Sunday, May 25, 2008

AIDs Candlelight Memorial Service

A few days ago I attended an AIDs Candlelight Memorial Service. It was a service that was meant both to honor those who have died in the past year from AIDs and to raise awareness.
It was incredibly touching, in many ways - first of all, they read off all of the names of the people who have died in Grahamstown from AIDs in the last year- and the number was utterly staggering. Name after name was read off - it truly put into perspective the enormity of this problem - not just in general, but right here in our own community.

Second of all, it was inspiring to see the numbers of people out there - people dressed in red, people in HIV positive t-shirts (like the one I am wearing in the picture)... in short, people committed to putting an end to this disease. We held a moment of silence, but the women broke it after a minute or so and broke into song, which carried on for several minutes. The man sitting next to me said that the songs they were singing were the same songs they sang when they rallied against apartheid - songs of freedom, but this time, it is directed at AIDs.

1 comment:

Victor said...

That is a poetic and poignant comparison and contrast using freedom. I have a book of those freedom songs and to recontextualise them against AIDS is a wonderful perspective to see this.