In the Name of Love!  AIDS Memorial Quilts as a Symbol of Mourning and Protest

1.12.2021 – 13.3.2022

Zur deutschen Version.

In the summer of 2021, the German Medical History Museum Ingolstadt was offered an extraordinary object. The NAMENproject Nederland was looking for a suitable location for one of its AIDS quilts. In the U.K. and America, "quilts" are a kind of stitched patchwork blanket, which have a long tradition. They were made for private use or for special occasions, such as a wedding or a birth.

"AIDS quilts", on the other hand, are reminders of loved ones who have died of AIDS. But they are also a sign of protest against an indifferent health policy and against the discrimination of people with HIV and AIDS. The quilts were laid out in public places, carried on memorial marches or hung in town halls. They countered the sober AIDS statistics with the fate of individual humans and called for compassion for the sick.

The Medical History Museum has gratefully accepted the gift from NAMENproject Nederland and is placing "Quilt No. 21" at the centre of its current special exhibition. As a "woven reminder" of eight deceased people, it bears witness to uncompromising love and one is touched by deeply personal views of HIV and AIDS. But the exhibition also shows how differently politics, medicine and civil society reacted to this disease, which was new at the time.

The exhibition does not aim to reiterate the history of AIDS medical research. Rather, it focuses on people who have been confronted with this disease in different ways. It tells of the struggle for tolerance and against forgetting, of deep grief and untamed anger. The exhibits shown, including posters from the American ACT UP movement from a private collection, give immediate visibility to these contradictory feelings, which the state and society aroused in many people’s way of dealing with infected and sick people.

A leaflet with the exhibition texts and the audioguide are available on English - free of charge!

Pressekontakt: Dr. Alois Unterkircher

Anatomiestraße 18 – 20 · 85049 Ingolstadt · (0841) 305-2860 · Fax -2866 · E-Mail: