Boricuas ACTing UP in New York and San Juan: Diasporic Puerto Rican HIV/AIDS Activism and Anthropology
Keywords:Puerto Rico, HIV/AIDS, ACT UP
AbstractFollowing from the analysis of unstructured interviews conducted with members of the first AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power's (ACT UP!) New York contingent to visit Puerto Rico with expressly activist aims, this presentation traces some linkages and disconnects between HIV/AIDS activism in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Reflecting on the use of ethnographic methods in dissertation research, this essay produces one account of some of the links between different communities struggling with the appearance and entrenchment of HIV/AIDS and some of the ways in which anthropology can engage with the untold or unaccounted for histories that inform this activism and the political frame of HIV/AIDS in San Juan today. This paper analyzes and engages with the configurations of power and responsibility that brought ACT UP! New York to San Juan and explores how ethnography may bring an historical focus to the communal and individual experience of activism in order to better see its effects and different manifestations in the present.