The Public Construction of AIDS Deaths in the United Kingdom

  • Neil Small

Abstract

On 1 December 1995, like 1 December for several previous years, I was with a group of people remembering those who have lived with and died from HIV-related illness. In my home city of Leeds we met in the Town Hall. There were more than a hundred people, many familiar faces, but some new. We heard people talking about their own life with the virus or about caring for people now dead. It was moving and tender: at times the spontaneity faltered but the sense of comradeship and of reverence did not. People spoke out loud the name of the one they loved. On display were sections of the Quilt, in which individuals are remembered but which also serves to illustrate how, when the sections are put together, the whole tells a further story than that told in the particular. We then moved outside on to the Town Hall steps. We carried candles, sang songs, ‘We are the World, We are the People …’ and released white balloons, one for each person from our region who had died — more balloons than you expected. The wind carried them towards and over the adjacent hospital and the ward where many of those deaths had occurred.

Keywords

Public Construction National Frontier Unknown Country Distinct Local Characteristic Intimate World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Small

There are no affiliations available

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