AIDS in Appalachia: How Young Adolescent Boys with HIV See It

Tim Barrus: I have not decided if this video is the dire failure the fourteen-year-old boys who constructed it think it is. I learn so much from these kids. All you have to do is sit back and absorb the human richness they exude. What these boys are learning has to do with failure. And not so much with failure in a classical sense, but with how do you pick up the pieces and continue on. I am convinced they have never seen themselves within the context of any success whatsoever. I am convinced that this has a lot to do with — not their sexuality — but with how they handle their sexuality. I am impressed with how they see time. For most boys their age, time moves oh, so slowly. But they see time as moving so quickly, it’s hard to get a take on any one object or idea. Not one of them has ever held a camera before this project. Let alone a computer. So this is their first attempt at saying what they have to say. They are speaking to AIDS in Appalachia. They want you to see it in a new way. A way that manages to connect the idea of PLACE to the idea of how ephemeral we are as living things to the world. So, I’m just not buying their take on how they failed. They have opened up doors for me to walk through so we might communicate as equals. It is an opportunity. One where the doors have been locked closed for a very long time. It is time to remove the doors from the hinges.

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