SF Castro’s “Hope for the World Cure” Mural Severely Defaced
“The Hope for the World Cure” mural in the San Francisco Castro district was defaced with a broad stretch of lettered graffiti in late December 2021.
The mural, located at the corner of Market and 16th street, was unveiled in 1998 to honor the lives of those lost to the 1980’s AIDS crisis. Although it’s not the first time this mural has been targeted, the latest defacement is the worst damage it has weathered to date.
Restoration of the mural is projected to cost $50,000.
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In answer to defacement and dismissal of the AIDS crisis and its enduring history, I’d like to cite David Wojnarowicz, exceptional artist, writer, and activist who the world lost to AIDS in 1992.
Here’s an excerpt from Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration:
I go into these rages periodically that can find no real form where I end up hitting the backs of my hands against the television set instead of giving in to my real urge which is to rip the thing out of the wall and toss it blaring out the window into the traffic. Or I wake up from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in “infected blood” and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or nazi-preachers or government healthcare officials or the rabid strangers parading against AIDS clinics in the nightly news suburbs. I carry this rage in moments like some kind of panic and yes I am horrified that I feel this desire for murder but it all starts with a revolving screen of memories that mixes past and present. It contains the faces and bodies of people I loved struggling for life, people I loved and people who I thought made a real difference in the world, or at least who lent some kind of balance to those whose images and intents we get served daily through the media. It begins with the earliest memories, when sexuality first stirs beneath one’s skin in an organized social structure that would kill you spiritually or physically every chance it has.
My rage is really about the fact that:
WHEN I WAS TOLD THAT I’D CONTRACTED THIS VIRUS IT DIDN’T TAKE ME LONG TO REALIZE THAT I’D CONTRACTED A DISEASED SOCIETY AS WELL.