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Tim Barrus / Archangel

Timothée Bârrus: I am interested in how a typical painting or work of art can be experiences or exhibited as video. I do not really know (does anyone) how long an audience will look at any one piece. I have no take on it. It’s an experiment in movement — in this case a lack of movement. With or without a soundtrack. I prefer with.

http://Cinematheque@Europe.com

 

Inaudible

 

the demented/ whose lights dim/ there seems to be a line of prisoners/ they say i said things but i do not remember it/ they say i did things but i do not remember it/ i was born waist-deep in whispering/ and lived my life in the rag tent/ i remember the rag tent/ the dirty nights except the last one/ digging and dreaming digging and dreaming/ barely able to pay what rent/ and over this river of the living/ the doors break when your back is turned/ people speak about you with contempt/ you can only let them go/ standing by the window in the wind/

 

Tim Barrus / In The Shadows of A Dream (Martin Luther King, Jr.; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu)

Timothée Bârrus: I Keep Bumping Into Concrete Walls 

In this video — Shadow of a Dream — I have juxtaposed images of South African street children against everything from war to sex work. People complain. They don’t like my videos. They want it white and pristine and pretty and they don’t want to see disturbing images. At first, I did not know quite what to do with images of street children at Umthombo. Sometimes the videos just create themselves. How does the issue of homeless children fit into the broader context of war, disease, and the devastated structures that we construct and live in. I am told time and time again that my duty is to bring you hope. It would be a lie. It would be far more untrue than my assuming any other name. I don’t see hope. I don’t know hope. What I know has to do with nightmares and dreams. What I know is that the structures we have built as a culture are, in fact, designed to keep people out. They do not exist to let anyone in. If I was another kind of public relations enigma, I would bring you hope. Instead, I keep bumping against concrete walls.

Cinematheque@Europe.com

The Convention on the Rights of the Child’s two optional protocols are two superhighways for the trafficking and transmission of HIV and related and ongoing human rights violations and medical trauma:

  • Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
  • Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Our United Nations Member States that have signed up to support and enforce the Convention's optional protocols become responsible for securing the best interests for each violated child, and for ensuring their criminal justice and healthcare systems provide the appropriate medical, psychological, logistical and financial support necessary for each violated child.

It is imperative these promises are honoured.

Cinematheque Films: The Studio Arts Education, and Show Me Your Life students (Real Stories Gallery Foundation) are allowed access to fair use art materials and mixed media in the teaching of iconic manipulation in photographic, video and film production. Our representations and facsimiles are used to instruct students. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities the fair use of such materials in classroom and teaching-research applications. Cinematheque mentors and students have come together, whether they happen to be well or ill, to create videoART, photographic collages & poetry. They express their inner lives and experiences, and raise awareness of human rights violations and HIVAIDS. We have much to learn from these young people as they stroll into our lives with compassion and guts, and share their stories so ingeniously. For it is not easy for anyone to speak of crimes against humanity's young in a public forum.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nobel Peace Prize 1964)

King was a driving force in the push for racial equality in America in the 1950's and the 1960's. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC (Aug 28, 1963) King evoked the name of Lincoln in his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

 

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism 1986, Pacem in Terris Award 1987, Sydney Peace Prize 1999, Gandhi Peace Prize 2005, Presidential Medal of Freedom 2009)

Tutu is a South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and primate (bishop) of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa). Tutu has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, homophobia, transphobia, poverty and racism. Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Tutu has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.

Foreword for Real Stories Gallery, July 2010

Twenty years ago, as we watched and willed each footstep Nelson Mandela placed away from the Victor-Verster Prison, we became reborn as a free nation. What we saw, said and felt on that day in February 1990, is imprinted in our spirit and has made us change our lives. It was the day we knew that our fight to dismantle racial apartheid had been won. It was a day for international celebration. Our friends around the world shared our joy, as together we stood up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. What a wonderful gift we created for our children and our grandchildren. We could look at them in the eye and proudly declare our legacy of freedom to them.

Today when I look back over the emerging years of our freedom in South Africa, I see a new nation. Sadly, though, I also see a menace that was not dispelled twenty years ago and lives in the shadows created by our silent acceptance. That menace is the scourge of HIV and AIDS, the scourge that today rushes through the bodies of our people, old and young. And everyday when we let our fears cast the shadow, we let the menace grow. Let us reach out to our brothers and sisters and not speak in hushed tones of shame; but instead let them know that we care. It is time for us to nurture kindness within our homes and to reach out for joy born of freedom and respect.

Today our international communities of storytellers are giving us the opportunity to come together and stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. I invite you all to join us, so we may harness the power of our humanity and our enormous capacity for creativity, to mobilize our imaginations and weave together through our stories, a vision that we shall reach for which will influence our thoughts and actions towards our kin.

