We have concluded our second engagement; Contracting An Issue- Kansas City. It was a great success, still we have merely scratched the surface, please check back for updates (coming soon)!
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Scroll down for a more in-depth look at the documentation from our elapsed engagements Contracting An Issue- San Francisco & Kansas City
Contracting an Issue is in the process of beginning our third iteration, we have just ended our second installment in Kansas City-USA. We are currently working on fundraising and building additional relationships around the globe to further the project.
We concluded our preliminary engagement in May of 2014 (CAI- San Fransisco, "Always Waiting"), and our second engagement in May of 2015 (CAI-Kansas City). Our focus has been compiling our documentation and crafting our social media presence to gain further reach. Concurrently we are in the works of planing our next engagement. More info coming soon! Please stay in touch by following our blog
Kansas City- USA
We recently concluded our second iteration Contracting An Issue- Kansas City which took place on 4/29/2015. The piece was based on segments of real life interviews with varying groups of people from the Kansas City area.
The initial dialog in the Contracting An Issue project began with our pilot production “Always Waiting”, which took place on 5/15/2014 . The piece was based on segments of real life interviews with varying groups of people from the San Francisco Bay area.
Scroll down for a more in-depth look at the documentation from our elapsed engagements
Contracting An Issue - Kansas City / 2015
For our second engagement we researched and investigated the community of Kansas City and it’s social and political attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. This verbatim theater performance “Contracting An Issue- KC” focused not only on HIV/AIDS but touched on the racial divides of the city, the stigma/ body politics especially for gay black men, and the struggles around getting care that surrounds the issue in Kansas City.
The development of this production took place over the period of 6 months in Kansas City, MO. The performance debuted at a community center the LIKEME Lighthouse-KC
The opening production was a free public event; this short, 10-minute performance featured three actors reciting a series of vignette/monologues along with choreographed movements. With this Kansas City engagement, we were thrilled to have had the great opportunity to collaborate with artist and choreographer Cat Mahari.
The production also featured an interactive “photo booth” by Artist Allison Webber allowing attendees a chance to tell their story about HIV/AIDS for our upcoming short documentary film, FREE –HIV/AIDS testing & information provided by KC- Care, cartographer Michael Kaiser talking about the importance of mapping in community based projects and a conversation/“artist talk” with the artist & HIV/AIDS specialist, moderated by local Kansas City artist and scholar Sean Starowitz.
The performance was then re-acted live on the streets of Kansas City in two locations:
· The Plaza-
· The Crossroads- Part of the First Fridays Art Walk
The spoken-word documentary performance focused on the stigma and body politics around HIV/AIDS here in Kansas City and as part of the bigger picture around the globe. The monologues from the script were derived from a series of real life, one-on-one interviews asking people how HIV/AIDS does, or does not affect their lives. The actors embodied characters actualized from the real life interviews. Their vignettes were a glimpse of the reality HIV/AIDS still holds in America.
We are excited to announce we are working on putting together a mini documentary about our time in Kansas City. We will be debuting a in-progress version in June at the OUT HERE NOW Film Festival
All photography provided by collaborator Allison Webber
Contracting An Issue - San Francisco
"Always Waiting" -2014
Culminating in a public, spoken-word documentary performance, “Always Waiting” focuses on HIV/AIDS: the stigma, body politics, and the act of getting tested that surrounds the issue.
The development of this production took place over the period of a year in San Francisco, CA. The performance debuted at a gallery show at the California College of the Arts. The audience and the actors intermingled in a staged waiting room along side a real HIV/AIDS clinic conducting free HIV testing sponsored and run by the SF-Department of Health. The performance was then re-acted live on the streets of San Francisco in three locations:
· Market & Embarcadero Streets- the location of the famous Aids Riots
· Civic Center at SF-City Hall-
The following are clips from the live public gallery performance @ the California College of the Arts- 2014
All photography provided by collaborator Allison Webber
The videos below were part of a video installation by artist Gk Callahan both "Commercial/PSA's" were cut into the pilot episode of "Friends" which ran in a loop on a TV monitor placed in the staged waiting room /gallery.
The installation was part of the preliminary engagement for the Contracting An Issue proejct in May of 2014 (CAI- San Fransisco, "Always Waiting")
“Always Waiting”- Wall write up
Think for minute about your family, local community, government, and the impact and impression they have on your psyche. From the beginning, America's understanding of HIV/AIDS was based on racism and homophobia. Nothing solidifies that stigma more than our government placing sanctions on and enshrining discriminatory practices with the law. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of thirty three states have laws or statutes that criminalize HIV/AIDS; laws which prosecute everything from the failure to disclose status to a doctor or dentist, to “spitting, biting, stabbing with an AIDS-contaminated object, and throwing blood or other bodily substances“ at another person.
People at risk often fear accessing care, including free HIV/AIDS testing. Since the earliest days of AIDS stigma, this fear has been the major obstacle to effective HIV prevention and care. Even as fear of contagion from casual contact has lessened over the years, a profound stigma persists. People with HIV/AIDS face judgment, marginalization, discrimination and misunderstanding about the actual risks.
There is also a dangerous myth that HIV is increasingly a solely gay disease, which dismisses the reality that it affects everyone, and there are countless populations living with the virus.
But as a gay male living in the US, even without action, you take on HIV/AIDS as a part of your life. HIV/AIDS has become something gay men inherited; it’s part of the fabric of the gay culture. The Gay community is served up a constant reminder of the disease, via reminders in magazines, at bus stops, on dating sites, and getting tested. “You” live with HIV/AIDS every day; even if you were not diagnosed with the virus, it affects you. But ignorance, hate, stigma, fear, and associated risk, often make HIV/AIDS an invisible burden. A worldwide issue, known only to many as a sad scenario that happens to “the others”, a sort of boogie monster – but an old wives' tale takes on the weight of reality, as real and heavy with or without being … you become, “Always Waiting”.
Organizations or groups interested in Workshops, Group Sessions or more In-depth large Community Engagements, please email us to began logistical conversations.