East Bay Getting to Zero

Viviendo sin fronteras: Más allá del VIH (Living without frontiers/borders: Beyond HIV) mural was built by EBGTZ’s Spanish speaking working group, Grupo de Charla. Over the summer, Grupo met multiple times with mural artists, J Manuel Carmona and Simón Malvaez, to envision a mural that encompasses the vibrancy of the Latinx culture and the impact of HIV in the LGBTQ+ Latinx community.

The mural is located at La Frontera: 4493 International Blvd, Oakland CA 94601

Funded by Nosotros VIHviendo, Equality California, EBGTZ unveiled the mural at our commemoration event for National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) on October 21st, 2023. We brought organizations together to host a celebration for Grupo’s continued commitment to combating stigma in the Latinx community in the East Bay.

The program for the NLAAD event included performances by many local drag queen stars, a trailer of EBGTZ’s digital storytelling film, and a panel discussion with key collaborators for the digital storytelling project.

About the artists:

Simón Malvaez (pictured on the left) was born in Tijuana, a border city between Mexico and the U.S. He studied graphic design in Mexico City. He currently lives in San Francisco.

Inspired by the places he has lived and The Bauhaus founding philosophies. Simón takes basic materials, familiar shapes, primary colors, pastels, and metallics to celebrate bodies and personalities that have influenced him. Latino culture and the LGBTQ+ community are bold and vibrant in his works. 

The geometry and composition invite you to disassemble each attribute of the piece and then reinterpret the projected symbols upon the pieces. It is an invitation to appreciate and deconstruct identity, diversity, representation, and inclusion.

J Manuel Carmona (pictured on the right):

“Born in Texas along the Mexican border, raised in Mexico, and spent the majority of my adult life in the US, my work is greatly informed by my binational Mexican/American heritage, my Queer identity, and the intersection of the LGBTQ+ and Latino communities of San Francisco. I have explored these intersections through varied and diverse artistic approaches, by creating murals, posters, sculptures, and art installations that deepen my curiosity, respond to the context, honor the message, and impact the spectator. 

As I continue to explore the power of public art, I hope to use my work to inspire individuals with the pride and love that I feel for my two countries of heritage, my LGBTQ+ community, and to bring focus to the duality of millions of Mexican-Americans living and traveling between both sides of this border.”