Queer in Brighton
February 2014 saw the launch of Queer in Brighton, a new anthology of oral histories, essays, creative writing and photography. Published by New Writing South in association with Photoworks and Pink Fringe.
The book is a culmination of intensive work by over 150 people who have come together to share stories, reminiscences, creative writing and photography. Since November 2012 this inspiring community project has hosted workshops, inviting submissions and collaborations, collecting ephemera, and interviewing queer people young and old. Through the themes of place, family, politics and language, Queer in Brighton explores the untold stories and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people in Brighton and Hove, past and present. The result is a glorious, complex and vibrant celebration of the vital contribution of this diverse community to our city’s cultural heritage.
“This project began life as an oral history project and grew into a fantastic journey of discovery for everyone involved.” says Lesley Wood, Project Coordinator. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who gave their time and their wonderful stories to make Queer in Brighton a success. Volunteers have written, told, recorded and transcribed their stories; they’ve taken or loaned photographs, shared memorabilia and contributed in a dozen other ways to help up capture a kaleidoscope of queer life in this unique city, and the book and exhibition are just two of the fantastic outcomes of the project.”
The anthology has many layers: it includes creative writing by established and published authors through to people who have never written before; excerpts from oral histories of people’s experience of Brighton recorded and then transcribed; four essays by academics on the project’s core themes of place, language, politics and family; and a visual element of collected photographs and memorabilia as well as portraits which form the photographic exhibition.