Always looking ahead

So, I’m starting Viral Legacies in just over a month, but I’m already looking ahead to what’s next. I’ve already applied to the APS Emerging Writers Fellowship and the LMCC Artist Residency, but the Open Society Fellowship would be the real prize. 80-100K to work on a project for a year. As you can imagine, the application is quite intense, but I’ve made a major breakthrough with the timeline:

  • November 1, 2014: Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa
  • November 1- November 30: Conduct preliminary historical research, specifically focusing on the early AIDS crisis, and links between apartheid struggles and Treatment Action Campaign; conduct discussions with contacts at the University of Cape Town, specifically in the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative; and collaborate with OSI, Triangle Project, and other community organizations to develop programming, including discussion groups and health workshops
  • December 1- December 30: Continue archival research and discussions with UCT; begin community programming while soliciting participant feedback; ask participants if they would be willing to videotape their experiences surrounding sexual identity or sexual practices/HIV to form a digital archive; publish at least 1 article in South African press and an international press; Christmas and New Year’s break
  • January 1, 2015 – January 31: Conduct interviews with participants who have consented; transcribe portions of interviews to be published in online website and work with OSI to get videos published; promote website using press releases and existing media and organizational contacts; publish an additional article in a South African press and an international magazine
  • February 1: Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • February 1- March 1: Establish ties as Guest Researcher at Wits University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research, including forming plans to conduct a guest lecture or one time seminar; work with OSI to provide background context on immigration of LGBTQI populations into South Africa and links to sexual health/HIV policy; partner with the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action and Equality Project to develop community programming similar to actions in Cape Town
  • March 2- March 31: Conduct guest lecture or one-time seminar at Wits University; begin community programming while soliciting participant feedback; ask individuals if they would be willing to speak to their experiences for the digital archive; work on developing a topic and conducting research for 1 long form essay, specifically related to racial and socioeconomic inequality as it impacts sexual health prevention and treatment programs for HIV
  • April 1- April 30: Continue research for long-form essay and have completed draft by the end of the month; conduct interviews for the digital archive; transcribe relevant interviews for publication on the website; conduct a live webinar discussion open to the public, evaluating the project thus far and opening up questions; publish 1 article in a local press, as an interview with a prominent community activist or public health professional
  • May 1: Arrive in London, United Kingdom
  • May 1- May 31: Conduct preliminary research through the British Film Institute’s Archive, concentrating on works by Isaac Julien, Derek Jarman, and other documentary materials; work with the Media Program team at OSI to develop and coordinate an outreach campaign surrounding HIV/AIDS issues; partner with Gay is the Word and The Poetry Society to organize readings/cultural events focusing on the AIDS crisis or historical remembrance;
  • June 1 – June 30: Continue research through the BFI, if necessary, and work to publish an article on HIV/AIDS cinema and social impacts; implement media and outreach plan to solicit interviews and discussions among younger queer men during London’s Pride; host events at Gay is the Word and the Poetry Café; partner with ACT UP London to gather historical information on AIDS advocacy and London and get a pulse for the current state of legal affairs surrounding HIV/AIDS criminalization; partner with the OSI At Home Europe program to organize a forum directed toward LGBTQI immigrants
  • July 1- July 31: Transcribe interviews conducted during the previous month, as necessary, and work with OSI to edit videos in their entirety; publish a personal essay in the internationally known POZ Magazine and solicit/submit creative works to various literary publications; host the forum that was organized the previous month with LGBTQI immigrant populations; conduct another public webinar on progress of the project thus far, opening up questions to the public
  • August 1-10: Vacation/Project Break in Europe
  • August 11: Arrive in New York City
  • August 11- 31: Partner with Bureau of General Services, Queer Division and Visual AIDS to organize a month long “Viral Legacies” event series in October; publish 1 article in a local New York-based press, interviewing a prominent historical figure in the AIDS advocacy movement or public health sector; collaborate with a local university, either CUNY or NYU to organize a student forum or event during the month of September
  • September 1-30: Host the forum at one of the universities, inviting students to offer feedback on success of the event; continue preparations for the October residency event at the Bureau; conduct research on arts/cultural impacts through the MoMA, PPOW Gallery, and Leslie Lohman Gay Arts Museum; spend two to three days in the Washington DC office, working with the Sexual Health & Rights division to understand harm reduction campaigns
  • October 1-31: Host the event series at the Bureau, inviting audience participant and soliciting creative work for an LGBTQI chapbook; conduct a final webinar; draft and file an evaluative report/archive of the experiences during the OSF; publish 1 final article in an international press, in a topic TBD

Plans Starting to Emerge for Viral Legacies


Now that I have successfully finalized my itinerary for Viral Legacies, the more difficult work of undertaking the project has begun. The biggest question of the project that remains is: where am I going to get my source information from? I want to be clear that a big part of this project is…

Things are starting to get exciting for Viral Legacies.