What is remembered lives: Time and the disruptive animacy of archiving AIDS on Instagram

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By mobilizing Instagram time’s affordances, The AIDS Memorial (@theaidsmemorial) account has unique potential to remake normative AIDS time. Even as @theaidsmemorial sometimes extends endemic AIDS time’s normalizing registers, this archive is positioned to redesign AIDS’ temporal rhythms. @theaidsmemorial could powerfully expose the structural persistence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through close readings of recent posts, this article illustrates how through disruptive animacy @theaidsmemorial could be made to harness Instagram’s immediacy and nowness. @theaidsmemorial can engender affective immediacy through circulating images and spatiotemporal immediacy through geotagging. Together these temporal mechanisms make HIV/AIDS disruptively animate in the present in ways that rupture normative AIDS time. @theaidsmemorial could uncover, beyond the tight bounds of AIDS communities, the continued immediacy of HIV/AIDS in the times and spaces the privileged also occupy. Reigniting urgency around AIDS can improve the lives and life chances of people living with HIV/AIDS and bolster memory transmission and intergenerational exchange.




Cifor, M. (2021). What is remembered lives: Time and the disruptive animacy of archiving AIDS on Instagram. Convergence. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856520979961

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