God bless you

 

Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF): is an ‘action-research' organisation with the aim to lessen the impact of HIV on vulnerable communities through innovation and a passion for humanity.

 

"Hate Has No Place In The House Of God" by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Cape Town (March 2010)

Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity--or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity. It is time to stand up for another wrong.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God's family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.

Uganda's Parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi. These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.

Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear.

And they are living in hiding--away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen, and away from health care in the AIDS era, when all of us, especially Africans, need access to essential HIV services. That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God.

But they are sinners, I can hear the preachers and politicians say. They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished. My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?

The wave of hate that is underway must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.

God bless you

 

Show Me Your Life by Tim Barrus (Founder, Cinematheque Films; Creative Director, Show Me Your Life)

Show Me Your Life is an international video art program where kids at-risk, street kids, HIV-infected homeless children, minors doing sex work, children addicted to glue, displaced children in war zones and refugee camps, and children with pediatric AIDS receiving no medical treatment, are given video cameras and asked to share their experiences and their inner lives. They create, with technology as small as their hands, art videos that become their voice, their language, enabling them to reach out to their friends around the world.

Only children can show us how they see and feel their lives. Participating children are paired with peer mentors, who have already created new lives for themselves and their friends.  The peer mentors help shape the art videos and at the same time guide the kids in how to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and an end, where the end cannot be known, but is implied - change is always a possibility.  Their witness of empathy will offer a network of support among the next generation of adults and raise the level of awareness that HIV and children are endemically linked.

Children who live in situations where HIV is not being treated, are creating art videos of their struggle to survive in a landscape, where adult supervision means institutional warehousing, rape, and debilitating physical violence.  Children who live in conflict-situations and fleeing their homes, because their families have been murdered by soldiers, are creating visual expressions of being on the run.  Children who are addicted to sniffing glue to keep the hunger out and the cold away, and to dull the horror, are creating poetic imagery of their peers around them who have serious neurological impairment, and are dying. Children pursued and incarcerated in institutions more violent than the spaces from which they were pulled out of, are sharing with their peer groups their humanity, through the language of video art.

Even in their fear of death, children dying from AIDS are creating a language that says: we were here.  And, we shall remember them and learn from their visual fingerprints expressing the portraiture of their lives.  Technology has changed the world, yet is rarely available to children ‘at risk’ in today’s HIV pandemic. Show Me Your Life changes that, by giving these children the tools and believing it is possible for small hands to imagine and alleviate tremendous so much wrong doing and suffering.

There are no statistics that estimate the numbers of male children who live such lives. When sexual abuse, sex trafficking or conflict-situation rapes are considered, it is always with females in mind, as well it should be. But there are boys in this equation. Boys who are raised in the midst of an HIV pandemic and within environments that silence their feelings and dreams.  Until our perception of the problem is inclusive enough to embrace the young male of the species -- whether he lives in a brothel or a refugee camp -- we will never get close to what is really happening.

Let us ignite with Show Me Your Life the power of our humanity and our enormous capacity for creativity, so we may encourage each of our 193 United Nations Representatives to ratify The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and to adopt the two CRC's Optional Protocols that endemically link HIV with The Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and The Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.  What a wonderful gift we will create for our children and our grandchildren. We will be able to look them in the eye and proudly declare our legacy of freedom to them, and to the world. 

Show Me Your Life also works directly with kids who are self-identified as sex workers. We have never met a kid doing sex work who had not somewhere in the past been sexually abused or hurt.  As a sex worker you know the many risks you take.  But the one silent killer out there you are dancing with is HIV.  We encourage you to get tested.  No one can force you into it.  We want to know something about the journey you have been on. We want you to know that you can tell the story about how you live, how you have survived, and no one is going to tell you that this story cannot be told, and no one here is going to put you down and humiliate you in any way. It is what it is. You are a person with dignity and worth. It is safe for you to say: this is how I have been hurt. It is safe for you to say: these are my dreams and this is what I want from life. No one is going to beat you up for that. Your stories belong to you and only you can tell them. To that end, the boys at Cinematheque Films will work with you to find the most effective way to form and mold your story into a visual form we can all attempt to begin to understand.

