Michele Cinq-Mars - NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

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[00:00:00] This audio comes from the collections of the New Zealand aids Memorial quilt. [00:00:06] You've been involved with a group project for [00:00:08] Hello show. I just had my one year anniversary with the names project last week. [00:00:14] And how did you first become involved? [00:00:17] I learned about the quote first when it was displayed in Washington, DC in 1988. I was working on the America response to AIDS campaign for the Centers for Disease Control, which is a one of the departments run by the federal government. [00:00:35] A group of colleagues and myself who are working on that particular campaign chose to go to the, quote exhibit in Washington that year, and at that point in that a lot of the key people and learn that the quotes involvement, or learned a purpose in existence, then in 1989, on a freelance basis, I assisted the Washington crew and helping them with that particular display. Remember what was lacking at [00:01:06] this sort of how you felt [00:01:10] I was overwhelmed. [00:01:13] To this day, I do not know of another Memorial that has struck me in the same way that the quote has. [00:01:22] When you walk into a cemetery in America, you see names, when you see the Vietnam Memorial, the United States, again, you see names, when you see the quote, you see more than names use the lives, you see people, you see hobbies, you see likes and dislikes, and men and women and children. It's across spectrum to leave the United States and, and the epidemic internationally. [00:01:51] There's been nothing in comparison in my life, [00:01:55] as if they are the survivors, or the people died in a crash, it's so random, cross such a wide spectrum. [00:02:08] Yes, in that [00:02:12] all the people who were represented on the quote, are all there for the same reason, they all died of AIDS, and that is the the political empowerment behind its origin. [00:02:25] The difficulty comes together, when you see how many different people are affected, and no rhyme or reason for it. We have a plane crash, something failed on that one plane. When you're talking about the AIDS epidemic, [00:02:43] it's very difficult to pinpoint error. It's some lack of education with anything. [00:02:51] urgent matter what you do. [00:02:53] Currently, I'm the Director of Communications for the names Margaret. So my tasks are to work with the local host committees, specifically in the United States who are preparing for clip display. So in darkness, New Hampshire, for their display, I help them promote it, or I give them the materials to promote it locally, so that they can then get a large amount of people to go to their display. [00:03:20] I'm just looking at your wall behind you in the United States. And I'm just wondering, Abbott hot zones and calls those areas so zone which are more responsive, more more supportive of having a beer than others. [00:03:33] Maybe they can liberal with Bible bill, [00:03:38] you would think that might be the case. And yet, there is support, wherever we have gone. The club draws that out. And people cleave mentioned that you would have to be a stone not to be able to feel what the quote, the message that the cook is trying to give you when you're at a display when you actually see it in front of you. I think that's really the case. Certainly there are people that don't believe in in the club tour don't believe that gay and lesbian should exist or that people would aid should continue to live. And yet, we have received an overwhelming amount of support everything from being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, to be winning of the Academy Award for common threads. Can you just plain Jane and Joe coming out to a display in Montana? [00:04:27] in the press release? Yet earlier, you were making so explanations about different scraping and paste victim and being a person of AIDS. And I know my listening, listening audience, that we definitely have you had any impact on the video, that kind of information. [00:04:44] I think every little bit counts. We are certainly not alone in putting out that message. or trying to get folks to understand that is people and not pick them and that individuals are continuing to live with the virus. And there they are not it's not an automatic [00:05:03] death sentence upon knowing that you're affected. [00:05:08] I think because we're part of a larger body that is working towards this change that yes, we have made an impact. I don't I can't say that I'd be willing to measure that impact. But certainly, it helps. And I've seen the media respond in the past. In my two, three years of watching the epidemic and miss the news stories that result because of it, [00:05:28] you do see a change. I was just looking at your itineraries to we have, of course can be traveling to and it's very expensive, very expensive program. Is it the same group is critical. [00:05:40] It is not the same modular units that cleave described but it is [00:05:46] all part of the same mental Parker gates Memorial quote. So in other words, they're different panels that are going to each one of these displays. But it's all part of the same club. [00:05:57] When we grew up in Washington, was there total? [00:06:01] Every panel was there. [00:06:04] Yes, actually, all three times in 1987, the quote was displayed all together with almost 2000 panels. Then in 1988, there were almost 9000 panels, and then 1989, there were more than 10,000. And today we're at more than 14,000. And we're considering returning with the quote, in in in its entirety to Washington, DC in 1992. That's something that we are trying to make happen. [00:06:33] Everything catching on your wall, 1992 bucks. [00:06:37] You [00:06:38] have in mind, that's exactly [00:06:40] the one thing that we should probably have the same president at that time. And that seems to be a big problem is you get a better bit more as to have. George Bush has been difficult for you here. For the eight schools. [00:06:55] He certainly has not put through on a couple of issues that we're very concerned about. He hasn't listed the immigration restrictions to make it possible for individuals who are HIV positive to enter the country for international conferences that are held as or for corpus place, if you're talking about our own entity. [00:07:18] There has been an increase in funding over the past decade. But there certainly has wasn't as much attention paid to it in the beginning of the decade. And it's difficult to wage right now whether those that increasing funding is really trickling down to the local communities that need it. Lot of it is, is distributed throughout the government bureaucracy [00:07:44] was waiting on me to change to fit the job is a job to create for you. I know that [00:07:53] a career [00:07:56] Oh, that's a difficult one. I was talking with somebody you other day and and [00:08:03] saying how difficult it is to separate your emotional feelings from the work that you have to do. [00:08:12] The proof of the pudding that it's it's impossible. It is is my life right now. And I think that everyone here working as an instructor called 20 of us live, without a doubt to say that it is our life at the moment. And whether we move on from this life to do other things, whether we're content to live [00:08:33] let it stay in that way until the project. And so I don't know, that's an individual choice. But it certainly is a group of dedicated individuals here [00:08:42] is the interface you can select or you mentioned it back over again. I just wonder whether you [00:08:51] actually know [00:08:53] you're going up so it wouldn't. [00:08:54] Yes, yeah. You. And that's a difficult struggle in here's me struggling with the question because it's a hard one. I want to quote to close up and one day because I don't want to see anymore. My friends [00:09:09] and family members died this horrible epidemic. And yet, there is such a powerful educational process that happens when one views the quote, no matter if you're familiar with the AIDS epidemic or not. That that kind of educational process, I think is invaluable. And [00:09:29] so, in a sense, even if we find a cure for the virus, I think having that educational opportunity for kids to participate in for for anyone who's at risk, I think that education can still take place and [00:09:45] I know that you've got quantity he dies available for sale, every single visit tires even fit in Australia, New Zealand. [00:09:53] We have actually a cool project in Australia. I think actually, I'm gonna have to check on that point. I'm not sure. I'm just thinking. [00:10:04] museum magazines will carry the advertisement for you. For the memorabilia, the elation guys, we've got the sale, I can program finishes, I can forecast what is available that motivates me when I hold it down. But I think that would be awesome. [00:10:21] Okay, what we can do is I can put you in touch with the person that is part of the group project in Australia. I think it's Australian Museum, and her name is Libby and she can provide all that information to you. [00:10:35] As at the foundation level, our merchandise, merchandise is certainly available and we encourage it to be sold internationally. But I just want to make sure that you touch base with her so we can do that.

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