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Visual AIDS announces Being & Belonging, a program of seven short videos highlighting under-told stories of HIV and AIDS from the perspective of artists living with HIV across the world. Being & Belonging will premiere at over 100 museums and arts organizations on December 1, 2022 for Day With(out) Art / World AIDS Day.

Being & Belonging will feature newly commissioned work by:

Camila Arce (Argentina)
Davina “Dee” Conner and Karin Hayes (USA)
Jaewon Kim (South Korea)
Clifford Prince King (USA)
Santiago Lemus and Camilo Acosta Huntertexas (Colombia)
Mikiki (Canada)
Jhoel Zempoalteca and La Jerry (México)

From navigating sex and intimacy to confronting stigma and isolation, Being & Belonging centers the emotional realities of living with HIV today. How does living with HIV shift the ways that a person experiences, asks for, or provides love, support, and belonging? The seven videos are a call for belonging from those that have been stigmatized within their communities or left out of mainstream HIV/AIDS narratives.

The artists in this year’s program were selected through an open call process juried by curator and writer Nico Wheadon, filmmaker Jorge Bordello, artist and curator Ezra Benus, and cultural consultant and health activist Lauraberth Lima.

The hour-long video program will premiere on December 1, 2022, World AIDS Day/Day With(out) Art. Visual AIDS partners with museums, galleries, universities, and organizations around the world to present over one hundred free screenings on/around December 1. If you are interested in screening this year’s Day With(out) Art video program, please visit this page for more information.

Video Synopses

Camila Arce, Vertical Memory Archive

Camila Arce presents a poem about the experience of being born with HIV and growing up as part of the first generation with access to antiretroviral medication in South America.

Davina “Dee” Conner and Karin Hayes, We Are Here: Voices of Black Women Who Live with HIV

Davina “Dee” Conner was diagnosed with HIV in 1997. For 17 years she knew no one else who lived with HIV. As she emerged from isolation and internalized stigma, Davina sought to understand the journeys of other Black women living with HIV. Here they are. Listen to their voices.

Jaewon Kim, Nuance (working title)

Nuance (working title) depicts a relationship between someone who is living with HIV and their HIV negative partner. Through their entangled yet sometimes isolated lives, the video offers a critical reflection of the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in South Korea today.

Clifford Prince King, Kiss of Life

In Kiss of Life, three Black people living with HIV describe their dating experiences. Raw conversations surrounding disclosure, rejection and self love are expressed through visual poetry and dreamscapes.

Santiago Lemus and Camilo Acosta Huntertexas, Los Amarillos

In Colombia, many people living with HIV experience jaundice–the yellowing of the eyes and skin–as a side effect of the low cost antiretroviral drugs supplied by the government. Los Amarillos is an experimental video addressing the alienation and hypervisibility that the artists have faced as a result of this side effect.

Mikiki, Red Flag

Through a cacophony of limbs, members, and sounds drawn from the party and play scene, Mikiki interrogates their own substance use and asks how we can return pleasure and trust to conversations about drug use.

Jhoel Zempoalteca and La Jerry, Lxs dxs bichudas

Lxs dxs bichudas offers a poetic dance dialogue in Zapotec and Spanish that explores the ways in which race, gender, and geography shapes the lives and bodies of people living with HIV in Mexico, a country marked by the ideological project of mestizaje.

Artist Biographies

Camila Arce (she/her) is an artivista from Rosario, Argentina who has been living with HIV since she was born 27 years ago. She writes about her daily life and publishes poetry and social, political, and economic commentary @sidiosa. Her work is committed to the needs and realities of women living with HIV and above all the experiences of verticales, those who were born with HIV or who seroconverted through breastfeeding. She is a fervent advocate for the release of drug patents and a HIV cure.

HIV advocate, podcast host, and international speaker Davina “Dee” Conner (she/her) was diagnosed with HIV in 1997. Her podcast, Pozitively Dee Discussions, won ADAP’s 2017 Leadership Award for working to dispel internalized stigma and change how society views HIV. Davina received the Persistent Advocacy Award from AIDS Watch in 2019 and has been featured in numerous magazines for her ongoing advocacy, including A&U, Positively Aware, Denver’s 5280, Poz, HIV Plus, and Health Stories Project. She works against HIV criminalization as a member of the Positive Justice Project, is a contributing writer for HIV.net, and serves as the Creative Engagement Outreach Specialist for Prevention Access Campaign.

