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Odisha Sand Artist Creates Symbolic Red Ribbon Art to Commemorate World AIDS Day

Sand artist creates art to commemorate World AID day.

Sand artist creates art to commemorate World AID day.

The sand art, which carries a social message of destigmatising those who have any AIDS-related illness, has received over 130 likes.

On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2020, Odisha’s talented sand artist, Subal Moharana created a sand art in Bhubaneswar to create awareness about the virus.

Pictures of the artwork were shared by news agency ANI on Twitter. Subal used the iconic red ribbon symbol and wrote ‘Global responsibility shared solidarity’, at the bottom.

The sand art, which carries a social message of destigmatising those who have any AIDS-related illness, has received over 130 likes.

World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV AIDS, which stands for Human-Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It also shows support for people living with HIV, and to pay respect to those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. The World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 and it was the first ever global health day.

The origin of the iconic red ribbon comes from the United States where New York artist Patrick O’Connell closely witnessed his friends suffering from AIDS in the hospital. According to 99% Invisible, a podcast, O’Connell and other artists came together and started making art in response to AIDS. In 1988, they decided to call their group Visual AIDS. The group held public events and organized gallery shows to raise awareness around AIDS. But it made its biggest impact with a simple little symbol that we all know today as the AIDS awareness symbol.

In 1991, costume designer Marc Happel attended one of the Visual AIDS meetings where the group was deciding on a symbol. This was the year of the Persian Gulf war and Happel had seen yellow ribbons tied around trees in the city, in honour of service members. Drawing inspiration from that thought, Marc suggested that Visual AIDS could do something similar, to acknowledge the war against the brutal disease. Happel wondered if perhaps people could fold ribbons and pin them on their lapels and the group decided that the ribbon should be red, the colour of blood.