Have Balls, Get Tested
I received a fellowship with MICA’s Center for Design Practice (CDP) in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department to increase HIV testing among African American men who have sex with men (MSM). Research led the CDP to identify Baltimore’s “ball scene” as a key influence within this community.
The ball scene is a national underground LGBT subculture in which people compete for trophies and prizes at events known as “balls.” Those who compete perform by walking down a runway, dancing, and vogueing while others compete in various specialized genres of drag, often trying to pass as an individual of a specific gender or social class. These posters feature photographs of individuals from Baltimore’s ball scene wearing red crossed bandaids as a symbol of solidarity in a community where getting tested has become stigmatized. They will be placed throughout the city to create AIDS awareness and promote regular testing.
I worked on the conception, design, and production of the posters. I specifically came up with the tagline for the campaign (Have Balls, Get Tested), art directed the photo shoots, and did the photo editing and retouching.
The final product is the result of the efforts of a number of individuals:
Faculty: Ryan Clifford
Spring 2011 Research and Development: Bryan Connor, Noel Cunningham, Greg Gazdowicz, Nick Hum, Aggie Toppins
Fall 2011 Refinement and Execution: Abe Garcia, Jason Gottlieb, Brian Pelsoh
Spring 2012 final Production and Roll-Out: Brian Pelsoh
Photography: Erik Sanchez