“Something happens that’s absolutely imperative for activism in real rooms where people feel things together,” she said, inviting the audience to let their thoughts wander during her lecture “Remembering AIDS Online: Networking, Viruses, Virality, and Arteries,” which analysed the advantages and the shortcomings of the web as a medium for AIDS documentaries and activism.
However, it was in the Q&A session that Juhasz expressed her real frustrations with using the Internet as a medium for activism, calling it “an unimaginably vast and incredibly powerful resource to bring things together â€” but not people.”
“Digital documentaries allow links and movement across boundaries of time and space and material,” said Juhasz.
Because HIV/AIDS documentaries often double as memorials for those featured in them who later die of the virus, uploading these videos to the Internet also serves to archive the memory of those who have been lost.
Lecture series coordinator Elvira Parent explained that the guest speakers take the topic of HIV/AIDS “out of the classroom.”
“It allows us to meet with people who are in the field every day, either living with HIV/AIDS or working with people who have it,” said Parent. “In our academic lives, that’s not something we get to do every day.”
The next lecture, “La Republique du traitement: triage et souverainete au temps du sida en Afrique de l’Ouest,” will take place on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. and will be given by Dr. Vinh Kim Nguyen.