Campus Life

HAICU and Michaelis join forces



Students on Upper Campus might have noticed a trail of rose petals leading into the Molly Blackburn Hall on Thursday afternoon on 14 August. These petals were part of a performance by first-year students from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, and part of an exhibition that HAICU, the university’s HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit, has developed in collaboration with Michaelis lecturer Fabian Saptouw.

As part of their curriculum, the students engage with social justice issues and are tasked with developing a communication campaign that will educate fellow students about these current issues. In this specific campaign, students were addressing the interconnecting problems of gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.

The ‘walking exhibition’ on Upper Campus was designed so that the larger UCT community could interact with artworks that looked at reframing difficult gender norms that place one at risk for HIV infection.

Julia Bidoli, one of the students involved in the rose petal performance, explained: “The rose is a symbol of beauty and particularly feminine beauty, and the act of rape is evil and hurts women. Tearing them apart symbolises the act of rape.”

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