Monday 25 August 2008


Do you want to be involved in discussions about how gay seafarers can be included in museums? In Hull on 16th September 2008, there is a one-day seminar: Effectively Engaging Maritime Collections and the Community. It will include my session Looking for queer histories: lessons learned from exploring gay seafarers' lives .

My presentation is based on what I found from co-curating the innovative Hello Sailor! Gay Life on the Ocean Wave travelling exhibition for Merseyside Maritime Museum. I will explore:
  • some of the processes and obstacles surrounding the uncovering of occluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) histories for the exhibition, mainly using oral history
  • how to work to work collaboratively with gay ex-seafarers, sharing authority and enabling agency e.g. creating imaginative maps of foreign and domestic ports as an adjunct to memory
  • the process of consciously expanding beyond an exhibition, to include the setting up of the Sailing Proud Archive; a series of seminars on the subject; a possible international conference on queer seafaring.
  • issues around representing a ‘non-family friendly’ subject in a maritime museum, and visitors’ responses in Liverpool and Southampton

Funded by Renaissance, the whole seminar's aim is to 'look at how regional and national museums are effectively engaging maritime collections with their communities. The day will encourage delegates to share ideas about how they work with their collections to inspire diverse audiences. It will examine potential techniques to integrate our communities’ stories within museum interpretation .'

It takes place at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, from 10.00-16.00. Free event, including lunch and refreshments.

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