Tim Barrus / Horus

i will list in detail the names of all the tuscan hawks that have just barely managed to avoid the lengthening shadows of the prowling lions that haunt the falling of the world below/

 

Timothée Bârrus / Secrets of My Prison House

 
Human trafficking is not about the journey, and it’s not about the destination. Human trafficking is the trains, the ovens, and the stench from chimneys. Human trafficking compels you to go where they want you to go. Human trafficking is always fundamentally the same navigation through volatility and death. It is enslavement. Prostitution is not always a lifestyle choice. I would never have whored if I had been able to put food on my table for my kid. It was a basic problem of survival. Follow the fucking money. Whoring ruined my life and my health. It will be what eventually kills me. There were no other choices. There was no food to eat. We were hungry. I sold my body to men. It put groceries in the refrigerator. My kid could eat. We weren’t hungry anymore. What would you do in order to survive. What would you do to feed your children. It was a secret world of desperate clinging to whatever drove you to tomorrow. Tomorrow arrived on wings of wax, corpses, disease, and always, always the destruction of any inner ability to feel anything at all. We could eat. There was food. It was not enough. 
 
Cinematheque Films: The Studio Arts Education, and Show Me Your Life students (Real Stories Gallery) are allowed access to fair use art materials and mixed media in the teaching of iconic manipulation in photographic, video and film production. Representations and facsimiles posted here are presented as teaching tools and instruments employed to instruct students in the techniques and application of mixed media art and collage. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities the fair use of such materials in classroom and teaching-research applications.
 
 

Tim Barrus & Shane Ortega / Is Time Turning Around

 

Show Me Your Life

http://Cinematheque@europe.com

 

Tim Barrus / The Various Living Ghosts of Larry Kramer

 

The various living ghosts of Larry Kramer continue to have voices that echo down the halls of finance and compassion as they exist today. In speaking to an AIDS Consortium of agencies working with people living with HIV/AIDS in the states of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, I said many (most) of the things you will find here by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, delivered at a plenary session at the 2011 International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 6, 2011. With one big difference, and that would be the end of talk. Lewis remains upbeat and I am glad for it. But I could not go there myself. I am not upbeat. I am not of positive attitude. I am not helpful. I am not hopeful. And I see nothing but the same old, same old.
 
This is not a message people want to hear. At the end of my talk, people were literally throwing metal chairs against the wall.
 
But Lewis and I are making the SAME fundamental point, and it is this: Human cultures can always find the money for war. Or the money needed to pump into a failing economic system.
 
For the past thirty years, Kramer has been asking the question: why are so many voices on the sidelines. Stephen Lewis is asking much the same question.
 
It’s been three decades of the SAME question.
 
Someone has to keep asking it.
 
Today, whenever I hear world AIDS-leaders talk about how we all have to tighten our belts now because there is a global economic crisis, my reaction has two parts to it. 1.) I turn around and walk away. 2.) I throw metal chairs at the wall. — Tim Barrus
 
With your indulgence, I’m going to deviate from the assigned topic. I shall address the Millennium Development Goals, but not in the way that was anticipated.
 
There are two reasons. First, I want to speak in an unusually personal way, and from the heart, and in a fashion that leaves no room for ambiguity. Second, I consider the attack on the Global Fund to be the most serious assault it has endured in its ten-year history. I would feel utterly delinquent to let the issue slide.
 
I am seized by frustration and impatience. Let me explain.
 
I’m thrilled when UNICEF tells us of the possibility of the virtual elimination of pediatric AIDS by 2015. But I know—as knowledgeable people in this audience know—that it remains an unlikely prospect, but more important, that we lost several precious years during the last decade where we simply didn’t apply the knowledge we possessed to prevent vertical transmission. It was a terrible failure on the part of international agencies and governments. Worse, the mother barely factored into the so-called “PMTCT” equation at all. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress, I cannot forget the millions of infants who died unnecessarily and the women who were never given treatment.
 
I’m thrilled at the creation of UN Women, and the possibility, once they join as a formal co-sponsor of UNAIDS, that the focus on women will be given a new lease on life. But I can’t dislodge from my mind the experience of my years in the role as Envoy, and subsequently working with AIDS-Free World, when it became clear that in every aspect of the pandemic women were rendered subordinate. Gender inequality doomed their lives. Sexual violence fed and feeds the virus. The entire survival of communities and families was placed on their shoulders. Men were the social determinants of women’s health, and men simply didn’t care. As we come to this thrilling moment of potential progress, I can’t avoid the spectral faces of stigma, discrimination, isolation, and pain, and they are the faces of women. That doesn’t mean that women aren’t the core of courage and strength in this pandemic; it simply means that they have to struggle valiantly to challenge the phalanx of male privilege, of male hegemony. Just a few days ago, coincident with World AIDS Day, the Harvard School of Public Health held a symposium called AIDS@30 to assess the past and plot the future. The symposium had a Global Advisory Council of nineteen eminent experts on the pandemic: 17 men and 2 women. It is ever thus. It’s the rare woman indeed who doesn’t ultimately report to a man in the world of HIV, or who can command, ever-so-rarely, the place and presence that legions of men command automatically.
 
I’m thrilled when I hear animated talk of male circumcision. But I know that we didn’t need to wait for the results of the three studies in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. Nothing would have been lost if we’d focused immediately on making circumcision safe and available for informed parents to choose for their male babies; it’s a minor procedure that has been performed for centuries. Instead, during nearly a decade as the evidence piled up that circumcision was a defense against AIDS—evidence provided by experts in the field—we waited and waited and waited, in that self-justifying paralysis of excruciating scientific precision. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress I cannot forget the numbers of lives that might have been saved had we acted sooner.
 
I’m thrilled with all the talk of “Treatment as Prevention” and how it has suddenly become the mantra of the international AIDS community. But back in 2006, I sat beside Dr. Julio Montaner, about to become President of the International AIDS Society, when he first expounded the proposition at a press briefing at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto. His evidence and argument were rooted in science and common sense in equal measure. But he had to endure scorn and derision, and we had to endure a five-year delay until Treatment as Prevention was definitively authenticated by the National Institutes of Health in Washington. Julio’s theory suddenly became the 96% solution five years later, and it doesn’t—I emphasize—it doesn’t apply only to discordant couples. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress, I cannot forget the numbers of lives that might have been prolonged if we hadn’t waited nearly five years to create the momentum that now propels us.
 
I’m thrilled with the turnaround in South Africa. The dramatic roll-out of treatment is nothing short of miraculous. But I remember all those years of denialism, and not a single voice at the most senior levels of the United Nations—Under-Secretaries-General, the Secretary-General himself. Not one of them said publicly to Thabo Mbeki, “You’re killing your people”. Oh, to be sure, it was said in private by everyone. They took Thabo Mbeki aside and begged him to reverse course. He didn’t budge an inch. Around him, in every community in South Africa, and in communities throughout a continent heavily influenced by South Africa, were the killing fields of AIDS. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress, I can’t forget the millions who died on Thabo Mbeki’s watch, while those who should have confronted him before the eyes of the world stood mute.
 
I’m thrilled by the embrace of the slogan “Know Your Epidemic; Know Your Response” and the current concentration on high-risk groups. But I note that there were many voices, over the years, not all of them eccentric, calling attention to concurrent sexual partners and discordant couples, to MSM and sex work and sexual violence, and particularly injecting drug use, and they were contemptuously dismissed. I cannot but remember that magnificent gay activist from the Caribbean, Robert Carr, who died such an untimely death … back at the pre-conference on MSM in advance of Vienna last year, Robert made one of those speeches that leaves you gasping. When you hear what the experts say, said the normally tactful Robert, it’s bullshit – and he repeated bullshit so many times in the course of thirty minutes that the crass word became a cry of mobilizing dignity. As we come to this thrilling moment of progress, I can’t forget the casual delays in responding to vulnerable groups. Experts fiddled while human rights burned.
 
So if you sense a certain impatience in me, you’re right. We don’t have another day to lose. Peter Piot did the arithmetic yesterday … 1,350,000 put on treatment in 2010; 2,700,000 new infections, exactly double the number in treatment in the same year. It works out to 7,397 new infections every day. And it’s 2011, for God’s sake. It’s appalling that such numbers continue to haunt us; it’s heart-breaking beyond endurance to contemplate further exponential agony. We cannot delay another minute in putting the ‘prevention combination’ to work.
 
And I think, judging from the mood in the corridors, that’s what seizes this conference. But right at the moment when we know, irrefutably, that we can defeat this pandemic, we’re sucker-punched at the Global Fund.
 
What’s a sucker punch? It’s when a boxer in the ring gets a punch below the belt that he doesn’t see coming. No one expected a complete cancellation of Round Eleven, with new money unavailable for implementation until 2014.
 
It’s just the latest blow in a long list of betrayals on the part of the donor countries, in this instance the Europeans in particular. I’ve heard from several people that the politics of the Global Fund meeting in Accra two weeks ago, when the decision was made, were not just complicated, but amounted to miserable internecine warfare. Certain governments on the Board of the Global Fund simply discredited themselves. They give a soiled name to the principle of international solidarity. The Chair of the Board, in a remarkably convoluted effort, tried to explain things in a press release. He would have done far better to remain silent.
 
The decision on the part of the donor countries is unforgiveable. In a speech a few days ago, I addressed the Global Fund predicament by talking of the moral implications of a decision that you know will result in death … death on the African continent.
 
