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Beginning in the 1980s, a global pandemic led graphic designers and artists to rethink how they communicate safety, community, caution, and risk to the general masses. We at the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) have collaborated with The Wolfsonian—FIU to bring you Messages from a Pandemic: AIDS Graphic Communication, a digital exhibition that showcases how designers from around the world communicated public health information about HIV and AIDS. As the world faces yet another global pandemic in the form of the novel coronavirus, this exhibition, which is free and available to all, is as urgent now as ever. 

Messages from a Pandemic is curated by Dr. Julio Capó, Jr., WPHL’s Deputy Director, and Shoshana Resnikoff, curator at The Wolfsonian—FIU, and is drawn from the museum’s one-of-a-kind collection of nearly 4,000 AIDS posters. 

Posters from around the World

Messages from a Pandemic: AIDS Graphic Communication shows how designers from around the world communicated public health information about HIV and AIDS.

View the exhibition

Included programming hosted in conjunction with the release of this digital exhibition

Art in the Service of Change: A Conversation about AIDS Activism with Sarah Schulman and Avram Finkelstein

Watch two figures heavily involved in ACT UP New York, one of the activist groups that led the charge in combating HIV/AIDS-related violence and inequality. In this talk moderated by World AIDS Museum and Educational Center executive director Dr. Réquel Lopes and WPHL deputy director Dr. Julio Capó, Jr., hear from writer Sarah Schulman and artist Avram Finkelstein discuss the role of art in their activism and discuss their most recent publications (Schulman’s Let the Record Show; Finkelstein’s After Silence).

“Pandemic Parallels: Responses to HIV and COVID-19”

Watch this candid conversation exploring what we learned from the HIV/AIDS crisis and how those lessons shaped—or failed to shape—the response to COVID-19, led by epidemiologist Gregorio Millett, vice president at amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and a former senior policy advisor on HIV in the Obama White House.