Community News

World AIDS Day exhibition at Jubilee Library to present previously unseen handmade panel from AIDS Memorial Quilt

November 23, 2022

LGBTQ+ Memorial Quilts are objects of protest and activism every bit as much as symbols of love and remembrance.

This year’s World AIDS Day exhibition – in the main windows of Brighton’s Jubilee Library – presents a previously unseen handmade panel made for the AIDS Memorial Quilt, along with images documenting the Brighton Cares AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibition, which took place close by at the Corn Exchange in June 1983.

Corn Exchange. Photo: Harry Hillary

This was the last time the quilt (now known as the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt) was displayed in the city. Inclusion in the AIDS Memorial Quilt was often the only way a person could be memorialised, and sometimes the stigma made even this impossible.

The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt has some ‘anonymous’ panels because the family refused to let the name of the person be revealed. The stigma around HIV created a climate of shame and fear that silenced people affected by HIV across the world, creating a need to mobilise and fight for the research and a medical response.

Photo: Harry Hillary

In this context, the making of quilts to memorialise lives lost was not just an act of commemoration, it was a cry of protest at the needless loss and the health inequalities that meant the most marginalised communities experienced the greatest losses.

Eddie’s Panel. Photo: Harry Hillary

The panel and images are displayed alongside the Brighton & Hove Hankie Quilt, which documents the lives lost to HIV in the city through embroidered handkerchiefs and panels.

The Brighton AIDS Memorial Project aims to capture and curate stories of the epidemic before they disappear and recognise Brighton’s heroes, trailblazers, and organisations and are co-producing this exhibition with the support of the Brighton & Hove LGBTQ+ Workers’ Forum.

The exhibition will be on display in the main windows of Jubilee Library on Jubilee Street, Brighton from November 28 to December 4. Free and all welcome.

For more info, CLICK HERE