I asked: “Do they regard Africa as a territorial piece of geographic obsolescence? Do they regard Africans themselves as casually expendable? Is it because the women and children of Africa are not comparable in the eyes of western governments to the women and children of Europe and North America? Is it because Africans are black and unacknowledged racism is at play? Is it because a fighter jet is worth so much more than human lives? Is it because defense budgets are more worthy of protection in an economic downturn than millions of human beings?”
 
These are not phrased as rhetorical questions. I mean each and every one of them.
 
Spare me, I beg of all the speakers … spare me the economic crisis. Everyone knows that when it comes to financing wars, or bailing out the banks, or bailing out Greece, or reinstituting corporate bonuses, or even responding to natural disasters that threaten economies, there’s always enough money. We’re drowning in crocodile tears. It’s not a matter of the financial crisis; it’s a matter of human priorities. We have a right to ask the G8: what do you sanctify as governments: profits and greed or global public health?
 
That’s especially true in the case of the United States. I was, like everyone else, delighted by President Obama’s endorsement of the proposition that PEPFAR could treat a total of six million people rather than four million people by 2013 with the same money. And I congratulate Ambassador Goosby for seeing that through. It’s wonderful. No one would take issue. How could you? There’s no additional money involved: it’s just greater efficiency and more targeted spending.
 
And then the President went on to affirm his support for the money that’s supposed to be destined for the Global Fund … $4 billion over three years, 2011-2013; $1.3 billion a year.
 
Now let me take you back a step. In 2010, when the three-year pledge for the Global Fund was being discussed, the activists in the United States were asking for $6 billion over three years, believing that this was a fair share for the United States and an inducement to all the other donors. They feared that the President would stay at $3 billion over the next three years … roughly the previous allocation for the Global Fund. When he endorsed $4 billion, it was considered a partial victory.
 
In my respectful submission, it’s time for the United States to take a hard look at $6 billion. Many American speeches glow with the words that the US is the largest donor to the Fund. Well of course they’re the largest donor; they’re the most dominant and wealthy economy in the world. I really think that apart from calling on the European governments to reverse their decision, President Obama should tell Congress he wants a full $6 billion.
 
I don’t expect that anyone ever listens to me. But I do point out what was emphasized at the opening of the conference: money to do battle against HIV/AIDS is the singular non-partisan issue in Congress. Even those irascible philistines who want to cut foreign aid, or global health, have shown in the past that they’re prepared to shore up funding for HIV/AIDS. It seems to me that President Obama should put his moral authority on the line, and ask Congress to raise the ceiling from $4 billion to $6 billion for the Global Fund.
 
It’s not a matter of comparison with other countries; it’s a matter of doing what’s right. And that means doing your fair share regardless of whether others are doing theirs. There are many commentators who agree that the salvation of George Bush’s presidency was PEPFAR. President Obama doesn’t need salvation. But I can’t imagine a greater act of statespersonship than to say to the world: I, Barack Obama, cannot stand the thought of another unnecessary death; if the United States of America has to bail out the Global Fund, we will.
 
Is the extra $2 billion dollars outrageous? The economist Jeffrey Sachs has answered that question. He points out that the United States defense budget amounts to $1.9 billion a day. In other words, we’re asking that HIV/AIDS receive an additional amount, over three years, that equals American military spending in one day.
 
It seems to me that that’s an argument that African political leaders can effectively pursue amongst the many arguments they should employ in dealing with the donor community. I agree with Michel Sidibe—who’s given significant and visionary leadership to this struggle—that there must be a high- level crisis meeting, and that Prime Minister Meles should convene it.
 
We’ve waited for this moment for a long time. This is an opportunity for the African political leadership to show its muscle, and to demand that the Global Fund be restored to its intended level. Remember, at the last formal replenishment in 2010, the funding came in at a dismal $11.7 billion, far short of the $20 billion that the Global Fund really needed in order to scale up to meet universal access. Now we’re being told that even the $11.7 billion is out of reach. It’s unconscionable, indefensible, outrageous. It’s murder, that’s what it is: murder. And the donor countries expect to get away with it because there’s a culture of fiscal impunity.
 
As I wind my way to a conclusion, let me relate an anecdote that I think is relevant.
 
When I left my diplomatic post at the United Nations in 1988, I took on a role as the Secretary- General’s Advisor on Africa. (I admit that seems odd, but there is an explanation that more or less justifies the appointment.) There was an Inter-Agency Task Force established, and there was a kind of executive committee of four. The Chair was the noted African economist, Professor Adebayo Adedeji of Nigeria and at the time Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa; the Vice-Chair was the remarkable, brilliant Richard Jolly, Deputy-Executive Director of UNICEF; the Rapporteur was the accomplished economist Sadig Rasheed, also with the ECA, and I was the fourth, a sort of honorary post. (Note that then, as now, men were tapped to lead the way.)
 
