The patchwork of names
This poster is an image of the AIDS Memorial
Quilt on display at one of its public viewings. Each panel of the
quilt is for a person who has died of AIDS and represents their
life in images, words and personal mementos sewn into the fabric of
the quilt. The vast quilt itself gives some sense of the scale of
the AIDS epidemic.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt, a project of the
NAMES Foundation, was begun in 1978 by San Francisco gay activist
Cleve Jones. It draws on an older, American tradition of
quilt-making as a practice of accumulating and preserving family
history. Today the quilt exceeds a million square feet in size,
contains 91 000 names and has been seen by more than 18 million
people. The story of the quilt, and of some of the people to whom
its panels are dedicated, is told in the 1989 documentary 'Common
Threads: Stories from the Quilt'.