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Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International Aids Awareness Posters 1985–2010

May 11–September 9, 2012
The Wolfsonian–FIU @ 1001 Washington Avenue

The poster has played a special role in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and safe-sex practices around the world. In many countries, the poster as a communication tool was uncommon before the emergence and identification of the HIV virus; in others, it had fallen out of favor, supplanted by electronic media. Easily, inexpensively, and locally produced, posters became the medium of choice to spread awareness about the most significant global health crisis in modern history.

Graphic Intervention examined the wide variety of aims, techniques, and strategies used to raise awareness as well as encourage preventative behavior in response to the AIDS epidemic. Produced by government agencies and grassroots organizations, the 153 posters on view from more than 40 countries drew upon images from popular culture and expressed deep-rooted social and moral values and cultural differences regarding sexuality, sexual practices, drug use, health, and hygiene.

The exhibition was organized by Elizabeth Resnick and Javier Cortés in collaboration with James Lapides, International Poster Gallery, Boston, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. The Wolfsonian–FIU thanks Henry S. Hacker and family for their generous gift of a major collection of international HIV/AIDS posters.