chapter  7
16 Pages

A positive positive?

Intersectional analysis of identification and counter-identification in three contemporary HIV narratives
ByDesireé Ljungcrantz

Through the lens of the analytical concepts of identifications and counter-identifications the empirical material in focus are the short documentary film The Longest Journey Is the Journey Within – The Film about Steve (Hildebrand, 2015), featuring the protagonist Steve Sjöquist and the autobiographies Ophelias resa (“Ophelia’s Journey,” Larsson and Haanyama Ørum, 2007) and Mitt positiva liv (“My Positive Life,” Lundstedt and Blankens, 2012). The chapter explores how normativities and deviations are negotiated through portraits of distance and closeness, identificatory narratives and counter-identifications – relating to a wellness discourse of happiness and positivity normalizing HIV. The analysis of the representations of HIV and people with HIV in three contemporary HIV narratives shows how normative lines are being drawn with the potential to both widen the cultural imaginaries of HIV and reproduce and draw more narrow ideas of who are living with HIV.