GL RY: A (W)hole Lot of Woman Trouble. HIV Dramaturgies and Feral Pedagogies

  • Alyson Campbell


This essay stems from a Practice as Research performance installation, GL RY, led by the author in a public square throughout the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. The essay argues that there is a gaping hole in representation of women living with HIV in contemporary performance in countries like Australia. The essay proposes two main concepts: conversation—in form as well as process—is a key part of a contemporary dramaturgy of HIV; and, building on that, this dramaturgy of conversation might be productively merged with queer ideas of kinship and family to form what I am calling ‘feral pedagogies’: a queerly de-domesticated idea of how we teach and learn, in this case about HIV.



Special thanks to Kim Davis for her generosity, wisdom and indefatigable spirit. Sincere thanks to all the students and collaborators on GL RY in Melbourne, whose imagination and willingness to experiment and learn was boundless. I would like to give a special thank you to Diane Nyoni (Australia) and the people living with HIV in Northern Ireland who had the courage and generosity of spirit to share their experiences with me.

Thanks to Brent Allan, Brenton Geyer and Suzy Malhotra at Living Positive Victoria for ongoing support of my research in this field. Thank you to James Welsby for an interview that made me feel so optimistic about the commitment and articulacy of a younger generation of makers. I am grateful to collaborators in Belfast, who allowed the work to be realised on a large scale, especially: Ross Anderson -Doherty, Siobhán Barbour, Matthew Cavan, Andrew Goyvaerts, Ruth McCarthy, Martin McDowell, Dr Michelle McIntyre, Lachlan Philpott , Niall Rea and TheatreofplucK and to the team at Positive Life Northern Ireland.

I would like to acknowledge the Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne, for research funding and sabbatical to complete this work, and warm thanks to my colleagues there for their fulsome support. My thanks to Dagmara Gieysztor for permission to use her photos and to Jonathan Graffam for making the composite image. A heartfelt thank you to Stephen Farrier, Dirk Gindt and Trish McTighe for perceptive critique of the essay—and conversations!—along the way.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyson Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Victorian College of the ArtsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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