Having graduated with First Class Honours Visual Culture degree from the University of Brighton in 2010 Kate Wildblood. alongside Josephine Bourne, Chris Jepson and Brighton Pride CIC, has curated several exhibitions in Brighton. Through Strike A Brighton Pose’s snapshot of LGBT+ clubbing in Brighton & Hove to the celebration of our city’s Pride movement with BrightonPride25 and 2016’s much needed reflection of the global Pride movement in Uniting Nations, Kate had taken her passion for our shared histories, fight for LGBT+ equality and a decent bassline to produce acclaimed and thought provoking exhibitions.
Strike A Brighton Pose: A rite of passage for so many, LGBTQ clubbing has provided us with more than just a soundtrack to our lives in Brighton and Hove. Strike A Brighton Pose examined Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ clubbing history, through flyers, artwork, photography and the memories of those who where there. From clubbers to promoters, venue owners to DJs and hosts to designers, it delivered a snapshot of the city’s most fabulous dancefloor moments. Club flyers could be easily dismissed as ephemeral visual pleasures, short-lived windows into the world of LGBTQ clubbing, disregarded the moment the DJ plays the last tune at the end of the night. But through Strike A Brighton Pose they re-emerge to deliver an important snapshot of gay subcultures, allowing the viewer to piece together not just changes in graphic design and advertising trends but how the LGBTQ community was and is seen and, perhaps most importantly, how they see themselves. From the cut-n-paste Xerox designs of Club Shame and Subterfuge to the design professionalism of Traumfrau or Wild Fruit these flyers document the development of LGBTQ culture and the effects of gay liberation. Images are no longer just reclaimed by the gay community for their own use but created by them. We do this because we can, because gay liberation has allowed us to not just interrupt the signifiers of mass culture, but to become the directors and consumers of mass culture. Strike A Brighton Pose repositioned the disposable flyer with their graphic combinations of camp, gay masculinity, femininity, sexuality and reappropriation of postmodern iconography. In doing so it delivered a different way of seeing, allowing the flyer to strike a very Brighton pose.
BrightonPride25: The first Brighton Gay Pride took place on Saturday 7th July 1973, just six years after homosexuality was decriminalised in England. One of the banners simply proclaimed The Right To Love, a message that has held true throughout Brighton Pride’s history: to have our rights protected and our relationships respected. Brighton Pride as we know it today began in 1991, emerging from the annual protest marches organised by Brighton Area Action Against Section 28. A strong, defiant and creative community was born, a community with a desire to proclaim Pride together. In 1991 the LGBT+ community were years away from equality. No equal age of consent, our families with no legal protection, labelled “pretend”. Same-sex marriage was decades away and government legislation, in the form of Section 28, banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality. And yet we weren’t pretending. Our Pride was real and set to become an important part of LGBT+ life in Brighton and Hove. From those early days of marching from Hove Town Hall and a Pink Picnic in Preston Park, to Queer On The Pier and proud celebrations in Queens Park and The Level, to its present day Community Parade, Pride Festival on Preston Park and Pride Village Party, Brighton Pride has become the most spectacular Pride event in the UK. Brighton Pride has enjoyed sunshine days and the occasional rainy one, changed date and parade routes, been awarded charitable status and emerged from financial uncertainty to become a record breaking fundraising event. And it is an event as relevant today as it was in 1973, continuing to campaign for LGBT+ equality across the globe. BrightonPride25 celebrated every brave, passionate and hardworking supporter, organiser, Pride-goer and volunteer who has been a part of Brighton Pride’s history. From its glitter to its grit, from the celebrating to the fundraising, Brighton Pride has a history we should all be proud of.
Uniting Nations: The Exhibition was a unique campaigning celebration of the global Pride movement. Through a collection of photographs, videos and oral testimony Uniting Nations reflected upon the state of Pride today, the celebrations, events and demonstrations that unite us all as we follow in the footsteps of those brave few marching for equality in New York in the summer of 1970 as they commemorated the 1969 Stonewall riots. Connecting us with Pride events across the globe Uniting Nations was a explosion of colour and diversity as we saluted the courage of the activists, organisers and participants of Pride events around the world. Every year someone somewhere is taking their first steps with Pride. Be it as one of four million people celebrating at the world record beating Sao Paulo Brazil Gay Pride Parade in Brazil, as one of a few hundred defying the hatred at Uganda Pride in Kampala or as one of a dozen brave activists defying the authorities by attending a Pride event banned by legislators in Moscow, every step counts. Because every step makes a difference. To the personal and the public as Pride organisers, participants and LGBT+ activists confront stigma, fight back against hate crime and deliver hope. Hope that we as a global LGBT+ community can achieve full equality, under the law, within families, at work, through our health services and in education. Be it the stunning spectacle of Bali Pride, the brilliance of Hong Kong Pride, the celebrations in Helsinki, the vitality of Arraial Lisboa Pride, the carnival of Union Diversidad in Panama, those Sri Lanka’s archaic laws at Colombo Pride, the dreams and hopes of Åland Pride, the refugee rights campaigning of Antwerp Pride, the activists at Zagreb Pride declaring Croatia is a country for all, the spectrum of defiant Pride colours from Guyana, the brave few at Montego Bay Pride in Jamaica or the death defying voices of Iraqueer, Uniting Nations highlighted the successes and struggles of the global LGBT+ Pride movement as we all strive for full equality. An exhibition to inspire Uniting Nations reminded us that the global LGBT+ community is marching and campaigning for equality. A vital and enlightening part of Brighton Pride’s 2016 campaigning theme, Uniting Nations: The Exhibition enabled us all to connect and hear those proud voices as we celebrated the bravery and diversity of the many Pride communities across the globe. Brighton Pride. Uniting us as we unite nations under the rainbow flag of equality.
To discuss further curation opportunities or to discuss her research please contact Kate here.