Designed to educate and mobilize a broader public on the global AIDS pandemic, Voices from the Frontlines takes the form of both an easily replicable, high-impact theatrical performance as well as direct presentations from experts and activists from the frontlines.
Direct presentations allow audiences to learn firsthand from leaders in the struggle against apartheid, the fight against HIV/AIDS, and other pressing issues of our time. The theatrical program serves to humanize the overwhelming statistics of the pandemic through stories of people in South Africa, a country that recently overcame the seemingly insurmountable scourge of apartheid and now suffers the harshest consequences of AIDS.
The Voices theatrical program strives to:
- Inform and inspire
- Increase compassion and decrease stigma
- Motivate and mobilize immediate and sustained involvement in the AIDS crisis by a new, broader group of people
- Increase support for ANSA's AIDS programs
- Help other AIDS organizations to increase their outreach, improve their event production skills, and raise funds.
Specifically, Voices uses frontline speakers and/or the intimate forum of theater to portray moving first-person accounts of South Africans with HIV/AIDS and/or those taking significant action to combat it. The events culminate with a call to action and dissemination of information about immediate, tangible ways people can get actively involved locally, nationally, and internationally in the fight against HIV/ AIDS as well as information about how to personally prevent HIV/AIDS infection and where to get HIV tests and treatment.
Some recent Voices events include:
May, 2009 ~ ANSA and the UCLA African Studies Center hosted an evening with acclaimed South African journalist and author Mark Gevisser, whose most recent book is A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream. Los Angeles Times Senior Editor Scott Kraft interviewed Gevisser and the insightful dialouge covered topics including the April 2009 national elections that brought Jacob Zuma to power, the potential ramifecations of his presidency, the evolving role of the ANC in modern society, and South Africa's place in the geopolitical sphere. ANSA Board Member Blair Underwood introduced the event, which took place at UCLA's Fowler Museum.
February, 2009 ~ ANSA hosted South African Constitutional Court Justice, author, and famed anti-apartheid activist Albie Sachs for a series of public and private events in Los Angeles. These included a private entertainment industry briefing Creative Artists Agency, a fundraising dinner at the home of Bob and Mary Estrin, an editorial board meeting at the Los Angeles Times, speaking engagements at All Saints Church in Pasadena and Chapman University in Irvine, and partnering with UCLA Art/Global Health Center to bring him as a guest speaker to noted director Peter Sellars' course, "Art as Moral Action."
March, 2008 ~ ANSA and the John M. Lloyd Foundation co-hosted a private briefing at Culver Studios on the state of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa with Gregg Gonsalves, one of the world's leading AIDS activists and then the head of the regional treatment literacy and advocacy programs for the AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa, a network of African AIDS and human rights organizations.
President Mandela with Zackie Achmat of the Treatment Action Campaign