Landscapes of Activism: Civil Society, HIV and AIDS Care in Northern Mozambique (Medical Anthropology)
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AIDS activists are often romanticized as extremely noble and selfless. However, the relationships among HIV support group members highlighted in Landscapes of Activism are hardly utopian or ideal. At first, the group has everything it needs, a thriving membership, and support from major donors. Soon, the group undergoes an identity crisis over money and power, eventually fading from the scene. As government and development institutions embraced activist demands—decentralizing AIDS care through policies of health systems strengthening—civil society was increasingly rendered obsolete. Charting this transition—from subjects, to citizens, and back again—reveals the inefficacy of protest, and the importance of community resilience. The product of in-depth ethnography and focused anthropological inquiry, this is the first book on AIDS activists in Mozambique. AIDS activism’s strange decline in southern Africa, rather than a reflection of citizen apathy, is the direct result of targeted state and donor intervention.