To mark the 25th annual World Aids Day, our focus this month is on a number of collections which contain materials relating to HIV/AIDS activism in South Africa.
Zackie Achmat, Jack Lewis and Treatment Action Campaign collection (AL3165)
Zackie Achmat and Jack Lewis were anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s and 1990s in South Africa, working in the greater Cape Town area with trade unions and community-based health organisations. This, together with their activism in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) minorities, led to increased work on HIV/AIDS throughout the 1990s. In December 1998 both Jack Lewis and Zackie Achmat were instrumental in the formation of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). The TAC seeks to mobilise communities around issues of HIV/AIDS and access to treatment. The use of a combination of community-based activism and human rights-based legal strategies has largely characterised the activities of the TAC.
Donated by Zackie Achmat and Jack Lewis in 2005, the collection consists of mostly documents, audio-visual and electronic materials which document their involvement in HIV/AIDS activism, as well as some posters. The collection is cross referenced with related archival collections at the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) Archives and other archival institutions.
The AIDS in Context Conference collection (AL2880)
The Aids in Context Conference focused on the historical, social and cultural context of HIV/AIDS, and was held at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg from 4-8 April 2001. The conference arose as part of a process undertaken by the AIDS Consortium, Soul City and the Wits History Workshop to encourage further research, the wider dissemination of existing work and comparative study - especially in relation to the rest of Africa.
The collection consists of the conference papers, including the keynote address by Justice Edwin Cameron, parallel sessions and panel discussions on media and HIV/AIDS and prevention and Behaviour change. Posters and ephemera of the conference have been placed with the SAHA Poster collection (AL2446) and the SAHA Ephemera collection (AL2540) respectively.
The Mark Gevisser collection (AL3284)
Organised by chapter, the collection reflects the research process behind the writing of Gevisser's biography on Thabo Mbeki, The Dream Deferred. Materials include Gevisser's notebooks, public and internal ANC documents (such as press statements, minutes of meetings and correspondence), Mbeki's own writing (speeches and articles), secondary research sources in the forms of newspaper clippings, journal articles, book extracts, and audio cassettes of interviews conducted, for the most part, by Mark Gevisser, with family, friends and colleagues of Thabo Mbeki. The cited and research documents and chapter notes for chapter 41 titled ‘Does it fester like a sore?: The AIDS crisis' form a significant part of this collection as it explores Mbeki's controversial stance on HIV/AIDS.
See inventory for the Zackie Achmat, Jack Lewis and Treatment Action Campaign collection (AL3165)
See inventory for the Mark Gevisser collection (AL3284)
See inventory for the AIDS in Context Conference collection (AL2880)