MAA to unveil design of its innovative, distributed, networked museum at AIDS Conference in Durban, July 18

July 13 2016

Durban – The Museum of AIDS in Africa will unveil the design of its innovative, distributed, networked museum at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban on July 18.

The structure was designed by multi-award-winning Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, of NLÉ WORKS. Last month, Adeyemi won the 2016 Silver Lion award at the Venice Biennale and is renowned for bold, modern works that address real-world African issues.

“This fantastic design by one of the world’s most exciting architects inaugurates an exhilarating new phase of expansion for the Museum of AIDS in Africa, ” said Joy Phumaphi, MAA board member and the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. “The MAA has been working to preserve the stories of the African epidemic since 2008 – now we can offer our partners across the continent a kit to erect affordable, co-created healing, learning and memorial spaces of a kind never seen before.”

At the conference – the world’s premiere gathering of researchers, responders and people living with HIV-AIDS – the MAA will unveil the iconic design, and also showcase the other components of the kit: a BioMaker Lab (a hands-on program for youth that builds their knowledge of the science of HIV), its Healing Through Memory and Objects grief project and a digital Memorial. The Museum will engage its partners and conference-goers to ensure the design works in diverse contexts across the continent.

The MAA’s ground-breaking, high-impact programming comes embedded in the networked museum kit – a completely new approach to community programming, museology and learning.

“This bold but simple and sustainable design works as well in a low-income neighbourhood in Lagos as it does in a village in rural Zambia,” said Stephen Lewis, MAA board member, and co-founder of AIDS-Free World and former UN Special Envoy on HIV-AIDS in Africa.

The museum structure is inexpensive to manufacture, easy-to-assemble and can accommodate hands-on art and science, exhibition and gathering. The programs are networked via a cloud-based Digital Hub, and partners share common policies, branding and training.

MAA programs help to transform large-scale grief, fear and powerlessness resulting from the AIDS epidemic into resilience and innovation through memory work, knowledge-sharing and skills development in story-telling and hands-on science. Our programs are supported by smart technology and cutting-edge design.

The Museum of AIDS in Africa aims to transform the individual and social response to the African AIDS epidemic by honouring those who have lost their lives, empowering those infected and affected, and building knowledge about the history, science and response to the pandemic, to support the ultimate goal of an Africa free from AIDS.


MAA co-chair Ngaire Blankenberg

MAA project manager Namhla Mbunge

+27. 717059427

IMAGES AVAILABLE high-res images of the new MAA structure, on request

AT THE IAC: Visit the MAA at Booth 356 in the Exhibition Hall, and at Stand 706 in the Global Village

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