We met, often in Addis – where the ECA was and still is located – with many of our colleague agencies working in Africa. The World Bank was almost always in attendance, and intermittently, the International Monetary Fund.
 
It was the height of “structural adjustment” programs. Every meeting was a battleground, filled with heated imprecations, accusations, and malice. Our little executive cabal of four detested the international financial institutions, and they detested us.
 
In the midst of endless angry discussions of conditionality, we looked carefully at the financial data, and suddenly realized a staggering truth: when you took into account the interest payments and some capital payments as well, and ran the statistics carefully, it became clear that Africa was paying out far more than it was taking in … hundreds of millions more. The continent was financing the World Bank; the World Bank wasn’t financing the continent.
 
And it continues to this day. Again, I remind you of Peter Piot’s reference yesterday. I have a close friend who writes columns for the newspaper The Globe and Mail in Canada. Commenting on the study that Peter Piot referenced, the title of his column was, “Africa: The World’s Most Generous Foreign Aid Donor”. It confirms the fact that a study of nine African countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe showed that they had exported doctors to Canada, the United States, the UK, and Australia, costing Africa between $2 billion and $13 billion in education and training, and saving the four western countries more than $4.5 billion in education and training. The nurses’ financial ratios would be even higher.
 
This is an AIDS conference. We talk endlessly about capacity building. Africa desperately needs its doctors and nurses. Instead, in the vital field of health professionals, Africa loses billions in exporting its human resources.
 
I say all this to challenge the artificial debate on dependency. From slavery to today’s extractive industries of minerals and oil, Africa is financing the world. The modern world’s economy was built on Africa’s human and natural resources, and it depends on them to this day. The money from the Global Fund and PEPFAR amount to partial reparations. Western donors are not engaged in some kind of financial philanthropy: we owe Africa what we give to Africa. And a hell of a lot more to boot.
 
That’s the debate that Prime Minister Meles should induce. The donor countries to the Global Fund, having ransacked the continent for six hundred years, have no right to withdraw. They must be confronted. And all of you, who make up civil society in so many countries, must press your Presidents and Prime Ministers into action.
 
Let me end by coming full circle to the Millennium Development Goals. Africa will never reach the MDGs if AIDS is not vanquished. AIDS adds to the desolate state of poverty. Obviously, it affects both maternal and child health. It continues to leave children parentless (though the millions of orphans whose plight seemed a priority at past AIDS gatherings, increasingly, mysteriously, disappear from view). Gender equality is a mockery in the face of AIDS. And the so-called partnership between the haves and the have-nots is rendered laughable. Even sustainable development is influenced, because climate change feasts on weakened populations.
 
If the MDGs are as important as everyone says, then AIDS must be subdued.
 
As a last parting thought, in respect of the Global Fund, I beg you to mobilize as a truly civil society and stand up to the reckless nation-states who dare to decide whether Africans will live or die.

timothée barrus/ how everything turns away/ all the old men are dangerous

 

we’re dead anyway/ i see them as if they were horses/ they have turned away the night/ far gone in stippled blueish-grey/ caught up by the old men who would herd them into the conduits/ granted tombs, pits, banishment from entire kingdoms into wild where the kicking up its life containing whatever exists of menace above the trees of men/ the old academic crones are dangerous — they would fit you into the status quo/ for darkness, blood, stones; death awaits the slaughterhouse/ tell the bones being such frames of us, lives and grows these years of streets for those who cum to play and pay to let out their rage and speak directly to the music of the marches/ the sun climbs in / such skateboards in what appears to be translucent exhortation similarly plastered on the walls of time/ for a rock even and flocking where/ o you fell then suddenly emerge from a concrete floor whose ascending shadows are, in fact, concentric shocks, what heavens will attend to unsuspected viral loads almost worn away against his better judgment back behind us like the rings around the moon in bright and thundering formation must be counted in the bloodstream’s complex twist/ i have always seen them like the burning herd of horses that they are/ pegasus whose memories of wings were not confined to metal cages where a nail was shot into your head robed in pretty pink and grease-stained floors/ the dim-lit hospital rooms and boundary lines of after all how many of them can the land support beyond contamination/ madness leads the inner selves to theatre’s stunning audience of whores who themselves tho remain nomadic in the rounding up where the running through the dust of risk that the nail could be for them finished with its meat-packing protocols of blessing in disguise/ such a stallion’s noise when mounted by a man or another stallion, unborns where the tongues and wanting rubs the asshole clean/ the lure will come crashing to its roots of plunder — whipped on and slapped — the sun to swirl its milk in throats and thighs to be released back into a wilderness unbending where when man arrives and upon the salt and licks inundate our breathing sleep; our speaking spoke of speaking and our boots outrun by longing that spills so deep within us, the impudent among us can be counted on to kick the doors in/ how everything turns away/ the afterglow unfolding/ the stirrups still clinging to the groin and to the bed/  yet still the landscape as seen from above in flights/ falls away in ruin faster than a horse can gallop/

