For decades now, the members of the LGBTQIA communities have been demanding equal rights for all, and for a time, it looked like the battle was going in their favor. However, everything they have won this year stands on a precipice as the lawmakers have proposed more than 230 bills that would limit the rights of LGBTQIA Americans.
Not content to remain silent, P·P·O·W and David Wojnarowicz Foundation have joined forces and invited the public to participate in a visual chorus of solidarity and protest. The Foundation, founded this year on the 30th anniversary of David Wojnarowicz's passing, has launched its first initiative - the interactive website OneDayThisKid. The participants are invited to put their own childhood photography onto the artist's work One Day This Kid and post it on social media.
The AIDS Activist
One of the bravest and most dedicated advocates for gay rights, whose work reflected the rage and shock at the lack of action during the 1980s AIDS crisis, was artist David Wojnarowicz. The multimedia artist experienced the horrors of homelessness, childhood abuse, prostitution, drug addiction, and gay violence on his own skin. He was diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, but it wasn't until the death of his close friend and mentor photographer Peter Hujar in 1987 that AIDS became the central theme of his works.
Wojnarowicz has created numerous works infused with unapologetic anger at the lack of political response that resulted in a horrific number of deaths in communities of homosexual men. One of his most impactful pieces was his leather jacket with a pink triangle and the writing on the back - 'If I Die Of AIDS - Forget Burial - Just Drop My Body on the Steps of the F.D.A'.
Wojnarowicz's One Day This Kid
'One day politicians will enact legislation against this kid' and "one day this kid will lose his constitutional rights against the government's invasion of his privacy" are just a few statements featured in Wojnarowicz's work entitled One Day This Kid. The image of a child (the photo of the artist at around ten years old) and the future tense of the statements speak about the harsh challenges he will face as a gay man in America. David Wojnarowicz said:
I want to throw up because we're supposed to quietly and politely make house in this killing machine called America and pay taxes to support our own slow murder, and I'm amazed we're not running amok in the streets and that we can still be capable of gestures of loving after lifetimes of all this.
The Interactive Project
P·P·O·W and the David Wojnarowicz Foundation have recognized the artist's work's relevance today in the face of the new attacks against LGBTQIA communities. The Foundation's first initiative, the online platform onedaythiskid.com, offers the text of One Day This Kid in ten different languages and invites the public to superimpose their own childhood photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #OneDayThisKid.