We welcome you to the Digital Catalogue: A living document that brings together and puts in conversation the many components of the HIV In My Day oral history project.
The aim of this website is not only to introduce you to the history of the project and its many participants, contributors, and researchers but also to provide a space to remember, to reflect, and grieve. HIV In My Day began as an oral history project that collects and records the testimony of people in British Columbia who survived the early years of the AIDS pandemic and their caregivers. With a specific focus on the experiences of people in British Columbia, the project fills an urgent need to record a history of this province of those who are no longer with us and those who survived. HIV In My Day continues to grow and shift, finding new ways to engage community and remember through art, theatre, and scholarship. The project is invested in communities telling their own stories in their own words.
The research project has grown from an archive of interviews to a verbatim theatre play, In My Day; a women’s art collective, Poz Women Show Off; community storytelling workshops, a gallery exhibition of Art and Ephemera; and a community gathering of over a hundred fifty participants. Through all of these layered endeavours we have prioritized equity, diversity, and meaningful inclusion. Our Committee for Anti-Racism and Equity (CARE) has been involved through the research, artistic creation of the production, and community gathering. You can learn about each of these components and more throughout the pages of this site.
One element that connects each layer of this project is an emphasis on the narratives and experiences from our communities. We know the importance of documentation. We know the importance of witnessing. We know the need for storytelling. Stories do not simply tell of what has been, but prepare us for what is to come. They humanize the legacies of pain and death, give faces to our grief, give comfort through memories. Stories shape our landscape: Each street we walk on, home we visit, theatre we attend is an assemblage of histories and memories, presences and erasures, privileges and oppressions. Our stories mark the absence of bodies, no longer physically present but still shaping the landscape of our communities. These narratives are not supplementary to history, but the bricks that create a foundation for the future. For those who were here, for those who are here, for those who will come: This space is yours.
We invite you to make your way through the text, images, sounds, and video throughout this Digital Catalogue. You will gain access to the interviews from the original project, as well as texts from those involved in the creation of the verbatim theatre play, In My Day. You will have online access to art and ephemera, and hear stories from community members. This is a living document: A space that is constantly in a mode of creation. We use this online medium to refuse stasis because we know that there is always more to add to the story. History is an act of creation constantly in flux and always in the making. We invite you to learn, to share, and to listen to the stories of HIV In My Day.
– Editors, Laine Halpern Zisman & JP Catungal