We Remember: AIDS Oral History Project

We Remember is a collaboration with Voice of Vashon Radio to gather and record stories from islanders touched by AIDS.  While no doubt painful to recall, we believe these stories are important to give voice to, to speak out loud, and to preserve.  Much like recollections from the Holocaust, they represent the collective memory of a difficult time in our history, a time when fear of a terrible disease combined with bigotry and ignorance stigmatizing and marginalizing the sick and dying.  Death from AIDS was not a noble death worthy of sympathy and admiration in many circles, it was something to hid and be ashamed of.  The dead are sons and daughters, friends and lovers, co-workers, neighbors, brothers and sisters.. and yes, even mothers and fathers.

For most people of age in the 1980s and ’90s, HIV and AIDS remained distant, something happening to other people, people not like them, living in places far from their own communities.  For others, AIDS became a painful recurring nightmare of death, deaths never spoken of, let alone shared with others.  We believe sharing personal stories about AIDS, while difficult, can provide healing and perhaps a certain degree of closure after all these years.  We also believe these stories have the power to broaden understanding, particularly among younger generations who know little or nothing about the tragedy of AIDS during that era.   AIDS is not gone, it is a reality in the lives of young people everywhere.

If you have a story to tell, giving life to it honors both you and the person remembered, and just maybe, it will help others with untold stories still struggling to make sense of it all.

How It Works

Stories will be recorded at the VOV studio in downtown Vashon.  The format will be informal, done in an interview style with questions geared to help storytellers share background and details.  Sessions will last 30-45 minutes.  All interviews will be available online as part of the project archive.

For more information or to book an session contact:

Peter Serko