Conversation Piece: A Moderate Extreme

Archive Events & Talks (15 November 2021, 2.30pm - 4.00pm)
A relaxed and informative discussion event about being older & queer in Brighton
Join artist and researcher, Lorenza Ippolito and Artistic Director of the Spire and community organiser, David Sheppeard, to discuss how archives are a place of memory for communities that do not have a traditional family structure for memory, and the importance of diverse representation of people inside and outside of their communities.

Brighton & Hove is considered the ‘gay capital’ of Britain. Despite this, there is little historical documentation of LGBTQ+ voices, lives and experiences. Combined with a lack of historical representation, older queers are also less visible generally, as mainstream representation of LGBTQ+ communities often show youthful and vibrant people.

Isolation in older LGBTQ+ people can be a problem for those who feel they ‘don’t fit’, sometimes finding it difficult to connect with younger generations, or by being estranged or displaced from family relationships. SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders) in the USA has raised concern for older LBGTQ+ people, who are more than 50% more likely to feeling isolated or lonely than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts. Being older and sexually non-normative or gender non-conforming is considered an extreme that can be difficult to moderate.

Up until recently, younger LGBTQ+ people had no access to the lives and experiences of older LGBTQ+ people in the city and no way to connect with them. The community-based project Queer the Pier exhibition at the Brighton Museum is starting to fill the gap and has created a place for memory for the LGBTQ+ community. Building on this experience, Queer In Brighton is an archival project where LGBTQ+ people of all ages can go to remember and celebrate LGBTQ+ people that came before them and to leave their own contribution for posterity.

This event is inspired by Fabrica’s autumn exhibition, ‘Strange Relations’, by Simon Le Boggit and Carys Reilly. Presented in partnership with Outside In, the combination of artworks lead the viewer to explore feelings of extremes, while we are also led to consider how meaningful representation of diverse voices can impact institutions and communities.

Delivered as part of Fabrica’s PAST:PRESENT:FUTURE project, which is exploring the 200-year history of the gallery, a former church, and the local community, through research, restoration and activities. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Conversation Piece


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