The vegas2venice road has ended, but the journey has just begun.
The vegas2vegas team are back and after travelling nearly three thousand miles in just eight days. We caught up with them earlier today to find out how they got on.
In case you’ve missed the events of the past two weeks, Fasthosts is the official sponsor of vegas2venice – an exciting social project to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS charity Arms Around the Child. The aim of the project is to make HIV/AIDS more relevant to those unaffected by the disease. The vegas2vegas team did this by sharing the passions of those with the disease, rather than focussing on them as victims.
Before starting the trip the two-man crew, Scotty and Griff, told us they knew a little about the disease, but had never learnt about it from the point of view of those directly affected. It was certainly going to be an eye opener.
So what did Scotty and Griff actually get up to?
Day 1 consisted of travelling to Paris via the EuroTunnel; “As two young lads from a small town in an English county best known for its bulls and cider, being sat at our first ever interview in the heart of Paris, in a smoke filled basement felt like a million miles away. We were there to meet Romain, a French-man who has been HIV+ for over 16 years. He didn’t speak English and our French is like a bad sketch from ‘Allo ‘ Allo!, but thankfully we had a translator on hand.
During the next ninety minutes we learnt a huge amount about Romain’s HIV story, his treatment, the effects on the body, discrimination, and about his passion for writing. It’s amazing how when talking about your passion it transcends language, you can tell from the sudden emotionally charged gestures and excitement what a passion means to someone.”
From Paris, the team moved on to Antwerp to meet a local TV star (Frankie) who has pioneered an approach to educating people about HIV/AIDS using TV and books . Quickly moving on, the team’s next stop was in Frankfurt.
Scotty told us the next meeting really hit home the importance of raising awareness; “In Frankfurt we interviewed Holger, an activist working to secure funding to help women in South Africa who are passing the disease on during childbirth. He took us to St Pauls Church in the heart of the city. Griff and I didn’t realise that we were about to see something that would completely stop us in our tracks.
A wall with hundreds of iron nails hammered into the bricks, each one symbolising the death of a HIV+ resident of Frankfurt. Many of Holger’s friends were represented on the wall and the history of HIV began to hit home to both me and Griff.”
Day 4 saw the team arrive in Salzburg. Here they met Guido, who Scotty described as “an expressive and fun character who spoke passionately about art and culture”. The final stop of Day 4 was the official half-way point of the trip, as the team arrived in Venice.
Heading back West, the final interview was in Milan: “The weather was hot and the city bustling. We arrived to meet with Rosaria, a key figurehead for supporting people living with HIV in Italy.”
When we asked Scotty and Griff to summarise the trip, they said; “Each person we met opened up to us in ways we had not expected. Thinking back it’s amazing how personal and emotional the stories they shared are. We’re so pleased we had the opportunity to meet them all. We cannot wait to share the content we captured and their passions over the next few months.”
The end of the beginning…
Fasthosts is really proud of the accomplishments of the vegas2vegas team and are excited about the future. With the documentary coming out later this summer, we will be supporting the guys, sharing content and looking forward to hearing how this trip has helped raise awareness of Arms Around the Child.
The final word from vegas2vegas: “We’d like to thank Fasthosts and all the Fasthosts customers who are supporting the vegas2vegas team and for following the first chapter of the vegas2vegas project”.
Get more information about vegas2vegas and the vegas2venice project: http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/Vegas2Venice/
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