Contracting an Issue

Investigation - Community Engagement - Storytelling

Contracting an Issue is a social awareness project and artistic endeavor of artist Gk Callahan and collaborator/photographer Allison Webber. The artists produce and archive collections of public, spoken-word documentary performances that reference HIV/AIDS. The project is based on the stories of individuals and the truths they hold in varying communities around the globe. This project was created with the notion of understanding and recognizing the comparative reality we share concerning fears, prejudices, and health issues towards HIV/AIDS.


CAI-San Francisco (2014)

CAI-Kansas City (2015)

CAI-Tampa,FL (2016)

*Mimi ni/I am- Arusha, Tanzania, (2017)

Together these performances form a comprehensive, less temporal portrait of HIV/AIDS. A portrait that is relative and relatable, yet shows the diversity and reach of this unbiased disease. Asking how this disease does or does not affect people, their lives and their bodies, demonstrates a glimpse of the disease's current hold, and begins to break down the stigma attached to the disease. Because being sick is enough for one to handle, and the facts are the same for everyone. “You might not ever truly know if you could have contracted HIV, until you have, but one thing I am sure of, we have all contracted an issue!”- Gk Callahan

Contracting An Issue is currently producing our third production in the Tampa / St. Petersburg Florida area, and we want to hear your story.

Please check out our documentary film which premiered in the 16th annual Out Here Now: The Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. As part of the bigger picture across the globe, the short documentary focuses on our time in Kansas City, and our public, spoken-word documentary performance; addressing the stigma and body politics around HIV/AIDS in Kansas City.

The following photographs are still documentation of Contracting An Issue, starting from 2014 to it's most current iteration (All images provided by collaborator/photographer Allison Webber.)