As one virus sweeps the globe, the Voznesensky Center in Moscow has joined with several arts and non-governmental organizations to launch a nearly month-long series events to mark a battle against another virus, HIV. The project, called “Of the Same Blood,” will start on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, and run until Dec. 22. More than 20 lectures, discussions, concerts, performances, films, plays and other events will be held, and the will all be transmitted online.
Participants include some of the most famous and cutting-edge cultural figures in Russia today, such as the writer Lenor Goralik, director Vladislav Nastavshev, artist Olga Kroiter, leader and soloist of KYMATIC Alina Petrova, and many others.
Olga Vartseva, director of the Voznesensky Center and director of the project, explained the group’s interest in this project. “We don’t know anything about the effect of the HIV epidemic on Russian culture, either in historical perspective or as it unfolds before us. People with HIV feel that they are not represented in films, books, and paintings, and that their voices are the voices of outsiders. The project “Of the Same Blood” is an attempt to tear down the illusory wall of stigma and not just give back HIV-positive people their voices, but to show that they are no different than all the other voices in the world.”