Society Stories: addressing global HIV prevention initiatives

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

Justin Perez, Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Fellow in LGBT Studies, was awarded funding from the University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences for a research trip to conduct ethnographic fieldwork for his current book project “Queer Amazonia: Transactional Politics and Transnational Lives.” The project examines how global HIV prevention initiatives influence the social and political lives of gay and transgender communities throughout the Amazonian region of Peru. The fieldwork included participant observation at capacity-building workshops and other social and educational activities funded by HIV prevention projects, as well as interviews with workshop leaders and participants. He collaborated with the photographer Marlon del Aguila to document everyday spaces of socialization and labor for gay and transgender people. These photographs have been used to complement class discussion on the social dynamics of urban life in the Amazon in Justin’s fall 2018 course “The Anthropology of the Amazon” and will contribute to his upcoming spring 2019 seminar “AIDS Across the Americas.”

Perez discusses sexual identity categories with a fellow workshop participant.

Perez discusses sexual identity categories with a fellow workshop participant. (Photograph by Marlon del Aguila)

HIV prevention workshop

HIV prevention workshop materials. (Photograph by Marlon del Aguila)