it was not acceptable in the 80s


650 unique posters and flyers to symbolise the 650,000 lives lost in America during the AIDS crisis.


This project started with a very simple idea: why do very few people in their early 20s know anything about the AIDS crisis in 80s and 90s America? I found that most photos of this time were in black and white, which immediately makes the photographs harder to date and therefore less relatable. Black and white photographs look like the distant past. I therefore started to try to contextualise the epidemic within the larger cultural landscape of the time. As the “club kid” movement is today constantly glorified and referenced in fashion and popular culture, I used the lighthearted aesthetic of the late 1980s club flyers to portray my message of how the American government let their people down. 

Rather than the work being explicitly angry or serious, I aimed to make it as bright and overwhelming as possible to demand the audience’s attention and make them look at it, whether they would like to or not. The serious content of the work and the playful execution forms a jarring juxtaposition. The excitement of the work also reflects the huge loss of artistic, vibrant, and promising lives due to the epidemic.