The Now + Then project explores the Merseyside journey with HIV from the 1980s to the present day through people’s own stories. The project involves the collection of oral testimonies from a range of people and archive research into the history of HIV in Merseyside. Key themes include:
- People’s own stories and memories
- Experiences of stigma and empowerment
- The challenges Merseyside’s communities have faced with HIV
- The development of community support and professional services
Over the course of the last thirty years HIV has brought together people from a rich diversity of backgrounds but whose stories are unheard. The local Merseyside journey with HIV is one that has largely gone unrecorded. This project will mark three decades of HIV in Merseyside by exploring local people’s stories and how communities in Merseyside responded to the challenges of HIV.
It will involve the collection of oral testimonies from a range of people including people living with and affected by HIV, community activists, voluntary and public sector health and social care staff, and researchers. Key themes for the project include: the impact of HIV on people’s lives in the context of medical, social and political developments; community responses and activism; experiences of stigma, discrimination and empowerment and; the development of community and professional support services.
A record of this journey, involving the voices of the people who are living with or affected by HIV, is important to show what is possible when communities and professionals come together and how current challenges have their roots in the past.
There has never been a project like this in Merseyside and it will create an important legacy for people living with and affected by HIV, the wider community and for those who have been lost to HIV.
The project will create a permanent legacy through recorded oral testimonies and archive collections at the North West Sound Archive and Liverpool Archives.
The project will produce an exhibition, a book, an artwork and an online resource to make the oral testimony recordings and archive materials accessible to a wider audience.