07 October 2009

a different sort of image in my neighbourhood

when going through the Red Light District, one is confronted with a lot of different images. it's bad enough that i try to remember to tell any visitors that they might not want to look around them as curiously as usual when they're walking through my neighbourhood - as they might be confronted more nudity and images related to sex than they're want to see. in some ways, i've kind of gotten used to it due to over-exposure, although as i've been walking along the Achterburgwal more in the last while, i must admit that if one also adds hordes of gawking tourists, it definitely makes for an unpleasant walk through my neighbourhood.

and that's why it's nice to see an unexpected image every once in awhile. i've bumped into the following image along my walk home:

and what's unique about the image is not simply that the woman is fully and tastefully clothed - the message in the poster says something different than the dominant message of the Red Light District. the image here challenges how we see people. in the Red Light District, women are often seen as only sex objects. and this photo challenges this idea, for the captions asks: "would you still look at me [that way], if I was HIV-positive?" it is part of the stop AIDS campaign - and to minimize the spread of AIDS and not minimize the people who have HIV.

and i appreciate the poster (and where it is placed) because i see it confronting people with some of the problems in seeing women as sex objects and it confronts people with the fact that those who have AIDS have a face - and often an unexpected one.

No comments: