how courageous and positive these HIV/AIDS survivors are, not as a group of anonymous patients with the deadly disease but as ordinary people who share the same ups and downs as we do as daughters/wives/sisters/mothers. And the struggles they have been through and the determination to share their life lessons with others made them extraordinary.
In my proposal, I would like to propose an installation art with a mobile app. Similar to the Chicago book, I want to dedicate the artwork to the Brooklyn HIV/AIDS women in general but also recognize the power of individual voices.
What is it? How would it work?
Upon first examination of the files shared with our class, I noticed that the contributors were all women, and furthermore women of color. I immediately felt that it was important to create a digital project in connection with our nation’s sordid history of oppressing black and brown lives, as I feel that the HIV/AIDs epidemic is a tragic consequence of past U.S. policies. One of society’s salient misconceptions about HIV/AIDs is that it is predominantly a white, male, homosexual disease. This is a political misrepresentation and though gay men are a strong demographic for the virus, black women are terribly overlooked by this perspective. Before I got the chance to listen to the interviews, I kept thinking of a powerful fact that I read in Rashad Shabazz’s Spatializing Blackness; in the year 2008, black women in Chicago made up 80 percent of all new HIV cases. Furthermore, black women are […]
History Moves: Project Proposal
These powerful women each possess a unique story and, as I read through the pieces, at times you could feel the powerful interaction that tends to only exist between close friends. Through each picture, word, and description, the women pour their lives out before us. Through each piece we lay witness to the individuality of each story. The pieces were told not as a well-documented history book but as two friends sharing coffee and remembering the world. Each set of friends had their own unique story yet the stories carry with them threads of similarities that help tie together their individual words into a rich tapestry. This tension between trying to highlight the similarities while respecting the differences is the premise for my project. I desire to create a media exhibit that will highlight this idea that each of the stories was powerful and important in its uniqueness, […]
Being visible is different than being exposed:
These women are not research subjects,
They are collaborators in the research process.
To me, one of the defining attributes of the History Moves project is that the women interview each other. This makes them active participants in the research process—empowering them, strengthening their sense of self, and placing them in a historical and communal narrative. Focusing on the importance of this relationship, my project seeks to position audience members in the active role of interviewer. The project has two parts: an analog book and corresponding mobile-digital app.
The book created for the History Moves WIHS Chicago collaboration was incredibly powerful and educational. I would like to create an equivalent book […]
My proposal for the digital project for History Moves consists of combining the strengths of the book and the exhibition in Chicago, with the abilities of the digital world via a website. I believe one of the strongest assets of the analog exhibition was the ability to follow one woman’s narrative all the way through. These stories are powerful and moving, and it would be a disservice to not allow the audience to travel with one woman through her story. The book did a wonderful job of combining the narrative with imagery, and highlighting specific quotes from the interviews that provide a deeper insight.
Upon entering the website, the viewer will immediately be introduces to one of the women telling her story. If possible, the website will randomize which story is told each time someone enters the website, providing a somewhat different experience for each user and each time a person […]