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  • JASS
By: Hope Chigudu

Women living with HIV who are leaders in the AIDS movement in their communities in Malawi came together for the start of a four-day workshop organized by JASS. They started by creating startling and beautiful body maps. They did it without any artists to help. In groups of five, the women started by outlining their bodies on large sheets of paper. Each woman was drawn by the other women in the group. People stayed in their small groups to do this, sharing magic markers and other art materials. Through a series of imaginative exercises they added parts to the outline of their bodies. Then they added words, symbols, and pictures relating to their health, their history, their points of personal power, and their life goals. In this way, each woman recorded and shared her unique story of living with HIV or just of being. This was both a serious and playful process. (The Maps were taped up on the wall and enabled us to claim the workshop space as our own.)

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