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Artists Displaced at AIDS 2018

  • RAI Amsterdam 24 Europaplein Amsterdam, NH, 1078 GZ Netherlands (map)


On the occasion of the 22nd International AIDS Conference coming to Amsterdam this year and following two successful public interventions, the AFEW Culture Initiative has commissioned an unprecedented Artist-in-Residence (AiR) cultural and visual arts programme.

Five performance, installation and mixed-media artists have joined us in Amsterdam from several outposts in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to discuss issues of public health and social displacement.

These include themes such as HIV/AIDS (mis)information and 'truth', female sex work and gentrification in urban spaces, drug use and social inclusion or female empowerment in the struggle for transparency and political accountability.

The programme is coordinated by lead curator Jan van Esch.


▹ Hanna Zubkova (Minsk, Belarus); video installation and performance. Discussing the intricacies of sex work, gentrification and future scenarios as the safe spaces for sex workers progressively shut down and give way to real estate development extravaganza.

▹ Lado Darakhvelidze (Kutaisi, Georgia); installation with blackboards. Delving into the mechanisms of production and transmission of popular knowledge regarding illness and disease. Emphasis on educational systems, popular culture, legends and mythologies as the site for institutional proselytism and ignorance.

▹ Hassan Kurbanbaev (Tashkent, Uzbekistan); photography and graphic design. Looking into safe drug consumption rooms (DCRs) for crystal meth, heroin and crack cocaine users in the city of Amsterdam and cultural fault lines for social and political exclusion.

▹ Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov (Moscow, Russia); sculpture and installation. Taking a plunge into HIV/AIDS denialism, alternative healing practices/rituals and distorted 'truths' in the realm of epidemiology and science.

▹ Gohar Smoyan (Gyumri, Armenia); installation and interactive performance. Exploring the place of women and migrants in the struggle for greater visibility and access to sexual and reproductive health in Armenia.



The exhibition is openly accessible and free of charge for the general public in the above-given time slots from 23 July to 27 July 2018.

Twice a day, the Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) and the project curator will offer guided tours of the series of installations for visitors to become acquainted with the artistic work showcased. The times of these guided tours will be communicated shortly.


The project has been carried out in close collaboration with a series of Amsterdam-based public and social health institutions and grassroots support collectives, including Mainline InternationalDe Regenboog Groep AmsterdamTrimbos-instituutHvo-QueridoProud Nederland and Amsterdam UMC - Locatie AMC. Our programme is likewise endorsed by IDFAInternational Institute for Research and EducationJan van Eyck Academie and Studio/K.

Earlier Event: June 19