Out and About - Barbican

Out and About! at The Curve, Barbican

Out and About!: Archiving LGBTQ+ history at Bishopsgate Institute
Monday 28 February 2022 to Monday 21 March 2022
Venue: The Curve, Barbican Centre
This event has now closed

Out and About!: Archiving LGBTQ+ history at Bishopsgate Institute is a free event coming to The Curve space in the Barbican this February and March.

Running from 28 February to 21 March 2022, theBishopsgate Institute is taking over The Curve space within the Barbican with an installation of objects, ephemera and media highlighting 40 moments and stories in London’s LGBTQ+ history.

Featuring everything from placards carried at demonstrations to never-seen-before photographs documenting London’s gay scene over the past 40 years, the items are all drawn from Bishopsgate Institute’s impressive LGBTQ+ collections and archives, overseen byStef Dickers who curates the exhibition, with design by architect Martha Summers and graphic and visual designer Anna Lincoln.

There will be a special focus on protest at the installation, including original OutRage! protest banners used in their campaign against Section 28 and a truncheon seized at a demonstration by Mark Ashton, the founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners – and immortalised in the movie Pride. There will also be personal diaries, photographs, and treasured objects, many of which will be seen for the first time on public display, helping tell the story of LGBTQ+ life in London from 1982 to the present day.

Stef Dickers, Special Collections & Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute, told the press that: “The past 40 years have seen such monumental changes for the LGBTQ+ communities. This exhibition aims to explore some of those moments and celebrate the voices and stories of the people who were there to witness it. Of course, we can never tell every story – so we would also like to use this exhibition as an opportunity for everyone to consider donating their own memorabilia, documents, and photos to empower, inspire and educate future generations.”

A wealth of photographs, artefacts, media and artwork comes from individuals who have donated to the collection (a recent donation included hundreds of business cards from gay saunas around the world!), to organisations including the Switchboard, Terrence Higgins Trust, GMFA: the Gay Men’s Health Charity, the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, Ivan Cartwright, Duckie, OutRage!, Stonewall FC, Transfabulous, and the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

The Barbican is planning to complement the exhibition with some special screenings in the Barbican cinema, including 1992 gay sex ed documentary The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex on 1 March followed by a talk with producer Tony Carne and film curator Selina Robinson; talks and conversations inside the gallery by people including E-J Scott of the Museum of Transology, Tash Walker of LGBT+ phone helpline Switchboard, Sue Sanders of the international Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans History Outing the Past, and LGBTQ+ activists Dan Glass and Faizan of Imaan; and a free programme running from 22 February to 22 March open to young creatives between the ages of 18 and 25, calledThe Archive is Permanently Under Construction.

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