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 Topic: Queer session at Museums Australia conference

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Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 1
Interests: LGBTQ Public History, Museums, Gender and Sexuality History, Communist History, issues of class and politics
Physical Location: melbourne, australia

Posted: 12 May 2006, 9:34 pm    Post subject: Queer session at Museums Australia conference Reply with quote

hello all,
i'm new to this website, but thought i'd post information about a talk I am giving at the 2006 Museums Australia conference next week (17th May) in Brisbane, Queensland:

“Queer Voices in Museums” ?Kate Davison
What do communities want from museums and art galleries? In 2003 Museum Victoria was approached by members of the gay and lesbian communities wanting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the passing of legislation decriminalizing homosexuality (Crimes (Sexual Offences) Act 9509, 23/12/1980) in Victoria. The communities sought representation in the Museum as a means of encouraging discussion and awareness of homosexuality in the mainstream community, emphasizing similarities and connections within our society as a whole, and redressing the marginalization of gay and lesbian history and material culture. It was hoped that the remaining bastions of social resistance to homosexuality could be explored in a reflective, educative manner and that that queer Victorians could experience a sense of inclusion and community, redressing the isolation and shame some people experience in their journeys to sexual identity.

In response, the Museum, the State Library of Victoria and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives established a joint project to document the material culture of queer communities in Victoria. The Lesbian and Gay Material Culture Survey employed a part-time assistant curator and project assistant, supported by several volunteers and guided by a community consultative committee. It surveyed both public and private collections, and issued a report in late 2005.

What has this pilot project done for the representation of queer culture in Victorian museums? Has it fostered a sense of ownership and inclusion for the communities it documented, and has it laid the groundwork for the repositioning of major public collecting institutions, in which the full meaning of cultural diversity is embraced, supported and represented?

This paper will be presented as part of a session called "What are Communities and what do they want from museums?" There is currently beginning to be a bit of movement around creating more queer representation in Australian museums, which to date are woefully lacking in the area.

I would really appreciate any comments or feedback or information you all might have.

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