by Catherine Saalfield
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind. Quietly they go, the in-
telligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not
resigned.-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Collaboratively and collectively, I have been producing AIDS videos for
seven years. My closest work partner died four years ago, and many other comrades
have "crossed over" since then. Still more of my brilliant, inspirational friends are
HIV-positive. So, all of my AIDS work-my life at this point in time-is dedicated to
those I know and love who are living with HIV in their blood and those who have
already been stolen from this precious earthly existence. We have been robbed. HIV
is the quintessential virus.
attacks the body's very defense against viruses. Against
this intimate landscape, I persevere. I proceed with great faith, relentless frustration,
and the trenchant challenge of an ever-growing sense of desperation. We must insist
on struggle. This war has already claimed far too many.
Seeing Through AIDS
Because making apologies that nobody gives a shit about, and because fail-
ing to sing my song, finally, finally, got on my absolute last nerve, I pick up
my sword, I lift up my shield, and I stay ready for war, because now I live
ready for a whole lot more than that. - June Jordan
The following videography complements this book's overall effort to de-
velop a vocabulary for media literacy in the age of AIDS. Most communities are satu-
rated with only the rampant misrepresentations and outright lies about HIV spewed
by commercially driven network television. However, activists and artists who make
AIDS tapes are resisting and refuting these dangerous constructs; we are just picking
up our swords and lifting up our shields. The dispossessed are building a multimedia
arsenal which transcends individual creative experiences. These weapons must be
disseminated if they are to function, since a comprehensive approach to video pro-
duction, distribution, facilitation, criticism, and counterproduction can unleash the
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