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Aunt Sally's Tea Dance
Queering the Archive
A Queer Reading
Aunt Sally’s Tea Dance deals with the politics of the archive and the subsequent visibility or invisibility of LGBT identity and queer Ireland by looking at the collected material in three archives, well established and in development. The Irish Queer Archive is housed at the National Photographic Archive, Dublin, Cork LGBT Archive is being developed by researcher Orla Egan and includes the Arthur Leahy Collection, while the Belfast Exposed Archive, is the founding collection of the Belfast Exposed Gallery. This website developed to present the findings from our engagement with the archives, archivists, researchers and curators. We focused on ephemera and photographs relating to 'parade' and 'community' to inquire how photography has been used to activate public attention, change public opinion and re-present LGBT movements and much of this material has not been exhibited in the public domain before. Image on the right courtesy of The Cork LGBT Archive (Photo, Josef Kovac)
This project requires the navigation of visual material through archives which are organised in different ways. Concerned with photography and ephemera, that both narrates the histories we are concerned with and which highlights the experiences of the communities involved, it was necessary for the research to take different forms. With state-run archives such as the Irish Queer Archive which have specific working methods it was important for the research to include semiotic representations of images as a method of highlighting the complexities of these institutions as opposed to the digitalising work being developed within The Cork LGBT Archive. Presenting the work through an online platform such as this website, offers the opportunity to celebrate a significant and still under-represented history while opening the research up as a resource to others with interest in the field. Image on the right courtesy of The Cork LGBT Archive (Photo, Josef Kovac).
The Exhibitionists Society
This new society was established by photography students in 2016 with the central aim of creating an environment where students who have an interest in the Arts can work collaboratively with others, both inside and outside the college environment. This will allow students to build networks and connections while working creatively, utilising space and establishing their working practices. This a curatorial collaboration by Carl Byrne, Natasha Cleary, Alisha Doody, Aisling Gordon, Stephen Keavney, Antonia Kenny, Jade Kenny, Teresa Kilker, Josef Kovac, Shauna Lally, Catarina Leone, Oisin McFarland Smith, & Lina Scalzo, currently studying photography at DIT, aiming to make educational research more available and easily accessible to a wider public
This project – the exhibition and website – would not have been possible without the contribution of a number of organisations and individuals. The Exhibitionists would like to acknowledge their contribution. Orla Egan who is currently developing the Cork LGBT Archive allowed access to the archive during her busy schedule of lectures and conferences and provided insight into the importance of maintaining and digitalising these materials, added to this her knowledge of copyrighting this material for use online. Keith Murphy Elizabeth Kirwan and Glenn Dunne at The National Library Photographic Archive who granted access and facilitated our research in the Irish Queer Archive. Ciara Hickey from Belfast Exposed who curates the gallery’s exhibition and public program. Ciara opened the doors of Belfast exposed to our research team and offered her valuable time to speak with our team about the Belfast Exposed Archive. Ruairí Ó Cuív and Olivia Laumenech, Dublin City Council Arts Office. Louis Haugh and Mella Travers of the Brunswick Collective and The Darkroom for providing us with a wonderful venue and installation support and creative advice. Valerie Connor, Lecturer in Dublin Insitute of Technology who provided the group with ongoing support and advice, collaborating creatively and sharing knowledge about curatorial practices and event organising.