Collage is Making a Comeback!

YAHAnet hosts workshop at Youth Pre-Conference of XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City

Over 300 youth between the ages of 18 and 25 convened at the Mexico YouthForce Pre-Conference held from July 31 to August 1, 2008. Amongst the global representation at the conference were two members of the YAHAnet team, Caitlin Tanner and Katie MacEntee. While at the conference, Caitlin and Katie - with the help of their translator, Harry Karmouty-Quintana - ran a collage workshop on using the arts to voice messages on HIV and AIDS.

I know what you are thinking, “Collage? I did that when I was 6 years old.”

Well, it’s making a comeback!

Almost 90 youth attended the workshop. Working together across language barriers and cultural differences, groups of 3 to 5 participants expressed their rich and developed understandings of risk and the role it plays in their daily lives as well as in a global context. The collages created relationships between risk, youth, HIV and AIDS, and gender, poverty, globalization, and war/violence. Hope, strength, and determination were also visible. All this in just 90 minutes!

As discussed amongst the participants during the workshop, it can be really frustrating as a young person in the face of the AIDS pandemic. You are sometimes presumed naive or powerless, but this is not true! Youth are a dynamic and heterogeneous group. The participants at the pre-conference and many other youth around the world are active in the fight against the spread of HIV. Collage in this context was used to give youth an alternative outlet to express their knowledge and to educate others (both young and old) about HIV and AIDS.

Check out all the collages in the YAHAnet Gallery!

Also, take a look at some photos of the collage-making in progress.