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The Aids Memorial

Cover Story, #theaidsmemorial, ‘History does not record itself’

Par Kate Kellaway - 21 mn

Sometimes Instagram has to step in: @theaidsmemorial, where friends and family post tributes to loved ones who died of Aidsrelated illnesses, has become an extraordinary compendium of lost lives. Kate Kellaway talks to the man who started it and we print some of the most moving – and uplifting – contributions

The Aids memorial on Instagram is unlike anything else on social media – there is nothing trifling about it. The first face I look at is of a New Zealand airline host called Barry Hayden – an ordinary man, extraordinary to the people who loved him, the sort of handsome that looks made to last. There is a lightness about the picture, as if there were no end in sight. The man raises a glass of wine to propose a toast. But it is we who must toast him instead. As the Aids memorial’s profile page explains, this is a place for “stories of love, loss and remembrance” . Scrolling through the feed is like looking at an unending family photograph album in which people are related by one...