Katherine Cheairs, Voices at the Gate, 2021

Voices at the Gate juxtaposes the bucolic landscapes inhabited by women’s prisons with archival and contemporary audio recordings of poems, essays, and interviews produced by women of color in the early 1990s at the intersection of incarceration and HIV & AIDS activism.

Commissioned in 2021 as part of ENDURING CARE, a program of seven new videos highlighting strategies of community care within the ongoing HIV epidemic.

About the artist
Katherine “Kat” Cheairs is a filmmaker, educator, curator, activist and community artist. Kat’s areas of interest and research include: Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) histories in HIV/AIDS; quantum Black futurity, Black feminist/womanist theory; visual culture; media arts therapy; community arts and social practice; and, critical race theory in art education. Ms. Cheairs is co-curator of Metanoia: Transformation Through AIDS Archives and Activism, an archival exhibition focusing on the contributions of Black women, transwomen of color, and women of color HIV/AIDS activists from the early 1990s to the present. Kat is the producer and director of the documentary, Ending Silence, Shame & Stigma: HIV/AIDS in the African American Family. Kat’s current film projects include Voices at the Gate and In This House, which explores HIV/AIDS narratives through the Black body. Kat has presented on panels at the Tribeca Film Institute, BAM, Pratt Institute, The New School, New York University, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Aperture Foundation, and UnionDocs. Ms. Cheairs holds a Master of Fine Art in Film and Television Production from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. Katherine serves on the Archive Committee for Visual AIDS and is the Director of Education for Howl Arts, Inc. ︎ ︎

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Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over. Learn more ︎︎︎