WORLD AIDS DAY: How a ribbon conquered the World

In 1991 – a decade after the emergence of HIV – a group of 12 artists gathered to discuss a new project for Visual Aids; a New York arts organisation that raises awareness of HIV. They were photographers, painters, film makers and costume designers, and they sat around in the shared gallery space in New York’s East Village.

After a short brainstorm they had come up with a simple idea that later became one of the most recognised symbols of the decade – the red ribbon, worn to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV.


When the artists sat down to work on this project, their aim was to get people talking about HIV. This was during a time where HIV was highly stigmatised and people living with the virus were suffering behind closed doors, some too scared to even tell their loved ones. The artists wanted to create a visual expression of compassion for people living with, and affected by, HIV.

The artists were inspired by the yellow ribbons tied on trees to show support for the US military fighting in the Gulf War.

Red was chosen as it is bold and visible – symbolising passion, a heart and love. The shape was chosen simply because it was easy to make and replicate –.


In the early days, the artists made the ribbons themselves and distributed them around the New York art scene and dropped them off at theatres. Initially there was text that went with it, to explain why they were being worn, but eventually this was dropped as its symbolism no longer needed an explanation.

Within weeks of the red ribbon idea being born, world-famous actors starting wearing it to high-profile award ceremonies such as the Oscars and talking about why it was important. The media also took notice, and within a short space of time the red ribbon symbol became universally recognised.

At the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, held at London’s Wembley Stadium on Easter Sunday, 1992, more than 100,000 red ribbons were distributed among the audience, with performers such as George Michael wearing one. The red ribbon continues to be a powerful force in the efforts to increase public awareness of HIV.


BBC news

Nearly 4,000 are known to have died in a powerful earthquake in Nepal, with many more feared trapped under rubble, officials say.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.
Tremors were felt across the region, with further loss of life in India, Bangladesh, Tibet and on Mount Everest.
The government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

Nepali Information Minister Minendra Rijal said there had been “massive damage” at the epicentre, from where little information is emerging.

“We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now,” he said.
Rescuers are digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital trying to reach survivors, as thousands prepare to spend the night outside as darkness fell. A number of historic buildings have been destroyed.


  • RUBBLE                                       DIG THROUGH                                 TRAP
  • STRIKE-struck, stricken               DAMAGE                                             DEBRIS
  • AFTERMATH                                 TO HANDLE                                      COLLAPSE

Mandela, the hero, dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday night. He was 95.


BIEBER FEVER, Justin visits Europe

(CBS/AP) Justin Bieber brought the Christmas spirit to London on Monday, switching on Christmas lights at the city’s two biggest shopping malls.
Thousands of young and mostly female fans waited hours for the 17-year-old singer to appear, first at the Westfield shopping center in west London, then hours later at the new Westfield Stratford City mall near the 2012 Olympic Park in the east.

Bieber traveled between two malls, which are 12 miles apart, by helicopter.

The star, who won two prizes at Sunday’s MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast, told fans that his favorite thing about London was “all the girls.”

Bieber fever arrived in Spain last Wednesday when he visited El Hormiguero, a funny program on laSexta tv channel. He was interviewed and talked about his last album and film. He sang his new released single Mistletoe, in front of hundreds of screaming fans. He even did Rubik’s cube in only 1minute and 25 seconds.
Bieber fever has quickly spread all over the world with huge crowds of screaming girls gathering wherever Justin is due to appear in public.

MALL; shopping centre
FEMALE: girl, woman
RELEASE: publish
MISTLETOE; a plant used at Christmas.
HUGE CROWDS; many people


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