A generation of artists were wiped out by Aids and we barely talk about it
“Yet there was a time when you could walk around London or New York and see these gaunt faces, marked with sarcomas, and everyone you hung out with was dying. The official culture was in denial. Sometimes it was easier to be. I remember seeing Derek Jarman at a play. At that point he was blind. I didn’t want to see him like that. And then my friend was queer-bashed on the way home. Freddie Mercury died. Keith Haring died. Eazy- E from NWA died. Denholm Elliott died. Rock Hudson died. Fela Kuti died. And my uncle who wasn’t famous or even my actual uncle died. One of my friends lost seven people who were all under 30.”
The Artistic Director at one of the places I used to work once talked to me about how scary that time was, and how he was sure he would be dead if he didn’t have [his partner who is still with him]. I wonder how many people we don’t even know we’ve missed.
Sometimes I wonder how we ever survived the 80s.