FEARLESS LATIN/X AMÉRICA: SIDA+VIOLENCIA+ACCIÓN is a display organized by Visual AIDS & Residency Unlimited's 2017 Mexico City based curatorial resident Eugenio Echeverría at El Museo del Barrio. FEARLESS LATIN/X AMÉRICA: SIDA+VIOLENCIA+ACCIÓN will be on display on the People's Wall at the entrance to El Museo del Barrio's exhibition galleries April 29 through June 11, highlighting narratives relating to HIV/AIDS and Latinx América. The project features dissident narratives from Chile, Cuba, Mexico and the United States, integrating text, artwork, photography and documents. The display establishes a critical chronological analysis considering how HIV/AIDS has been understood by hegemonic structures as a way of affecting traditionally outraged groups, out of a local and global perspective and a postcolonial approach. Here, we republish Eugenio Echeverría's curatorial statement about FEARLESS LATIN/X AMÉRICA: SIDA+VIOLENCIA+ACCIÓN.

The complex relationship between AIDS, violence and action is present in HIV/AIDS' history and can be traced through activism, academia and art-related discourses. Then and now, the survival of some lives has been prioritized with respect to others based on profound prejudices of class, race, gender, sexuality and addiction that takes form in public policy and social relationships. The history of individuals is inevitably crossed by systemic and institutionalized violence whose flows are neither specific to one country or social group, nor do they move in only one direction. Violence manifests in diverse, heterogeneous, multidirectional and contradictory ways; each one of us as well as larger communities can be both victimizer and a victim at the same time. I am particularly interested in reactions to violence through consciousness, resistance and dissidence which allows us to reposition ourselves both inside and outside the dominant ideology, a tense relationship in permanent negotiation.

This FEARLESS LATIN/X AMÉRICA: SIDA + VIOLENCIA + ACCIÓN installation includes several institutional, community and individual expressions that explicitly or implicitly relate to violence and action in response to the ongoing AIDS crisis. This conversation is based on a limited selection of stories arranged by themes, and charts tensions between hegemonic and dissident discourses.

For the purposes of this specific project, I have limited the narratives of AIDS, violence and action to four countries: The United States, Mexico, Chile and Cuba. The United States operates in this regard as the first country that, in 1981, widely identifies and associates what would later be known as AIDS (SIDA in Spanish). In the years immediately after, first Mexico (1983), then Chile (1984), and finally Cuba (1985) will report their first cases of HIV/AIDS. Each of these countries represent a paradigmatic model of relationship to United States neocolonialism. Mexico, from an economic dependency that in turn has enabled US political inference; Chile, from political and economic interventionism; and Cuba from a particularly aggressive ideological confrontation that prompted political boycot and economic isolation. These four countries each develop their own activist and management models to fight AIDS, negotiating state and individual violence in the process.

FEARLESS LATIN/X AMÉRICA: SIDA + VIOLENCIA + ACCIÓN is a work in progress, organized as part of my Curatorial Residency with Visual AIDS and Residency Unlimited. This research and writing will culminate in a future exhibition in Mexico in May 2018.

Special thanks to Fernando Pizarro, Lina Meruane, Alex Fialho, Yahir Zavaleta, Julia Antivilo, Berta Gilabert, Carlos Gutiérrez Solana, Luis Carle, Miguel Álvarez, Nelson Santos, Esther McGowan, Orlando Ferrand, Fernando Mariscal, Alfredo González, Lucas Michael, Tamara Oyola-Santiago, Visual AIDS, Museo del Barrio, Residency Unlimited.

~Eugenio Echeverría