Author:Sarah Richards (Melbourne University)
Paper short abstract:
Anti-HIV material in Papua and West Papua tends to present this disease-syndrome as a threat to the pan-Papuan collective. How does this social marketing constitute a discourse of hope for a future envisioned as socially good and ethically desirable?
Paper long abstract:
Anti-HIV advertisement and brochures in Papua and West Papua tend to present this disease-syndrome as a threat to the pan-Papuan collective. Framing HIV as a shared problem to be contained for the sake of everyone's wellbeing and future relies on growing sympathy for an imagined Papuan unity in the service of sexual behaviour modification. This message also taps social anxieties and for some, fears that Papuans are the target of myriad forms of a slow genocide at the hands of Indonesian migrants and the state. Yet how, I ask in this paper, might these promotional materials constitute a discourse of hope? Hope, a thought and feeling that animates and at times motivates actions to bring about a world that is morally sound, is an experience which enables us to extend themes of sex, politics and fear in public health materials to inquire into pro-social desires and optimisms in this western part of Melanesia. In this paper I consider how the future, and its affective counterpart in hope, is a territory opened and sustained by discursive efforts to reduce rates of HIV.
Disease and goodness