- 26 May 2023
- 5:00 – 6:30 pm
- Paul Mellon Centre & Online
The Paul Mellon Centre’s Doctoral Researchers Network presents Queer Voices in the British Creative and Cultural Sector, a roundtable which will focus on inclusive practices and curatorial activism in museums, archives and galleries.
We will hear from a range of organisations who are leading the way in foregrounding queer voices and reimagining the ways collections can reclaim spaces for care and collaboration at an increasingly difficult political moment. We will explore the experiences and knowledge accrued from work in the rich archival holdings at the Bishopsgate Institute, the significant collection of objects held by the itinerant Museum of Transology and the LGBTQ+ led charity, QUEERCIRCLE.
This roundtable will be an invaluable opportunity for PhD students working on topics related to queer art, history and LGBTQIA+ activism in the cultural sector, to hear about how academic research and activism can merge to create tangible spaces and practices which challenge the historical exclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community from British (art) history.
Speaker presentations will be followed by a Q&A.
Please note that this a hybrid event. You are warmly encouraged to attend the event in -person at the Paul Mellon Centre if you can. However, we will also stream the event on Zoom for those members who are unable to join us at the PMC. We will send the Zoom link to the attendants that selected an online ticket, closer to the date of the event. All attendees are invited to join us for post-event socialising.
About the speakers
E-J is the Stage 2 and 3 Leader of the BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins. E-J’s multidisciplinary approach segues queer museum research with co-curatorial practice. E-J is deeply committed to enabling marginalised groups to protest for social justice via the production of arts and heritage programming and, in 2021, was the recipient of the UK Activist Museum Award for this work.
In February 2023, E-J launched Trans Pride UK with the ambition of building a national network of local trans collections in museums across the nation. This is a strategic move designed to archive trans joy as an antidote to the hysteria surrounding gender non-conforming minorities in the UK, whilst simultaneously shifting the trajectory of the ethics of Pride organising from hedonism to heritage. Other projects include curating the Museum of Transology, Queer & Now (Tate), West Yorkshire Queer Stories and DUCKIE.
E-J is also increasingly interested in the queer potentiality of digital art to disrupt and expand upon gender constructs. In 2022, they founded the British Digital Art Network (Tate/Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) to establish a national curatorial collective focused on answering the virtually impossible question – What is British digital art?
Frances Williams is the Learning and Participation Manager at QUEERCIRCLE. She brings long experience of working in the field of gallery education, latterly focusing on curating projects which critically engage with the idea of “creative health”. She gained a doctorate scholarship at Manchester Metropolitan University where she studied Arts in Health in relation to devolution (2016–2019) and has recently published a book with Palgrave MacMillan titled When Was Arts in Health? A History of the Present. In May, QUEERCIRCLE will publish a report exploring LGBTQ+ dimensions of creative health, in partnership with University College London: Queering Creative Health: A Community-informed Evaluation of QUEERCIRCLE’s Health and Wellbeing Programme.
Stef Dickers is the Special Collections and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute and has been responsible for the development of the Institute's collections on the history of protest and activism, and LGBTQ+ Britain. He also established the UK Fetish Archive at the Institute in 2016. He qualified as an archivist in 2001 and started at Bishopsgate in 2005. Previous to this, Stef worked in the archives of the London School of Economics and Senate House Library.