Our Songs were our Stones': Song and Struggle in the Treatment Action Campaign
With 3 million people receiving anti-retroviral therapies (ARV) in South Africa, it has the largest public ARV programme in the world. The implementation of this programme was made possible by the efforts of AIDS advocacy groups that lobbied the government to make ARV available. Chief among these was the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). The group mobilised South Africans across socio-economic and racial lines against the AIDS denial of key members of the African National Congress (ANC). Through interviews with TAC members and ethnographic accounts of (c)current activism, this paper examines song as a method of mobilisation against HIV/AIDS-related injustices. As instrumental components of the liberation struggle, songs have become ubiqioutus within protest action, as demonstrated by the recent hashtag student movements. By utilising similar forms of rights-based activism found in the country's liberation struggle, TAC is able to tap into reservoirs of emotional potential rooted in political struggle.