I came to Designers Against Aids to have a different kind of interning experience. I am currently studying at Central Saint Martins and for my placement year I wanted to take a break of London where my university is. After two years slaving away with university assigments, assisting in fast-paced fashion endeavours and living in London, Antwerp has been a breath of fresh air. I have definitely been happy here in Belgium, too. There is just more space and air to breathe and also all my favorite fashion designers.
For the past ten weeks, I have explored the city, made new friends and worked on various Designers Against Aids projects with my fellow Spanish interns. I've dipped into webshop marketing, interviewed Honest By designer Bruno Pieters whom I admire and promoted Raf Simons-donated book and the Eastpak Artist Studio 2014 collaboration. We had workshops with Carlo from Eastpak who taught us marketing on social media which was eye-opening and extremely useful. I've done photography, been a hand-model and also one time helped to fill a bath-tub with expired condoms for a photo-op. Every day has been a little bit different with ups and downs like life usually is. As I am going to Paris to continute my placement year and returning back to the cut-throat fashion business, I am grateful for this experience and want to thank everyone on the DAA team: Ninette, Jean-Yves and Peke and my fellow interns Saleta, Rafa and Guillermo. It's been a blast!
Oh and yeah, I also learned that AIDS actually kills. Before coming here I knew it was a problem but not that in my age group, it's the second most common cause of death globally. Reading this simple and cold fact is just mind-blowing. And the figures of new HIV infections have actually gone up in the past years. I can see it especially comparing my two home countries, Estonia and Finland. There is just a gulf between the countries but Estonia has the worst HIV/AIDS statistics in Europe with Ukraine and Russia. It's not even about it being important to acknowledge the facts, you just have to. These things don't just magically disappear away but they don't surface from nothing either - we have the power to change them.