Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of original videotapes and masters of completed works documenting the grassroots response of artists and activists to the AIDS epidemic, 1985-2000. Much of the collection focuses on the protest actions of ACT UP and other activist organizations, including demonstrations and at the White House, Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, City Hall and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, President Bush's home in Maine, and at hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. There is also footage of political funerals and memorials, and planning and training sessions for activists. Also covered are International AIDS Conferences, government hearings, public forums, press conferences, and courtrooms.
The collection also includes oral history interviews with the founders and leaders of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, and portraits and self-portraits documenting the struggles of people living with AIDS. In the latter category are over 50 camera original tapes made for the film Silverlake Life: The View From Here by Peter Friedman. Finally, the collection includes AIDS education and safe-sex videos, the New York City local access cable television series AIDS Community Television (1993-1994), ACT UP Live (1994-1996), GMHC's Living With AIDS (1985-1996), and the video compilations shown at the Guggenheim Museum's "Fever In the Archive" exhibition (2000).
Videographers represented in the collection include Gregg Bordowitz, Jean Carlomusto, Jay Corcoran, Peter Friedman, Stuart Gaffney, Carl Michael George, Scott Heron, Robert Hilferty, Jim Hubbard, Tom Joslin, Alexandra Juhasz, John R. Killacky, Patrick Moore, Catherine Gund, Ellen Spiro, Phil Tarley, James Wentzy, Phil Zwickler and others.
The AIDS Activist Videotape Collection is arranged in fifteen series:
Juhasz was the initiator of the WAVE Project (Women's AIDS Video Enterprise). The project encouraged a group of diverse women to using video production for self-empowerment while living with AIDS. Participants included Marcia Edwards, Alexandra Juhasz, Aida Matta, Juanita Mohammed, Sharon Penceal, Glenda Smith, Carmen Velasquez. WAVE was sponsored by the Brooklyn AIDS Task Force (BATF) and funded by the New York Council for the Humanities, Art Matters, The Astraea Fund for Women, and Women Make Movies.