Last night went to a RED HOT event, for the RED HOT + RIOT album. You might expect some fancy Manhattan party, and while the club itself was, the beauty of the event was that it was very grass-roots; a table selling raffle tickets, my pal Jeff selling the FELA CD and vinyl, someone else selling hand-made jewelry - all benefitting CRH in Nigeria and AID FOR AIDS. We saw Red Hot + Riot: Encounters with AIDS in Africa about the AIDS pandemic in Africa, with a special focus on the life of singer/activist Fela Kuti (will also be shown Dec 3rd at GMHC), and a healthcare worker from Nigeria, studying here in the States, spoke about her work, and what she hoped to accomplish with her degree when she returned to Nigeria. They do tons of events like this, all over the world. I felt very proud of my pal Jeff for all his continued hard work with RED HOT.
Monday, December 02, 2002
Funny, my World Aids Day post didn't quite go in the direction I had planned. I guess conflicting emotions sometimes mean you start off in one direction, and wind up somewhere else (not too mention spending a lot of time working on images and links, thinking the text would be the easiest part, and finishing that up at 3:30 a.m.). I had used a lot of imagery from the RED HOT Organization, because it is one that I admire. Of course there are hundreds of worth-while groups involved in the fight against AIDS/HIV, but this one seems to be able to touch me more than others. The idea of a sustained cultural attack on this, that we need to be in the fight for the long haul, that caring for each other in a sex-positive manner had to be an integral part of really affecting the lives of millions of people - this appealed to me. It wasn't merely a way to raise a few bucks (although it has done that), but a way of reaching affected communities, of bringing different people together and use the power of music to bridge gaps - combining education, fund-raising, and entertainment - Country, dance, alternative, jazz and hip hop to name a few. Sometimes my mind gets bogged down with the losses, and I tend to lose sight of those friends who, thank God, are still here, and are doing well. I can't make that happen for those who are gone, but I sure want that for everyone, and we just have to find ways to keep that goal alive, and figure out the ways we can work towards it, in a sustained, caring manner.