Visual AIDS is excited to share that Thomas McGovern's Bearing Witness (to AIDS) portfolio has been acquired by the International Center of Photography, NYC. Bearing Witness (To AIDS) is a collection of black and white photographs that explores the devastating, and sometimes beautiful truths of the AIDS pandemic in the U.S.

Visual AIDS first co-published the over 200 images of Bearing Witness along with Art Resources Transfer (A.R.T. Press) in 1999. We have always believed in the power and importance of McGovern's work, and are elated to learn that the prints will be catalogued, digitized, and made available for viewing on the ICP website.

McGovern's project covers the ten-year period from 1987–1997, a time of intense AIDS activism that forced the pandemic into the cultural and political dialogue. People with HIV/AIDS, rejecting the label of "victim," are seen actively taking control of their lives and their medical treatment in this straightforward and sober account.

In McGovern's words, "this is not really a documentary project, it's an attempt to merge the didactic and the expressive... I'm an artist, not a journalist and I don't pretend to be unbiased or objective in my view of the crisis. What I am trying to do is demonstrate some of the depth of people's experiences about AIDS, and particularly, my own experience of it." Regarding the recent acquisition, McGovern says “I’m pleased to see the images—and my associated research and correspondence—be added to the venerable ICP archives as a way to extend its legacy of bearing of witness to plights of those affected by AIDS.”