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Queer History Now

SEAS commision: QHN informative collage for the Ledward Centre Feb 2021

As part of LGBT History Month, SEAS commissioned Queer History Now collective to create a collage which explores how queer spaces could look like. Queer History Now is dedicated to responding to queer histories through heritage and creative skills, and this commission allowed the group to investigate how we can make spaces accessible to all and engage the Brighton community to understand the issues that affect queer folk today.

The participants took as inspiration...

We took as our initial inspiration the floor plan of the building, how this could be used to demonstrate the foundational values we hope the space will be built around. For us, these are: free, open, accessible, available, queer, radical, community-based, intersectional and intergenerational. In addition to this, we were interested in the ways that queer communities can come together and in particular the ways that we can connect with members of the community across time, building on, and learning from, what our community has already achieved.

For example, looking at community archives to consider our relationship to queer history, to also considering the ways we can foster intergenerational relationships within the current community. We were also interested in the ways that space might change to meet the evolving needs of the people it serves, for example, how it might adapt to provide materials and resources for both protests and parties, and all that can come in between.

The centre will include...

We have included a range of tangible things the centre could include, these include spaces for local community groups to meet and advertise (see the pinboard for examples!) and resources for groups to access, which they might not be able to otherwise. We have also included a community fridge, as well as cafe space and a community archive, as well as local art and zines. We hope that it will be a warm space, one which fosters connections and creativity.

The most important thing that the participants agree that is needed..

A space which is accessible and available for all, a space which actively works and evolves to meet the changing needs of the community. Whilst this might not be a tangible object, these are values and actions which can be made and led by the community, and should be the first consideration.

Credit lines:

Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard

Allsorts Youth Project

Sussex Bulletin (already credited within the image though!)

The Rebel Dykes Archive

The Tartan Skirt

The Devil's Dyke Network

Brighton BLM

The Marlborough


Gal Pals

Alf Le Flohic

The HIV Vending Machine - Martin Fisher Foundation

And the zines on the table come from:

Bi History

Alison Rumfitt

Emma Frankland

Harry E Lindsey

Contributing Participants:

Eva Louisa Jonas

Saskia Adrain Devaney

Ellie Turner -Kilburn

Hannah O'Gorman

Janet Jones


Reverberate Nov 2020 - Dec 2020

This short project facilitated by QHN member Ellie Turner-Kilburn who applied and successful received funding to continue the work that came to an end after the delivery of Archiving Your Life, allowed young queer identifying folk to learn about Brighton’s queer history through creative online workshops. The outcome of this project was a zine that is now available here.


Archiving Your Life April 2020 - Oct 2020

Archiving Your Life is the project that Queer History Now has engaged with since April 2020. Managed by Photoworks and Queer Heritage South, the LGBTQ+ youth-led programme is dedicated to preserving queer archives and enabling the queer community to take control over the stories and narratives that are told about their lives. The group worked across a series of creative Zoom workshops exploring ways of using photography to engage with archive materials and themes explored. The project has been facilitated by artist Eva Louisa Jonas and Ricardo Reverón Blanco of Photoworks with guest arts & heritage professionals, including E.J Scott curator of Museum of Transology and Jamie Brett from Youth Club Archive. Using the Tommie & Betty archive (partly on show at the Queer The Pier exhibit at the Brighton Museum) as focus to investigate queer heritage, the group used heritage and creative skills to engage with themes relating to queer folk.


Before Queer History Now was formed in April 2020, many of its members participated in this community curated display of local LGBTQIA+ history at Brighton Museum & Art Galleries. The exhibition celebrates the lives of writers, artists, performers, activities and ordinary people who have made Brighton & Hove a pinnacle of queer excellence and openness. Their stories are brought to life with film, photography, fashion, drag, archival material and oral histories.



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