London,
27
June
2017
|
01:01
Europe/Amsterdam

UK’s largest collection of HIV/AIDS interviews preserved by City of London Corporation archives

The largest collection of video interviews ever compiled about the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and ‘90s in the UK will be archived with the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).

‘100 Surviving HIV: The London Interviews’, a series of in-depth interviews with survivors and others directly concerned with the pandemic, will be stored at the City of London Corporation-owned LMA.

Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts, two London-based producer/directors from the TWO POINT ZERO production company have recorded the interviews over the past 18 months towards a full-length film, ‘AIDS since the 80s’ [working title], due for release next year.

The complete interviews - which will be freely accessible to researchers, historians, educators, and the general public - chronicle lives, lifestyles, crises, and experiences of those directly affected by HIV/AIDS in the crisis conditions up to the advent to a treatment in 1996. They also follow up with the story to present day. The project explores all aspects of HIV as it impacted, in the first instance, gay men, but also intravenous drug users, and haemophiliacs. It also explores the unknown side effects of experimental medication; the mental health consequences for survivors and carers as a group; and how homophobia and stigma made a very bad situation worse.

Graham Packham, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“These deeply personal stories will inform, inspire and influence, providing a powerful and empowering discourse. It is very important work, and London Metropolitan Archives’ involvement will ensure that these voices are preserved for the future and can be shared for the benefit of many others.”

Paul Coleman, co-producer of ‘AIDS since the 80s’ project:

“This important project builds on the continuing work at the LMA around the LGBTQ+ community and provides an accessible archive that will allow public and private access to this rich seam of historically significant storytelling. This is powerful testimony of first-hand experiences about surviving a pandemic, of the horrors and the heroes that would otherwise be lost forever.”

Adam Roberts, co-producer of ‘AIDS since the 80s’ project, said:

It has been incredibly moving to witness this sharing of oral history, because many of those interviewed are talking about their experiences for the first time. Here are stories of profound sorrow, loss, compassion, activism, and healthcare innovation. This project brings home the difficult years before effective treatment, as well as the complex health and welfare challenges that many survivors face now, as they enter older age.”

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Journalists and photographers are invited to attend the media launch of 100 SURVIVING HIV: THE LONDON INTERVIEWS at London Metropolitan Archives on Wednesday 28 June at 6.00pm. Excerpts from the interviews will be screened and members of the production team and project participants will be available for interview. Refreshments will be available. Please contact Andrew Buckingham (see ‘Notes for Editors’) for further details.

London Metropolitan Archives is the archive repository for the Greater London area. The documents and books the LMA care for and provide access to date from 1067 to the present day and collections are constantly expanding. The archives are free to use, as are the majority of resources in the public research rooms in Clerkenwell, London.

HIV is an on-going threat to public health in the UK. There were 6,095 new HIV diagnoses in 2015, of which 54% were gay or bisexual men. 30% were diagnosed at a late stage of infection. 88,769 people were seen for HIV care in 2015.

(Figures: Public Health England, December 2016)

To date, more than 22,930 people have died of AIDS in the UK. Despite medication, HIV is claiming lives in the UK even today.

(Figure: Terrence Higgins Trust)

AIDS SINCE THE 80S (WORKING TITLE), produced by PAUL COLEMAN and ADAM ROBERTS, is an independent production of TWO POINT ZERO. All profits from the film will be donated to charities working to provide care for older men and women living with HIV.

PRESS CONTACTS:

Andrew Buckingham / City of London Corporation Media Officer / andrew.buckingham@cityoflondon.gov.uk / 020 7332 1452

Adam Roberts & Paul Coleman at Two point Zero / mail@twopointzero.co.uk / 07879 420931