Popular Education & Journalism

Apart from scholarly writing, George also engaged in popular
education by writing columns for Rites magazine, FUSE magazine,

As Gary Kinsman recalls, the decision to publish popular journalism, as well as more scholarly work, was wholly a political one. George’s engagement in popular education and journalism reflects the different forms of writing that he engaged in, from scholarly articles to media writing. During his time with AIDS ACTION NOW!, George played a key role in the media committee and was actively involved in producing media around HIV/AIDS treatment issues. In all of his work, George purposefully began from people’s everyday experiences to examine how the world works, how it is put together, and how we might collectively change it. As part of his educational work, George also regularly gave presentations on his developing perspectives and analyses at AIDS ACTION NOW! retreats and meetings.

talking politics

George developed the column “Talking Politics” as a way to develop AIDS activists’ perspectives in the pages of Rites, a Toronto-based magazine that was committed to gay and lesbian liberation, feminism and progressive social change. “Talking Politics” covered a range of issues related to people living with HIV/AIDS, including but not limited to treatment issues and politics, government and medical inaction, and how policing shaped the politics of the AIDS crisis.


George frequently published articles in AIDS ACTION NEWS!, a newsletter published by AIDS ACTION NOW! Toronto. His writing in AIDS ACTION NEWS! helped to spread accurate and accessible information on issues such as the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS to receive treatment, anonymous HIV testing, information on treatment and drug trials, the development of effective infrastructure for treatment delivery and information, the social relations of treatment versus the social relations of research, and more.

Interested in learning more about George’s popular education and journalism? Check out the following resources made available by the AAHP:

  • Transcriptions of several of George’s articles from Rites, FUSE, and AIDS ACTION NEWS! (available here)
  • “Talking Politics: Police shape politics of AIDS” by George Smith, Rites 1987 (available here)
  • “Talking Politics: Silence Equals Death – Professionals and PWAs” by George Smith, Rites 1988 (available here)
  • “Talking Politics: Homophobia in High Places” by George Smith and “AIDS Update” by Sean Hosein, Rites (date unknown; available here)
  • “Diary of an AIDS Activist: Double Blind Inertia” by George Smith, Rites 1988 (available here)
  • AAHP collection of AIDS ACTION NEWS! publications (available here).