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Pictures From a Battlefield

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Robert Vazquez-Pacheco  

Robert Vazquez-Pacheco
South Bronx native Vazquez-Pacheco’s boyfriend was diagnosed with Kaposi’s sarcoma in 1980. “I went through the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic with him, nurses putting his tray of food on the floor outside his hospital room, the whole thing. And he died in 1986 in bed next to me.” That private experience drove him to public activism—he joined ACT UP in 1988 and became a member of the artist-activist collective Gran Fury (named after the car model used by undercover cops). Part of his goal was simply to bear witness. “We lost whole villages of gay men. It’s like what happened in Rwanda or places where people just disappear.”

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