#HIVIsNotACrime Georgia Postcard Project Artist Request for Submissions


The Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization and our community partners invite people living with HIV who also live in Georgia to submit visual art on the theme of HIV criminalization. The pieces may be paintings, drawings, photographs, written words, sculpture or other types of visual art. Accepted pieces will be made into a series of postcards that will be used in a statewide mail campaign to educate the public about why it’s necessary to modernize HIV criminalization laws in Georgia.

Submissions will be reviewed by the World AIDS Day- Atlanta Living With Art Advisory Board. Submissions that reflect the project themes, adhere to guidelines and guiding principles will be considered for inclusion in the project. One submission will win a Grand Prize of $300.00 and the artists will be honored at a reception and community event on August 28, 2017 at the Phillip Rush Center. Selected works may also be showcased at the World AIDS Day-Atlanta Living Withexhibit November 29th – December 3, 2017 at Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta.

Online Application, & Deadline

Apply online by clicking here no later than August 4, 2017 by 11:59pm. Online applications will ask you to answer a few brief questions about your work and upload a photograph or other file showing the piece of work you would like to submit.


This request for submissions is open to ALL people living with HIV in Georgia (people who are HIV+). Submissions will be accepted from professional and amateur artists, and from people who do not self-identify as artists, but all submissions must be from people living with HIV (HIV+). We expect media involvement in this project.

Theme and guidelines:

The themes for this project are simple:

  1. HIV is Not a Crime.

  2. HIV criminalization is stigma made into law.

  3. HIV criminalization worsens inequality (racism, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, etc.).

  4. HIV stigma makes life hard for people living with HIV.

Successful submissions will follow these guidelines:

  • Submitted work must be something we can photograph or copy and make into a postcard sized piece. It can start as any size and shape, but we must be able to print it as a postcard without compromising the integrity of the artistic design.

  • Pieces must not contain profanity, vulgar language, images or words describing nudity or explicit violence. We will be sending the postcards through general mail.

  • Pieces must not contain the names, images or any other identifying information of anyone living person without express permission from that person.

  • Pieces must be your own work, either something you have already created or something you created especially for this project. The Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization will not accept any responsibility for plagiarized or uncredited works. Works must be your own.

These guiding principles should inform your concept:

Your voice is the one that matters.

This campaign centers the lives and art of people living with HIV. We want to know what people living with HIV have to say about HIV stigma and how the threat of criminalization affects their lives. Submissions should reflect your own thoughts, feelings and experiences about HIV stigma and criminalization.

Challenge Stigma.

HIV stigma is a combination of sex shaming, panic about illness and death, and fear and hatred of groups who are “othered” by mainstream society: people of color, LGBTQQIA people, women, people who use drugs, sex workers, etc. Successful submissions should disrupt stigma, fear-mongering, and “othering” messages that have dominated the establishment’s response to the HIV epidemic. Likewise submissions that promote stigmatizing language or takeaway messages will be vetoed.

Be accurate.

If you use this submission to share information (in the form of scientific data or statements of truth), you must cite sources of information. For example: 54,000 people are living with HIV in Georgia (Source: Georgia Department of Public Health, 2015). Artists are encouraged to use this kind of information sparingly (if at all), as data often creates an over-simplified story about HIV.

Think Beyond Behavior.

This is not a campaign to educate the public about HIV “risk behaviors.” While HIV is commonly understood through the lens of preventable risk behaviors (like sex, IV drug use, etc.) we want to deconstruct this perspective and help communities think beyond individual risk behaviors to the “root causes” of the epidemic’s persistence in our region.

Artists’ rights and the Coalition’s responsibilities with your work:

  • You retain full ownership and copyright of your work, and you are granting permission for The Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization the right to display and reprint your work.

  • You may decide at any time to stop participating in the project and discontinue public showing of your original work. However, once your piece has been made into a postcard, we will not feasibly be able to discontinue distribution.

