Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day, the value of symbols....and still on forgiveness

Feeling rather exhausted today....just work I suppose. It's World AIDS Day today and even as I wear my red ribbon, I struggle with the thoughts of whether these symbolic rituals are worth anything....What happens after World AIDS Day? Or after Africa '05? The millions of people living with HIV do not disappear after December 1st.....African art and music and literature will still exist and thrive after 2005, but will anyone still be interested?

I know the counter-argument- it's not a choice between having these symbolic days or events and full on engagement. The alternative is often a deafening silence, and so I suppose these symbols have some meaning......


Most newspapers here today have on the front page, a photograph of the mother of Anthony Walker the promising black schoolboy killed by white racist youths in Liverpool a few months ago. Yesterday, the killers were found guilty and the composed and dignified mother issued a statement saying "I forgive them" drawing on her Christian faith..... I found it interesting that even some of the newspapers who help to foster the climate in which racist thoughts and acts thrive joined in celebrating this woman's " super"- humanity......

2 comments:

Ore said...

I know what you mean. I also wonder whether these are just ineffectual symbols that really mean nothing in the long run. However, I realised that everybody has a part to play in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, no matter how small. If wearing a ribbon stimulates discussion with someone, who otherwise might not be interested in hearing any prevention messages, then that is a good thing. The small efforts matter as much as the larger-scale strategies.

But yes, I sense a growing sense of apathy. When people talk about HIV/AIDS, it is not with the same level of urgency as I detected even a few years ago.

sokari said...

If WAD reminds you of your part to play in the fight against AIDS. As you say there is a growing apathy so this week we are reminded.

What is really ineffectual and meaningless are the leaders in both the West and AFrica who have failed in the fight against this illness - all people need are drugs and eduation and neither are forthcoming and certainly not because there is a lack of funds - just the will - people who have and die of AIDS are poor and in the main not white and really quite unimportant.