The Names Project Netherlands Foundation, best known for the Aids quilts to commemorate the loved ones who died of Aids, have taken up the initiative to give Amsterdam a permanent Aids memorial. Following the example of other cities, like San Francisco and Vancouver, the Foundation wants to create a place “to pay homage to loved ones who died from AIDS, to bring an ode to the buddies, to empower those living with HIV and a site that keeps alive the attention for HIV and AIDS”. They hope to unveil the monument on 1st of December 2015. This fall they are organizing a design committee, but you can get involved too!
Vote for the location
What are the requirements the location should meet? The NAMES Project Netherlands thinks that the location:
- should be easy for visitors to find,
- should lie within the area of tourist attractions,
- should give the artist maximal freedom to express himself/herself,
- should have a meaning for one or more groups affected by HIV/AIDS,
- should make contemplation possible.
This set of criteria delivered a number of possible locations around Amsterdam.
Some of the potential locations have been taken off the list. They were located in the Vondelpark area and the district authority governing this park has indicated that no new permanent structures are allowed in this park.
The Foundations wants you to get involved in the decision making about the location. On this section of their website, you can cast your vote. You can vote until the 14th of November. A Facebook account is needed to be able to vote.
Choosing the design
After the location is known, rumors have it that might be known around the 1st of December 2013, the memorial has to be designed. There is a desire to have a monument which is interactive, where people can leave a thought behind. Or “A monument of this age – modern but not aloof, playful but not too sweet.” A monument which touches all the senses: with sound, with light, with smell, with movement; something physical, which the visually impaired can touch – a spot which invites you to spend time there. It will be left to the artist whether the design will include actual names – the database of the AIDSmemorial is available for this, if so desired.
Choosing the artist will be quite a procedure. A special art committee will propose potential artists for the “longlist”. At the beginning of 2014, 3 artists will be chosen by the art committee (the “shortlist”), who will be invited for the artist competition. After they have accepted, they have half a year to work on a design proposal.
The design proposal will be made public on the Names Project website and probably also in some kind of exhibition (including an introduction) where the public is invited. The public will then be able to give their vote on the 3 design proposals, the last word is with the art committee.
Give your support – give money
More importantly of course is that you can give your financial support, to make this monument possible. The foundation already gathered an impressive list of supporters, but they also do appreciate your support however big or small. With your own personal payment via this link you can make the monument possible. With a donation of more than €1000,- you can get a special mention on their website and on the plaque at the monument.