Katharine Low, Matilda Mudyavanhu and Shema Tariq Katharine Low, Matilda Mudyavanhu and Shema Tariq

The Cultural Representation of Women living with HIV

Women living with HIV are the second largest group of people affected by HIV in the UK, yet they are often the most under-represented both in research as well as in any forms of cultural representation of that experience. Too often the cultural representation of living with HIV is one-sided. What is missing is a space for women who live with HIV to be seen as more than their HIV status. It is an opportunity for creative practices to be used as a way of expressing and navigating what it means to live with HIV in 2019, with style, beauty and joy and for this vision to be recognised by sharing stories to wider audiences is timely.

This research project focuses on the cultural representation of women living with HIV, considering questions of representation, visibility and performance. This practice builds on my previous research project in collaboration with Positively UK, Matilda Mudyavanhu and Dr Shema Tariq (Good Stories about HIV) which I have discussed in a co-authored book chapter in the recent Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century (edited by Alyson Campbell & Dirk Gindt, 2018, Palgrave).