MASA Film Presented at International AIDS Conference

In July 2016, the Art and Global Health Center, together with our partner Dignitas International, proudly screened a short documentary about the Make Art/Stop AIDS (MASA) Project at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

The MASA Project originated as a play developed and performed by people living with or affected by HIV from a rural community in Zomba, Malawi. To expand the project’s reach, former British Broadcasting Corporation journalist Tom Gibb filmed one of these performances and interspersed scenes from the play with moving testimony from the performers. This full-length film is now screened for communities across Southern Malawi. In the midst of screenings, the film is paused and the story comes to life, with select performers leading a lively community discussion about issues such as stigma, discrimination, and survival. Each screening culminates in free moonlight HIV testing and counseling services. The aim of the MASA Project is to use the arts to bring together health care providers, community leaders, chiefs and residents to find long-term solutions that improve access to HIV treatment and care.

Journalist Tom Gibb also created a short and powerful documentary telling the story of the MASA Project, which we screened at the International Aids Conference. The sreening was followed by a Q&A discussion with Theater for Development Specialist and AGHCA Co-founder Sharifa Abdullah and Dignitas International’s Malawi Country Director Megh Jagriti.

The International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) is a biennial gathering for those working in the field of HIV, including policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the epidemic.

We wish to thank Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Marguerite Steed Hoffman and Maxine Gluskin for sponsoring the MASA Film project and our partners Dignitas International for the continued support.