Residency Unlimited


Talks | Mar 22 2018 7pm

Curating Arts and Public Health with South African Curatorial Resident MC Roodt

MC Roodt, Visual AIDS/RU 2018 Curatorial Resident from South Africa

Thursday, March 22, 2018
7pm - 8.30pm (free and open to the public)
The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
208 West 13th Street, Room 210
New York, NY, 10011

Visual AIDS/RU’s sixth annual Curatorial Resident, MC Roodt, will present a culminating talk reflecting on his work in South Africa and his recent research in New York City, followed by a conversation with South African photographer Pippa Hetherington and public health scholar Ian Bradley-Perrin. MC has spent the month of March conducting research in Visual AIDS’ archives and activating our community through dialogues and studio visits, in collaboration with Residency Unlimited. He works and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa, a region particularly marked by the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: 14% of the population in his hometown are living with HIV.

As part of his Curatorial Residency with Visual AIDS, MC is currently developing a transnational exhibition project that will be presented in South Africa at the Free States Arts Festival as well as on Visual AIDS’ website. MC will also discuss the Arts & Health Project Design Strategies workshop he facilitated during his residency. Blending the disciplines and practices of community arts and community health, the workshop introduced participants to the design of public Arts & Health projects. Artists and community health practitioners came together to demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary perspectives and partnerships in the realization of creative public health aspirations.


MC Roodt is an HIV-positive arts practitioner, writer and artist from Bloemfontein, South Africa. MC is the Arts & Health chair at the Public Health Association of South Africa and the Programme Director of Free State Arts & Health. He is a founding member of the gRRR Kollective—an intermedia arts collective—and has curated several exhibitions in South Africa. He frequently contributes as an arts writer on various platforms and is an activist for LGBTQIA rights in South Africa. To read more about MC's work, see his introductory blog post here.

Pippa Hetherington is currently enrolled in the ICP-Bard MFA program, graduating in 2019. Pippa has been involved with Visual AIDS through the LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN initiative and has been assisting MC during his residency. Pippa’s work is heavily influenced by travels through Africa and her fifteen years of photographic work in the social development sector of Southern Africa. She is passionate about supporting projects in the civil society space and values the need for supporting the meeting point of art and HIV/AIDS.

Ian Bradley-Perrin is a PhD student in Sociomedical Science at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He is a fellow at the Lehman Center for American History, The Columbia Population Research Center and the Social Science and Research Council of Canada. His research focuses on the intersection of activism, the pharmaceutical industry, advertising and marketing, and public health. He has been an activist on HIV criminalization, needle exchange and harm reduction practices and vocal on distortions in the historiography of HIV/AIDS. He has also been an activist on campus organizing graduate workers to form a union and serving on Graduate Workers of Columbia bargaining committee.

Visual AIDS’ Curatorial Residency program is made possible through a collaboration with Residency Unlimited. Launched in 2012, the program offers a one-month residency for a curator, art historian, or arts writer interested in the intersection of visual art and HIV/AIDS. The curatorial residency encourages the development of exhibitions, programs, and scholarship about HIV/AIDS and contemporary art.


MC Roodt