We are only a wee society up in Glasgow so for World AIDS Day 2011, we knew that our best bet was to cover campus with something that caught as much attention as possible. We landed on the idea of red bananas – red being the iconic colour of AIDS ribbons, and the bananas – to avoid beating round the bush – because of their phallic connotations. We eat yellow bananas in Glasgow so the plan was to initially confuse people and we’re pleased to say it worked.
We set out on the Monday before WAD, at the crack of dawn, armed with over 300 red spray-painted bananas, all with ‘27%’ attached on a piece of card. Every railing, lamppost, gate, tree, bike stand and pillar on campus was adorned with one of our red bananas and over the next three days, confusion ensued.
All week, we overheard conversations, saw facebook statuses and tweets all asking ‘what are all these red bananas about on campus?!’ or ‘what does 27% mean?!’.
So to put them out of their misery, we set out on WAD, again at the crack of dawn, and to each red banana we attached the message that 27% of young people living with HIV in the UK do NOT know that they have the virus. As the earlier rising students saw us putting the posters up, many came up to us and commented on the success of our campaign, and, more importantly, their shock at the statistic.
We hope that the WAD message has stuck with students here in Glasgow – especially seeing as there are still a few red bananas hanging around campus…
Check out the video of our WAD 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN47CerlpNU
by Matilda Lomas, Glasgow Student Stop AIDS