The exhibit for me is about empowerment and inspiration.
It is about the life and times of Reggie Williams, a black, gay man, who walked tall, spoke softly and moved mountains of people with his honesty and integrity.
It is history, filled with laughter, tears, respect, truth, honor, global communications and bonds forged through struggle and committment. It is about the magic of kindness and how compassion makes our world a better, sweeter place.
My contribution to the exhibition are portraits as well as posters educating the public about AIDS.
Thinking back, it seemed almost an impossible task last year to be able to put it all together in time for the opening. There was a flurry of frenzied brainstorming, gathering, sorting, and arranging. Then before we knew what happened it happened!. So when Wolfgang asked me for assistance this year, I gladly volunteered, since I loved Reggie like my own dear brother. He touched my heart deeply.
I first met Reggie in 1997. I had heard much about him from my Amsterdam friends Anna Krul and Sook Bonsma, the founding members of Strange Fruit, a multicultural Queer group I was active in. Anna and Sook met Reggie during the 1992 World AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. Reggie and I had many friends in common and organized Strange Fruit video evenings at theCOC (Amsterdam's Queer Community center). Reggie would always make sure there were fresh baked goodies to share with everyone that came to the event. He was always so kind and considerate. He is very much missed here in Amsterdam...and on the planet
All the photos in the exhibit are of friends and acquaintances of Reggie's.
Brandy Moore, Photo for the 'Sentinel', late 1980s
Julie Potratz, 2002
Julie Potratz currently lives and works in Washington State.