Karin Hayes (she/her) is an award-winning documentary director and producer. Her credits include We’re Not Broke (Sundance Film Festival), The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt (HBO/CNN Presents), Held Hostage in Colombia (History/CBS/SundanceTV), Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship (PBS/MPT), the documentary series: That Animal Rescue Show (Paramount+) and Truth and Power (Participant Media), and projects for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, and Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Karin has also been a cameraperson for the Emmy-winning PBS/POV documentary “When I Walk,” among others. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, Film Fatales, and the International Documentary Association (IDA).

Jaewon Kim (he/him) is a Korean artist currently based in Seoul, South Korea. Kim primarily works with video, photography, and installation to discuss the lives of queer people and people living with HIV/AIDS. Working from his personal experiences, Kim devises narratives that trace moments from the past and the future.

Clifford Prince King (he/him) is an artist living and working in New York and Los Angeles. King documents his intimate relationships in traditional, everyday settings that speak on his experiences as a queer black man. King has recently exhibited work at Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery (Los Angeles), Higher Pictures (New York City), Leslie Lohman Museum (New York City), Light Work (Syracuse, NY), MASS MoCA, Marc Selwyn Gallery (Beverly Hills), and Stars Gallery (Los Angeles). Publications carrying King’s images as commissioned work and features include Aperture, Dazed, i-D, T Magazine, The New York Times, Vice, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. King was runner-up for the Robert Giard Emerging Artist Grant in 2020.

Camilo Acosta Huntertexas (he/him) is a visual artist born in Ibagué-Tolima, Colombia with a focus on audiovisual projects, video editing, experimental video, VJ sets, and music video production. His video work has been exhibited in Spain, Germany, Mexico, Canada, France among others. He has also developed curatorial projects involving performance, video, and live arts in both conventional and unconventional spaces. Acosta is a co-founder and active member of the House of Tupamaras, a collective committed to research and creative production around issues of gender, performance, and public space. He is also part of the performance collective Street Jizz.

Santiago Lemus (he/him) is an artist born in Sogamoso, Colombia. His interdisciplinary work uses organic matter, image, and sound to address the relationship between art, nature, and landscape through installations, interventions, performances, photography, and video. Lemus’s work has been exhibited in cities such as Bogotá, Barranquilla, and Berlin, among others. He is co-founder of Tomamos la Palabra, a collective that creates interventions in public spaces denouncing homophobia, transphobia, racism and violence.

Mikiki (they/them) is a performance and video artist and queer community health activist of Acadian/Mi’kmaq and Irish descent from Ktaqmkuk/Newfoundland, Canada. Their work has been presented. Their identity as a queer artist and activist has necessitated a porous boundary between what is labelled art-making or activism versus ‘being’ in the world. Mikiki has worked as a high school sexuality educator, a bathhouse attendant, drag karaoke hostess, in various capacities in the gay men's health and HIV response, and in harm reduction outreach and HIV testing literally all over Canada. Mikiki is irregularly found hosting their Golden Girls screening and queer cultural studies lecture series “Rose Beef.”

Jhoel Zempoalteca (he/him) is a visual artist and educator born in Tlaxcala, Mexico. His work seeks to produce a counter-pedagogy by deconstructing the visual imaginaries surrounding dissident and seropositive experiences. Zempoalteca holds a BA in Visual Arts from Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda.” His work has been exhibited in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain.

La Jerry (they/them) is a non-binary folk dancer born and raised in Juchitan, Mexico. They have participated in numerous folk dance gatherings and festivals in Mexico. They are currently developing their drag persona from their perspective as a non-binary, racialized, and seropositive folk dancer, challenging the heteronormativity that governs social and cultural representations of Mexico.

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Sidiosa Camila Arce


Jaewon Kim

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Santiago Lemus


Camilo Huntertexas

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Jhoel Zempoalteca


La Jerry