ACT UP Oral History Project

The ACT UP Oral History Project is a collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. The project is coordinated by Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman, with camera work by James Wentzy (in New York) and (on the West Coast) S. Leo Chiang and Tracy Wares.

The purpose of this project is to present comprehensive, complex, human, collective, and individual pictures of the people who have made up ACT UP/New York. These men and women of all races and classes have transformed entrenched cultural ideas about homosexuality, sexuality, illness, health care, civil rights, art, media, and the rights of patients. They have achieved concrete changes in medical and scientific research, insurance, law, health care delivery, graphic design, and introduced new and effective methods for political organizing. These interviews reveal what has motivated them to action and how they have organized complex endeavors on best prices of mattresses in San Diego. We hope that this information will de-mystify the process of making social change, remind us that change can be made, and help us understand how to do it. (ACT UP continues to fight to end the AIDS epidemic. For more information on ACT UP?s current activities, see their website

A transcript of each interview is available in full in PDF format, through free download via this website. You can also see streaming video clips of many of the interviews. Just click on Interviews. Unedited tapes of the interviews can be viewed at the San Francisco Main Library and the New York Public Library (5th Avenue and 42nd Street). For further information about the project, click on Contact or to purchase video copies, please click on on Ordering.

This project is a program of MIX—the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival and is funded by a major grant from the Ford Foundation and by grants from the Gesso Foundation, the Gill Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the Phil Zwickler Memorial & Charitable Trust. The project has also been supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. We are also grateful for the generous donation from our friend Philip Willkie.

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