According to my respondent the movement of the poster

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According to my respondent, the movement of the poster into the homesof hairdressers did not always increase safe sex:Interviewer:So it became less a public poster for everyone to see whenthey came into the shop, and more a personal thing for when she goesinto her bedroom. . . .Respondent:The initial idea was to put them up as public posters . . .then we realized that the posters were not allowed to be where we wantedthem to be . . . people were moving them and putting them in theirrooms. . . .Some people were saying that the pictures were very nice.They were appealing to them. So some people were not even associatingthe messages . . . they were just looking at the pictures and thought thatthey were nice, without necessarily knowing what the pictures wantedthem to do.For other hairdressers, the poster simply went up for decorative reasons—because it looked nice. For most Ghanaians, the decorating aesthetic isan aesthetic of availability. In Ghanaian homes, walls are covered withadvertisements and objects purchased from street vendors or obtainedfrom friends. The local culture of decorating with what is available enun-ciates material qualities of objects beyond their prescribed uses. In thiscase, the bright colors and “nice” pictures of these AIDS posters serve toaccent a room. For hairdressers who find these posters attractive, theposters are more powerful as decoration than as health messages. Ironi-cally, by working to design a more appealing poster with attractive andcatchy images, campaign producers inadvertently undermined the publicperceptibility and legibility of their campaign. This example highlightsthe power of Keane’s (2003) “bundling of qualities.” Some hairdressersenunciate alternative affordances enabled by the poster at the expense oflegibility: the attractive picturestrumpthe intended health message.Intersections of Decay and DisplacementEarly research on HIV in Ghana and West Africa identified professionaldrivers and commercial sex workers as groups at high risk for infectionand in a position to spread the disease. As drivers travel from city to city,This content downloaded from 150.135.115.124 on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 19:54:54 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Cultural Objects as Objects1839some have sex with commercial sex workers at transportation hubs orwith partners in cities along their routes (Pellow 1994; Agyei-Mensah2001).58Their sexual practices coupled with their mobility encouraged thespread of HIV along major transportation routes.In response to this “vector” of transmission, GSMF mobilized its in-stitutional resources to develop the Drive Protected campaign (see fig. 12).Beginning in November of 2000 and launched nationally in May 2002,Drive Protected used television advertisements and radio dramas along-side posters and car stickers to educate audiences about the dangers ofHIV and the use of condoms to protect oneself against contracting thedisease. The campaign trained peer educators to serve as a resource for

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