Today in the GSU Archives, we practiced working with pieces from the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Collections. Each artifact I observed held some type of significance in regards to attitudes towards AIDS and individuals with aids and illustrated the history and brought faces to the topic of AIDS.
Taking a piece of the archives and asking questions is the first step I used to generate ideas. Once I had some questions on what each piece meant, I used a second piece of the archives to help me find clues to solve the puzzle on attitudes towards AIDS. While I could have easily done an internet search on the history of AIDS, using first-hand accounts and using primary resources to aid in illustrating my research is much more efficient, as it gives context to what can be a broad topic.
Using news articles as helpful in gaging attitude towards AIDS. Without even reading in depth, the observer can see headlines such as “AIDS Outbreak”, “Women, Minority, and Youth at Increased Risk for AIDS”, and any other small words and phrases that paint emotions such as fear, anxiety, and discriminative and dismissive attitudes towards individuals with AIDS.
I then found this sign that was held by this woman. It says “WOMEN DON”T GET AIDS. THEY JUST DIE FROM IT”. I find this statement to be bold and brave. The sign looks beat up, and almost like it is drying out and shriveling up. However, the message on the sign cannot go unnoticed. It challenges attitudes that at the time may have dismissed the urgency of AIDS, and forces the observer to realize people’s lives are on the line.
The importance of metadata in the research process is vital. Using different types of sources, hearing the narratives, and seeing headlines that are all first-hand account from the time I am observing is helpful. Data doesn’t just give substance, it forces the observer to ask their own questions, analyze others positions, and seek a message to extrapolate upon.
Williams, Gabrielle “Primary Source Description 2.” Post Script Reverie Blog, 2017. http://postscriptreverie.gsucreate.org/source-descriptions/primary-source-description-two-gabrielle-williams/.
Gabrielle Williams details her panel from the AIDS quilt and illustrates a thick description of the panel. Williams engages in a detailed analysis of her specific panel but she also backs it up with additional sources that were provided to the foundation of the panel maker. She seeks to accomplish an awareness of an individuals legacy. She intends her instructor and peers to see her work but also contributes to a database for the NAMES Project. Individuals doing AIDS research and family members of the memorialized would find her work to be helpful.
This source connects with my artifact by giving me insight into how to conduct quality research. The example illustrated by William gives the student a chance to see first hand how a proper primary description mixed with proper research can go a long way.
In class, we have been going over the primary and secondary sources that we will be using to conduct our research.
The primary source we will be using is the panel itself. The panel will be used to help us conduct our primary source description. The description is going to be an in-depth analysis of what the panel represents, a description of the art method used in the panel, and the in-depth details of the life of the person and what we can draw from the panel about that person. The panel is the primary source in the sense that it was constructed first hand by people who knew Mr. Feinberg.
I see the secondary sources as all of the other materials we are using to help us in our research endeavors. While the panel itself has a lot to discover, we also must utilize resources from places such as the GSU archives. In the archives, we can find materials such as information on HIV/AIDS, works of art from specific time periods, and many other bits and pieces that will help me understand the time period in which Mr. Feinberg lived. I find the setting of the life of Mr. Feinberg’s life to be imperative to my research.
As time has progressed so have the ideals in which America holds. The evolution of the way we combat and treat HIV/AIDS has evolved over time. My secondary research is going to focus on literature during the 70’s and I will seek to find hints as to how attitudes and narratives were constructed concerning HIV during that time.
The painting is a women against a black background. The women appear in the foreground. She is pale with a round face. She has her head tilted towards the right. Her lips are red and slightly spread apart. Her eyes are a dark black which contrast with her olive pale skin. The light hits her face and illuminates one side of her face while the other side is covered in shadow. However, in the midst of the shadow you can see a trickle of a silver ear ring. The ear ring is not fully visible but can be seen as the light strikes it. The ear ring illuminates the picture. She is clothes in a shawl with a blue head base and a yellow train. At the end of her shawls train the yellow and blue mix together, forming an almost night sky moon color. Her top has a white color and is brown.
Where is she looking?
Is she standing or sitting?
Is her top a rob or a dress?