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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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HIV/AIDS Poster Campaigns in Malawi1

HIV/AIDS Poster Campaigns in Malawi1

Chapter:
(p.131) 12 HIV/AIDS Poster Campaigns in Malawi1
Source:
The Culture of AIDS in Africa
Author(s):

Eckhard Breitinger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.003.0012

This chapter examines the ways public visual culture reorients images, aphorisms, and cultural norms into anti-AIDS messages by focusing on HIV/AIDS poster campaigns in Malawi. It shows how frequently seen and strategically placed public placards can make a state-sponsored campaign effective in transforming entire landscapes of discourse to conform to desired parameters of HIV/AIDS knowledge. The posters display moral, ethical, and aesthetic values that are current in sections of Malawian society, thus offering one strategy for government intervention in a multi-front battle against a devastating and vexing pandemic. The concluding statement of all these posters is: Kukhulupirirana wamba sikungakutetezeni ku kachilombo ka HIV (Just trusting each other cannot protect you against the HIV virus). The term kachilombo (meaning virus) provides a remarkable example of how African languages manage to transliterate medical, technical, or scientific terms into elegant and precisely coined phrases through allegorical or proverbial figurative speech.

Keywords:   visual culture, HIV/AIDS, poster campaigns, Malawi, public placards, posters, kachilombo

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