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Qtopia's recreation of Ward 17

The wards for AIDS sufferers at St. Vincent's Hospital in the 1980s

Chris Tham Chris Tham Friday, 24 February 2023 at 4:00:00 pm AEDT 1 min read

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Qtopia ward Qtopia ward
Qtopia ward

This is a bit confronting - a recreation of Ward 17 of St Vincent’s hospital by Qtopia at the National Art School – where a whole generation of AIDS victims were cared for, heaped in hope, love and sadly death. I did not personally know anyone who died of AIDS, but that could be because I simply lost touch with those that did. It was a social stigma, and sufferers became recluses.

As part of the Sydney WorldPride program NAS is partnering with Qtopia to present Ward 17 South, an installation recreating the ground-breaking HIV/AIDS ward established in 1984 at St Vincent’s Hospital, just across the road from the art school.

The installation is shaped by the lived experience of those who remember the first days and years of the AIDS crisis, and how the community mobilised in the life and death circumstances of HIV.

In this solemn space you will hear the voices of long-term survivors, doctors and nurses, advocates and activists. It includes interviews, and images of day-to-day life and special occasions on the Ward, alongside objects from the St Vincent’s Hospital Collection.

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