Timothée Bârrus: Poulains/ le cheval est ma vie montre-moi ta vie

 

For some people, the “foals” here might simply represent one more music video in the land of plenty of them. But that is not what I see. That is now what I hear. That is not what I think this piece is saying. 
 
To see the kid on the stage is to see myself. Then and now.
 
You perform your guts out until you are literally spilling on the floor and for what. They’re looking at you (some with amusement) as if you do not exist. 
 
You may as well be invisible. 
 
I know that kid. I know his guts. I know his invisibility. I know that when they look at you they do not like what they see and they cover up that loathing with a barely disguised contempt. 
 
In fact, it’s the story of my life today. 
 
So, what do we do with these kids. Where do we put them.
 
I used to be a teacher, too. I shudder today at the thought of it. 
 
There are no places for these kids to be. To learn. To grow. To be appreciated. What is this video saying and why the Buddha. 
 
I think the video is saying that most of life is just too grim to be endured and the Buddha is there to remind us to endure it. 
 
I have shown this video to a number of adults, and their response — to a person — was to walk out of the room. 
 
They hated it.
 
I am often compelled to wonder (rarely aloud) how it is that I can live among so many hateful people and so much hatefulness itself. Put them in a room togather and you won’t need gasoline for spontaneous combustion to occur. It occurs all the time but usually it’s just a long, intense smoldering. Hatred.
 
Like my dad.
 
And my mother’s enduring him for an entire lifetime which was more a deathtime than it had anything to do with living. It had more to do with being dead than alive. Buddha tells us to find our light within ourselves. I think the child in this has found his. But it does come out.
 
The struggle between the internal and the external has not yet been finished.
 
For me, this video raises the question of how do we raise children in environments of hatefulness and indifference and expect anything other from them than hatefulness and indifference.
 
Que si je vous disais que les enfants qui vivent dans cette purée une institution parisienne psychiatrique. Serait-ce ou serait-ce pas poser la question - qui est fou.
 
No one wants to hear that the endurance of life is not enough. It’s not a positive or healing message and it’s not Little Mary Sunshine and it’s not even Home With Siddhartha. 
 
No one wants to admit to the secret existence of anyone let alone the seeker. To question the ways of the world is to risk banishment. 
 
In very simple prose Herman Hesse has conveyed a very profound message for all seekers. This would be the story of a brahmin boy who follows his heart and goes through various lives to finally understand what it means to be enlightened. 
 
I would suggest that the imagery of the horse would be symbolic of one form of existence. 
 
Siddhartha experiences life as a pious brahmin, a Samana, a rich merchant, a lover, an ordinary ferryman to a father—each life bringing a new awakening, bringing him closer to the truth till he finally is one with Buddha. What is life? What is truth? What does one mean by illusion? These and many other questions have been haunting many of us when we are in isolation. 
 
It is simply impossible to curb the echoes of our mind. The more you suppress the more they will echo. Renunciation is not everyone’s cup of tea; enlightenment does not bless all. But remember that it can be achieved by anybody, provided we are strong: mentally, not physically. Siddhartha is anybody who questions the ways of the world; for instance, does god really exist? Who coloured flowers, trees and grass? What is permanent: soul or body?…it goes on. Siddhartha is very relevant. 
 
Even to kids today. Maybe more than ever.
 
I want the mad ones. 
 
No need to tread the path he chooses — we are told as if this, too, could somehow protect us — but we can introspect ourselves with the help of his principles. Following one’s heart is the right choice is what one learns from the life of Siddhartha. It is very exciting to read the encounter of Siddhartha with Buddha. It is very wonderful to see life as a hollow log of wood filled with the termites of so many WHATs and WHYs. 
 
You’ve got the blood on your hands, I think it’s my own.
 
We can go down onto the streets and follow the shores.
 
Of all the people, we could be two.
 
Then I bite my nails to the clip, run back home. 
 
You’ve got the blood on your hands, I know it’s my own.
 
You came at me in the middle of the night to show me my soul.
 
Of all the people, I hoped it’d be you.
 
To come and free me, take me away.
 
To show me my home.
 
Where I was born.
 
Where I belong. 
 
You’ve got the blood on your hands, I want you to know.
 
