liberation

Reclaiming Queer Feminist Liberation

Saturday 16th September
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Description

Join us at M Shed for a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people’s lives, past and present, with talks and stalls in partnership with Outstories Bristol. 

This talk will share how exploring feminist and queer archives with LGBTQ young people can stimulate vital discussion around intersectionality, inclusivity and solidarity in activism then and now. Drawing on the Feminist Archive’s educational workshops funded by the Government Equalities Office and delivered in partnership with T.I.G.E.R, teacher Ellie O’Connell will share how creative methods can bring archives to life and mobilise activism. 

Reclaiming queer feminist liberation politics works to provide spaces for learning about the connections between the Gay and Women’s Liberation Movements and facilitate intergenerational exchange within LGBTQ communities. The realisation of shared systems of oppression under what bell hooks termed the ‘imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy’ is a key point of learning around the foundations for solidarity; this is illustrated by a variety of compelling archive sources from the gay and women’s liberation movements included in our resource. 

In developing an archival handling collection that highlights these key questions, we’ve sought to represent a range of voices at the intersection of the gay and women’s liberation movements, including queer people of colour, disabled and trans feminists. Through collectively mapping the major achievements of LGBT+ and feminist movements, we start to see what they have in common. For example, the way in which trans rights, free abortion and contraception, making marital rape illegal and decriminalising gay sex represent victories of bodily autonomy for those who do not conform to the heterosexual reproductive matrix. In seeking to understand what others face, we must first identify correlations between oppressions. As Shon Fay has articulated, ‘Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia share much of the same DNA.’Considering the continuing multiple struggles faced by young LGBTQ people today, forming inclusive multiple alliances must be the way forward. 

Central to the Feminist Futures educational workshops is the creative transformation of archival materials through DIY counter-cultural methods including badge, poster and zine making. How can we take inspiration from feminist archive materials and reconfigure them to envision queer feminist futures? This presentation will share some of the amazing work about LGBT+ feminism made by young people in workshops as well as showcasing work from the Feminist Everywhere, a project by UWE students using FAS to create Bristol site-specific artworks, including ‘Gay Disco History Parking Ticket’, a subversive work of activist performance art. In addition, we’ll share how including LGBTQ herstories in our A Level Art, Sociology, History and English workshops and resources not only creates spaces to stray from the heteronormative curriculum but also reclaims the presence of LGBTQ people and culture in all areas of feminist herstory. 

Event leader
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Ellie O'Connell

Ellie O’Connell is a feminist teacher, activist and Education Co-ordinator for the Hatpins to Hashtags project. In partnership with T.I.G.E.R. (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect), she is responsible for researching and planning the Hatpins to Hashtags workshop series as well as building connections with schools, colleges and youth groups. 

Ellie is a fully qualified Modern Languages teacher specialised in teaching the 16-19 age range and has worked with young people to explore intersectional feminisms in multicultural educational contexts.

Ellie is also studying an MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures at the University of Bristol. She began the Translating Latin American Feminisms project which brings together translators of all levels, academics and activists to collectively research, translate and digitise the unexplored narratives of intersectional feminist activism within the archive.

She loves riot grrrl music, making things, cycling and gardening. She juggles all of this with long term health problems and would be very happy to discuss all things accessibility :)