Performing AIDS. The Film-maker Rosa von Praunheim between HIV/AIDS-Communities in Germany and the USA

Schappach, Beate (5 July 2014). Performing AIDS. The Film-maker Rosa von Praunheim between HIV/AIDS-Communities in Germany and the USA (Unpublished). In: "Avantgarde, Tradition, Community". Internationale Konferenz das Fachverbandes Performance Studies international. Shanghai. 04.-08.07.2014.

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The paper explores the works of German film-maker Rosa von Praunheim during the AIDS crisis, who worked in Germany and the USA in the 1980ies and 1990ies and produced several films portraying the gay communities in both countries in the face of AIDS.
The first part of the paper analyses how von Praunheim’s films show different forms of performing community in the two countries. It discusses the filmic techniques utilized to criticize the reaction of the German gay community to the appearance of AIDS and to present Amercian traditions of forming and performing a community as a role model for AIDS-activism.
The second part focuses on von Praunheim’s autobiography „40 Years of Perversity. The Sentimental Memoirs of Rosa von Raunheim“ (1993) and the rhetoric strategies he – being HIV-negative himself – uses to become part of New York’s HIV-community. The paper examines the hypothesis that von Praunheim’s rhetoric is constructing and performing a „participative identity“ (Alois Hahn).
The paper finally discusses the use and adaption of terms and symbols originating from the context of German National Socialism (e.g. the pink triangle) within the process of forming and performing New York’s AIDS-Community and how they are reused and readapted by Rosa von Praunheim.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Theater Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Schappach, Beate


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
600 Technology
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe


[UNSPECIFIED] Aids in Literatur, Theater uns Film. Zur kulturellen Dramaturgie eines Störfalls




Beate Schappach

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2015 13:54

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2015 13:54

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Aids, Medizingeschichte, Filmwissenschaft, Sozialgeschichte, Homosexuellenverfolgung, Schwulenbewegung, Rosa Winkel, Konzentrationslager, Nationalsozialismus, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, Filmgeschichte, History of Medicine, Film Studies, Social History, Homosexuality, Gay Movement, Pink Triangle, Concentration Camps, National-Socialism


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