Community News

Queer Heritage South awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to develop new strategy for LGBTQ+ heritage across Brighton & Hove

Graham Robson April 11, 2024

Queer Heritage South – run by the team from queer producing company Marlborough Productions – has announced initial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the development of its project Queer Heritage South: Live Archive, which aims to create a city-wide, long-term strategy for the collection, archiving, and sharing of our city’s rich LGBTQ+ heritage.

Queer Heritage South Project Manager Roni Guetta and Project Director David Sheppeard said: “We are so happy to be working on this long term LGBTQ+ heritage project which contains so much meaning for us as individuals and the potential to create so much impact in the city’s communities. We are grateful for the support of all the partners who have come together to support this project and are excited for what comes next.”

Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, in 2027 there will be a major community curated public exhibition with Brighton Museum and in public spaces across Brighton & Hove. The exhibition will foreground the findings of Live Archive, and will engage with public spaces across the city and the digital sphere, making it accessible for all Brighton LGBTQ+ residents, and beyond.

Queer Heritage South will support LGBTQ+ heritage in the wider region and their close-knit communities, with aims including offering support funding insights for smaller grassroots organisations to access funding; peer mentorship and best practice sharing for groups also working in heritage, and providing a lasting digital resource for communities in the South East.

This project is made possible by the support and partnerships the team has built over the years. Queer Heritage South is looking forward to working with partners on the delivery of this project, and would like to thank Brighton & Hove Museums, University of Sussex Sussex Digital Humanities Lab and Centre for Sexual Dissidence, The Keep, New Writing South, Screen Archive South East, and Jubilee Library for the strategic input in developing the project.

Hedley Swain, CEO of Brighton & Hove Museums, said: “Brighton & Hove Museums are delighted to be able to play a part in the Queer Heritage South: Live Archive project, as it takes great strides forward in collecting the important LGBTQ+ heritage of Brighton & Hove.”

According to Queer Heritage South, while Brighton & Hove has one of the densest populations of LGBTQ+ people in the UK, the area does not have an active inclusive record of LGBTQ+ people. Live Archive will look to community champions with lived experience of intersectional identities to reflectively and honestly document the stories from their communities; from personal relationships to protests, parties, and performances.

Live Archive will work towards creating a new and inclusive digital archive for the city and future-proofing LGBTQ+ heritage collecting across Brighton & Hove. This wide-reaching archive of LGBTQ+ people and their stories will safeguard knowledge for future generations whilst recognising those, right here, right now, and those no longer with us.

Newly discovered stories and collections, will underpin an annual cultural programme of events and happenings including collaborations with existing events in the city’s LGBTQ+ cultural calendar – Coast is Queer, Brighton Pride, LGBT History Month and Queer Bloomsbury to reach new audiences; build on Queer Heritage South’s LGBTQ+ History Club; and produce events including documentary screenings and heritage-focused club nights.