On Life and Living emerged as a concept out of Adjani Poirier’s experience of volunteering at AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) while taking the Concordia course HIV/AIDS: Aspects of the Pandemic in 2013. With the encouragement and guidance of Professor Viviane Namaste, and the enthusiastic support of ACCM’s volunteer coordinator Andrea Kornacki, Adjani, Casey Stainsby and Amy Collier embarked on a two-and-a-half year (and counting) journey of realizing this vision.
To honour ACCM’s legacy by hearing and sharing some of its many stories; to pay tribute to the longstanding relationship between ACCM and Concordia; and to ask, who is left out of our cultural narrative of HIV and AIDS? What are some of the realities affecting people living with HIV in Montreal today? These were our goals.
In total, fifteen oral history interviews were conducted with past and present clients, volunteers, staff and board members of ACCM. These were transcribed, and along with archival research into the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Montreal, informed the writing of the first draft of the script. Thanks to the insightful feedback of friends and colleagues along the way, the script has survived several rewrites to find itself in its present form, to be presented in November of 2015.
Following the close of the production, this website will become host to audio archives from the collected interviews, as a way of further sharing the stories and memories that have informed this process.
On Life and Living has been made possible through support from: the Sustainability Action Fund, the Concordia Office of Community Engagement, the Concordia University Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health, the Concordia Theatre Department, Bight Consulting, QPIRG-McGill, the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS), and a host of generous individual donations.