Recently, a group of men gathered at AID FOR AIDS headquarters to explore, and express, their individual identities.
The forum for this self-examination was a handicraft workshop sponsored by AFAI’s New York Immigrant AIDS Link (NYIAL). The workshop participants were asked to create collages of photos or other images that answered the eternal question, “Who am I?”
“It was very instructive,” said NYIAL case manager Jonathan Capote, who led the workshop along with outreach coordinator David Mosquera. “We laid out a huge amount of magazines, newspapers and other printed materials in our conference room and challenged the clients to come up with something that truly defined their personalities. It was great watching them put the pieces of their lives together on paper.”
The act of creation, however, was just the first part of the exercise. Once they had completed their collages, the clients were asked to present them to the group, explaining how each image fragment represented something important about themselves.
“In the end, as it does with everything we do at AID FOR AIDS, it came down to helping clients create their own life visions that are not defined by HIV status,” concluded Jonathan. “I’m happy to say that we not only achieved that goal, but we had an awful lot of fun doing it.”