  • Any work submitted will be reviewed anonymously by the Art Advisory Board and coalition members. Only a small project team will know which pieces are associated with a specific artist.

  • We will not sell any of your work during any portion of our program unless you (the artist) would like to give permission to or donate a piece to the coalition or any of our nonprofit partners for sale.

  • We will allow (and encourage) you to sell your own, original pieces for your own benefit and will provide opportunities for artists to promote their existing body of work during World AIDS Day-Atlanta Living With programming.

  • Once the accepted pieces have been announced and artists agree to participate in the HIV is Not A Crime Postcard Project, there may be media involvement (i.e. interviews with the artists for TV, radio, print or online journalism). Because this project should showcase the work of people living with HIV (HIV+ people), involvement in this project could mean public disclosure of positive HIV status.

  • Group submissions will not be accepted.

More About HIV Criminalization in Georgia

About Georgia’s HIV Criminalization Laws

In Georgia, it is illegal for people living with HIV (HIV+ people) to have sex or share needles with another person without disclosing their HIV status. The Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization believes that these disclosure laws cause harm to people living with HIV and hinder our state’s ability to stop new HIV infections.

In the 1980’s when these laws were created, their intent was to help us fight HIV, but we now know they have done more harm than good. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They may actually keep people from getting tested for HIV, because people who know they have HIV are vulnerable to prosecution.

  • They may keep people living with HIV from getting the care they need to stay healthy for fear of prosecution.

  • They make HIV stigma worse by equating positive HIV status with predatory behavior.

  • They are based on outdated medical science that spreads misinformation to the public about HIV.

  • HIV disproportionately affects many communities that are over-represented in the criminal justice system already. This makes the inequality that drives our HIV epidemic even more entrenched.

About HIV in Georgia

There are over 54,000 people living with HIV in Georgia, and around 2,500 Georgians contract the virus each year. Many never get the healthcare and other support they need to stay healthy. Georgia’s HIV epidemic is one of the worst in the US. See data on Georgia’s HIV epidemic and view fact sheets here.

HIV Is Not A Crime Georgia Post Card Campaign Goals:

  • To amplify the voices of people living with HIV in Georgia about an issue that affects their lives.

  • To educate the public, elected officials and community leaders about how HIV criminalization laws are harmful to Georgia, especially those living with and at high risk for contracting HIV.

  • To weave HIV stigma criminalization into regional conversations about HIV prevention and care in a compelling, accessible way.

Process & Timelines

Stage One: Online Application

Interested artists or artist groups must complete the online application athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PostCardProject You will submit an application form and a photograph of the work you would like made into a postcard.

Stage Two: Selection & Artists’ Reception

All applicants will be notified within one week of their online submission that their submission has been successfully processed.

The 2017 World AIDS Day- Atlanta Living With Art Advisory Board (a committee consisting of local artists, people living with HIV/AIDS and other community leaders) will review submissions throughout the month of July.

The Grand Prize winner and all successful applicants will be notified no later than August 15th, 2017. Artists will be honored and encouraged to show their work at an honorees’ reception and panel discussion at Black Pride on August 28, 2017 at the Center for Civil & Human Rights.

Stage Three: Postcard Campaign  

Post cards with the print versions of submitted works will be created and printed in time to be distributed at the reception on August 28, 2017. From September to November, postcards will be filled out and mailed to elected officials, people living with HIV who have been incarcerated because of Georgia’s HIV criminalization laws, and other community members who need to know more about HIV criminalization.

Stage Four: World AIDS Day Living With Exhibit

The HIV is Not A Crime Georgia Postcard Project will culminate in an installation at the 2nd annual World AIDS Day-Atlanta Living With exhibit at Auburn Avenue Research Library November 29 to December 3, 2017.

Questions or thoughts? Please contact Emily Halden Brown at Georgia Equality Emily@GeorgiaEquality.org or 404-523-3070 ext. 3.