Liverpool and Birkenhead to host World AIDS Day events

The 35th World AIDS Day will be marked on 1 December and local charity, Sahir has commissioned Liverpool photographer, Laura McCann to help them mark the occasion.

Laura, who specialises in unfiltered photos, responded with a series of portraits, celebrating the uniqueness of people living with HIV in Wirral and Liverpool.

The exhibition will see Laura make her debut at Museum of Liverpool and the photographer, said she was, “humbled” to be asked to deliver the project.

She went on to add, “Sahir are an amazing organisation. I consider it a real honour to help them mark such an important milestone and I am incredibly grateful to all the inspiring individuals who took part.”

Sahir was set up in 1985 at the height of the AIDS pandemic. Since then it has helped countless people affected by HIV and AIDS across the region and it runs regular events in Wirral providing advice, testing and support.

CEO of Sahir, Ant Hopkinson, recognises the vital role the charity has played over decades and said, “Our history is punctuated by the strength, fortitude, creativity and togetherness of local queer trailblazers and sexual health activists.

“We strive to ensure that all local lives lost to HIV/AIDS will be remembered and that all stories of heroism, compassion, activism and love in the face of prejudice, stigma, inaction and hate will always prevail.”

Sahir is one of six charities that are the custodians of the historic UK AIDS Memorial Quilts. The Quilts, which date back to the 1990’s, are widely viewed as highly important folk art. There are total of 48 twelve-foot square panels, each containing up to eight smaller panels. Every element of the quilts were made by the loved ones of people who died of AIDS-related causes, some of whom were from Merseyside.

Sahir has loaned the quilts to Museum of Liverpool, which will host the World AIDS Day event taking place from 29 November until 2 December.

Ant Hopkinson went on to say, “Sahir is a vibrant community-centred Charity. We unapologetically fly the flag for our LGBTQIA+ communities across Merseyside and support all people living with HIV.”

The hope is by showing the quilts alongside Laura McCann’s Many Faces of HIV exhibition, visitors will get a sense of the past and present, remembrance and hope.

For people in Wirral who are unable to attend the World Aids Day events at the Museum of Liverpool, Sahir will also be holding a free World AIDS Day presentation on 1 December at the Bloom Building in Birkenhead, between 3.30pm- 5pm. There, people will get a chance to see some photos from the exhibition shoots.

Images: Laura McCann

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