22 Feb 2021
Please read the New York Public Library’s brief history of ACT UP. http://archives.nypl.org/10#descriptive_identity
Then watch the 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France. This is based on his book, a social history of the AIDS crisis in New York City which describes the work of ACT UP fighting for the lives of those who had been diagnosed. It’s available on most platforms. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can watch it for free when you sign up for a free 7-day trial of their documentary streaming service.
Finally, please come to class with any questions you have for Jason about the organization. I’d also like you to take notes as you watch the documentary and write a 2-3 page response to the film. Was there anything that surprised you? What strikes you as different about New York City in the 1980s and 1990s? Was the doc missing information that you would like to know? Was it biased or unbiased? How do you feel about that? What was the urgency of ACT UP’s activism? What role did stigma play in the AIDS crisis? Feel free to develop your own thoughts.