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SILENCE=DEATH

Photography

In 1987, Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Lione, and Jorge Socarrás founded the SILENCE=DEATH Project to support one another in the midst of the AIDS crisis. Inspired by the posters of the Art Workers Coalition and the Guerrilla Girls (both of whose work is on view nearby), they mobilized to spread the word about the epidemic and created the now-iconic Silence=Death poster featuring the pink triangle as a reference to Nazi persecution of LGBTQ people in the 1930s and 1940s. It became the central visual symbol of AIDS activism after it was adopted by the direct action advocacy group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP).

HIV and AIDS remain a global health issue, with nearly 40 million people living with HIV at the end of 2017. Communities of color continue to face disproportionate effects of the disease as well as barriers to treatment. Today, ACT UP remains dedicated to their original 1987 slogan: ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!
MEDIUM Offset lithograph
DATES 1987
DIMENSIONS sheet: 33 9/16 × 21 15/16 in. (85.2 × 55.7 cm) mount: 33 9/16 × 21 15/16 in. (85.2 × 55.7 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Photography
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1998.109
CREDIT LINE Gift of Robert Thill in honor of Robin Renée Thill Beck
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION SILENCE = DEATH Project (Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Li. SILENCE=DEATH, 1987. Offset lithograph, sheet: 33 9/16 × 21 15/16 in. (85.2 × 55.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert Thill in honor of Robin Renée Thill Beck, 1998.109. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.109_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1998.109_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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SILENCE = DEATH Project (Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Li. <em>SILENCE=DEATH</em>, 1987. Offset lithograph, sheet: 33 9/16 × 21 15/16 in. (85.2 × 55.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert Thill in honor of Robin Renée Thill Beck, 1998.109. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.109_PS6.jpg)