Stigma – a fear based mindset commonly derived out of a lack of understanding of a condition – is one of the major issues holding back development in HIV today. It was in HIV that Schumann became aware of stigma and was devastated by its consequences. But this mindset is not only prevalent in HIV, it affects everyone and all challenging conditions. In this exhibition the nature of stigma: for one to label an individual, condition or group of people, and then refuse to hear (thus understand) the full story of the stigmatised, is inverted through a reversal of reality that reveals stories never before shared with society. Testimonies where shared from people of all race, class, gender, age and religion so that whoever views the work will be able to relate to at least one story and realise this could be themselves and they are in denial, or it could be their friends, family or loved ones and they would never know as they are too afriad to tell anyone.
Face It is currently travelling with the Make Art/Stop AIDS exhibition Not Alone, curated by David Gere and Carol Brown. Contributing Artists include: Clive Van den Berg, William Kentridge, Churchill Madikida, Langa Magwa, Penelope Siopis, Gideon Mendel among others.
Face It! entails nine chapters:Abuse Anorexia Addiciton The Deaf HIV Homophobia Schizophrenia Tuberculosis Xenophobia