Johannesburg, Gauteng
South Africa
57 Jeppe Street Johannesburg AIDS Memorial Wall since 1 December 1998
60 names
On World AIDS Day, 1 December 1998, the Mayor of Johannesburg unveiled the AIDS Memorial Wall outside the Artist Proof Studio (APS). The building of the wall was sponsored in part by the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAPWA), the AIDS Consortium, Friends for Life, the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) and APS. Etched brass plates, each bearing the name of a loved one, were affixed to the curved, concrete structure. The wall was built with the idea of arms that were stretched out to embrace the garden of remembrance. The idea of the wall came from the Vietnam and Holocaust memorial walls, and was conceived as a tribute to honour those who have died. An HIV-positive homeless man from Bushbuck Ridge known as Chris, who slept in an abandoned building nearby, earned R50 per week for tending the memorial garden and polishing the plaques. He died a few years later from a drug-related stabbing. About 60 brass plaques had names engraved or etched and were permanently attached to the wall. The idea was that each year more names would be written and the side walls extended to accommodate growing numbers, in a manner similar to the Washington AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Unfortunately a lack of continued funding for the campaign prevented this from being realized and the wall has been pulled down in 2007 in the space earmarked for new development outside the Artist Proof Studio’s former location.
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Artist Proof Studio