I hoped that you’d come and take me away, back to my home.
 
Of all the people, it had to be you.
 
Then I bite my nails to the clip, run back home. 
 
You showed me.
 
Where to go.
 
To my home.
 
To my home.
 
So take me.
 
Through the roads.
 
That you know.
 
To my home. 
 
You’ve got the blood on your hands, I know it’s my own.
 
You came at me in the middle of the night to show me my soul. 
 
You showed me.
 
Where to go.
 
To my home.
 
To my home.
 
So take me.
 
Through the roads.
 
That you know.
 
To my home.
 
(Come and help me accept it, affect it, protect it.
 
Come and help me accept it, it’s always my home).
 
(Come and help me accept it, effect it, protect it.
 
Come and help me accept it, it’s always my home). 
 
You showed me.
 
Where to go.
 
To my home.
 
To my home.
 
So take me.
 
Through the roads.
 
That you know.
 
Where you know. 
 
You showed me.
 
Where to go.
 
To my home.
 
To my home.
 
So take me.
 
Through the roads.
 
That you know.
 
To my home. 
 
(Come and help me accept it, affect it, protect it.
 
Come and help me accept it, it’s always my home).
 
(Come and help me accept it, effect it, protect it.
 
Come and help me accept it, it’s always my home). 
 
You’ve got the blood on your hands, I know it’s my own.
 
We can go down onto the streets and follow the shores.
 
Of all the people, I hoped it’d be you.
 
You showed me my way back home.
 
To where I was born.
 
Where I belong.
 
Where I belong.
 

Tim Barrus / Show Him What I've Got

 

Response from Dr. Robert J Frascino, MD (The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation via www.thebody.com), answering questions about whether bed bugs and other insects and creatures are able to transmit the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):

Hi,

  • Bedbugs do not contract HIV. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If bedbugs got it, it would be called BIV (bedbug immunodeficiency virus).
  • And before you submit another question about the creepy bloodsucking pests, let me assure you that they do not transmit HIV either.
  • Scabies mites, similar to all other biting and blood-sucking little creepy crawlers cannot transmit HIV/AIDS.
  • HIV transmission via a squished and then ingested dog flea from a positively charged neighbor's pooch? No, of course not. Frevinsakes! (Dogs can't get HIV/AIDS and fleas can't transmit the virus.)
  • Nope! Pubic lice, bedbugs, mosquitoes and all other biting or blood-sucking creepy crawlers do not transmit HIV/AIDS. Period. End of story.

Dr. Bob

Tim Barrus/ pneumonia, the motion picture

 

Nov. 27, 2011

Dear Tim Barrus,

We wish you a speedy recovery, an imaginative rest and peaceful dreams. And we look forward greatly to the return of your extraordinary courage and ingenuity.

With the greatest friendship and on behalf of all at http://www.real-stories-gallery.org,

Rachel Chapple, PhD

Real Stories Gallery Foundation (501c3)

Tristan's Moon

36 Laight Street

New York, NY 10013

http://realstoriesgallery@gmail.com

 

***

Opportunistic infections and HIVAIDS (http://www.avert.org)

Bacterial pneumonia

Pneumonia can be caused by various bacteria. Symptoms among HIV-positive people are much the same as in those without HIV infection, and include chills, rigours, chest pain and pus in the sputum. The vaccine PPV can protect people against some of the more common pneumonia-causing bacteria, and is recommended in the US.

Because other forms of respiratory infection, including PCP, are common among HIV-infected people, doctors must be certain of diagnosis before administering antibiotics. This may require a chest radiograph, blood cultures, a white blood cell count and tests to eliminate other infections. Treatment is usually aimed at the most commonly identified disease-causing bacteria.

PCP

PCP is caused by a fungus, which was formerly called pneumocystis carinii but has now been renamed pneumocystis jirovecii. PCP is a frequent HIV associated opportunistic infection which occurred in 70%-80% of patients with AIDS prior to the widespread use of primary PCP prophylaxis and ART, which has led to a significant decline of cases. The symptoms are mainly pneumonia along with fever and respiratory symptoms such as dry cough, chest pain and dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing). Definitive diagnosis requires microscopy of bodily tissues or fluids.

Severe cases of PCP are initially treated with TMP-SMX or clindamycin and oral primaquine. Mild cases can be treated with oral TMP-SMX throughout. With both of these regimens, toxicity (notably allergic-type reactions) often requires changes in therapy.

Prevention of PCP is strongly recommended for HIV-infected persons with very weak immune systems wherever PCP is a significant health problem for HIV-infected persons, and also after their first episode of PCP. The preferred drug is usually TMP-SMX.

 



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