My name is Julie, a French student at the Paris-Diderot University working on my Master of Sociology, and I have been an intern at Visual AIDS since December 2010. I decided to do my internship with Visual AIDS because I share the idea that art is a tool to fight AIDS and to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS. I’m also interested in gaining professional experience in an American non-profit organization and learning how it operates, because I would like to work in a cultural non-profit organization in France after I graduate. This internship has immersed me in a world of art against AIDS.
I first learned of Visual AIDS while during research for my Master’s thesis. The theme of my dissertation was the mobilization of artists to fight the AIDS crisis in New York City, in the 80's. In France there currently isn’t an organization like Visual AIDS, I believe this is because there has never been any developed artistic scene against AIDS, and the French artists who live with HIV/AIDS haven’t gathered together in an art collectives or organizations. This poses the problem of the lack of conservation of the artworks, and it’s potential loss of place in history. As a member of ACT UP Paris , I know how the work of visual artists can helped mobilize people, disseminate political and prevention messages, contribute to a change in thinking and attitude and to advances the fight against AIDS.