Art exhibit and SFU colloquium on HIV/AIDS to explore Vancouver's historical role in innovation and activism

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      SFU President Andrew Petter launched the President's Dream Colloquium in 2011 to create an annual forum for interdisciplinary exchange among students and faculty and to bring leading thinkers to SFU.

      This year's President's Dream Colloquium will focus on HIV/AIDS.

      The colloquium hopes to inspired the next generation of those working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including advocates and activists, artists, academics, healthcare practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and more by taking a look at the past, present, and future of HIV/AIDS.

      The field is currently facing a global reduction in funding due to the progress in biomedical and policy efforts. However, this decrease in funding is creating new challenges in the aim to end AIDS by 2030.

      A series of public lectures, followed by networking sessions, will be held every second or third week at SFU's Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey campuses from January 8 to March 27.

      Topics will range from working towards a vaccine and cure for HIV, criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, HIV and Indigenous communities, injection drug use, and more.

      For a full list of public lecture details and to RSVP for attendance, visit the SFU website.

      I See the Fear by Joe Average

      A multimedia arts exhibition will kick off the 13th colloquium by exploring the history, activism, research, and experience of HIV, including Vancouver's role in these areas.

      The Lived Experience: Art, Advocacy, and HIV will feature work by several artists, including Vancouver-based artists Tiko Kerr (who was diagnosed with HIV in 1985) and Joe Average, including a film in collaboration with Jamie Griffiths; Peggy Frank; Valerie Nicholson; Margarite Sanchez (a.k.a. Candida Cannabis) and Kath Webster; the Oral History Project; the Still Here Project; and the Women, Art, and Criminalization of HIV (WATCH).

      The exhibit launch and reception takes place at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street) on Tuesday (January 8) from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

      Speakers at the event will include Valerie Nicholson, chair of the board of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and Indigenous Peer Navigator for the Positive Living Society of B.C., and Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

      Nicholson and Dr. Montaner will take a retrospective look at the history of HIV innovation, activism, and the arts in Vancouver.

      Attendance is free but as seating is limited, an online RSVP is required.

      The exhibit will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on January 9.

      Body Maps by Women, Art, and Criminalization of HIV (WATCH)
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.