The following post was written by Marie-France Roche, student intern at Art for AIDS International.

We-Were-Here-editedI recently watched the film We Were Here, a 2011 documentary directed by David Weissman. The film explores the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco in the early eighties. Weissman’s piece follows five individuals affected by the AIDS. To me, the most powerful testimony was one by an artist named Daniel Goldstein. He struggled with AIDS throughout his life, losing two of his beloved partners to the disease. He founded Under One Roof, a gift shop where all profits go to educational, medical and support services. In the film, Goldstein explains that volunteers at the shop would often be AIDS patients, and come in once a week to volunteer. Their work at the gift shop, as Goldstein explains, served as the patients’ social life.

Goldstein’s initiative reminded me of what we do at Art for AIDS International: Individuals can bond over artwork, and  share their stories and experiences with AIDS. At our workshops or in our gallery, there are always people who have dealt with AIDS to some degree, even if we are not aware of it. By creating a common place dedicated to creating art for a wonderful cause, we can also support those close to us who may have had difficult, life-changing experiences with AIDS.

Goldstein’s artwork has also been hugely successful. “Medicine Man II” is the second project by Goldstein for Make Art Stop AIDS. Using the medication bottles of South African individuals living with HIV, the sculpture also incorporates dozens of brightly colored, hand beaded spindles, created by the craftspeople of the UMCEBO Trust.

You can check out more of his art at: http://www.danielgoldsteinstudio.comand here is the trailer for We Were Here.