Gallery talks — 21 Jul 2018

Prior to the International AIDS Conference (23-27 July 2018), which will return to Amsterdam after 26 years, the Stedelijk Museum will organize a series of Gallery Talks on AIDS, related to the museum’s collection. In a guided tour, Aynouk Tan (fashion journalist and activist) and Jennifer Hopelezz (Businesswoman, activist and mother of House of Hopelezz) will guide visitors through their selections of artworks from the collection.
Museumticket + €3
21 Jul 2018, 2 pm until 3 pm
Main language

The AIDS epidemic in the 1980s left an indelible mark on Western society. The brutal scapegoating of gay men and the indifference of many governments to the AIDS crisis spurred activism in the arts. On the one hand, art was used to directly criticize specific governmental responses to the crisis, while on the other hand, a general aim was to create greater awareness about AIDS and HIV. Many artists also made work in memory of deceased loved ones.

Aids is not over but can be

Although Amsterdam is approaching its goal of an AIDS-free city, nearly 1.8 million people worldwide are still infected by the virus every year. Fighting against AIDS is not something of the past, and remains very important today. In the 1980s, art and culture played a crucial role in discussing and combatting AIDS. Therefore, the Stedelijk Museum has invited two speakers to share their personal insights and interpretations, and discuss a selection of artworks, thus closing the gap between art and life and exposing the personal as a site of cultural and aesthetic meaning.

More about the speaker

Jennifer Hopelezz is the drag queen mother of the House of Hopelezz, with more than 50 children and countless relatives. She’s not only a mom, but also a businesswoman, activist, columnist and sports fanatic. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Jennifer moved to Amsterdam more than 20 years ago for the liberal, free, and tolerant atmosphere of this beautiful city. With her roots now firmly in the Amsterdam LGBTQI community, Jenny's motto is 'be who you wanna be'. As a columnist for Attitude magazine, she is particularly interested in issues of gender, integration, emancipation, gay nightlife, sexual diversity & visibility, HIV, and personal freedom.

Jenny is co-owner of gay sauna Nieuwezijds and the Amsterdam fetish club ChUrch. She was also the initiator of the Amsterdam queer info kiosk, Pink Point, at the Homomonument. Jennifer fights for a ‘safe and sensible’ sex and party scene. As such, she’s one of the activists of PrEPnu, a group fighting for access to PrEP in The Netherlands (a drug that effectively prevents the transmission of HIV virus). She is a strong believer in freedom of sexual diversity and personal responsibility. Jen believes that drag queens and kings have an important role to play raising money and awareness for charities and, as such, formed the drag group Begging Babes more than 10 years ago.

Jennifer Hopelezz, photo: Remon van den Kommer


This gallery talk is made possible by the City of Amsterdam