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03 Sept -  15 sEPT @ BRICKS relay project space 12:00 - 17:00

The Palace International Film Festival presents: Queer & Indecent, an archival exploration of the historical lack of access to public spaces that queer people have faced. Simultaneously, it is a celebration of queer space, community, and expression amidst adversity.


In 1967, the Sexual Offences Act was brought into legislation, partially decriminalising sex between men (a law previously known as the ‘Buggery Act’, implemented by Henry VIII in 1533). Despite, or perhaps in spite of this apparent progression, public spaces became more dangerous and hostile for gay people, as remaining anti-gay laws such as the ‘gross indecency’ law of 1885 (which did not receive a full UK repeal until 2013) were policed more aggressively. Under public order and breach of the peace laws, LGBTQI+ people continued to be arrested for public displays of affection until the 1990s. After the 1967 reform, the number of convictions soared by 300% by 1974, in that year alone. Not long after, hysteria around the AIDS crisis combined with Thatcher’s ‘family values’ campaign manifesting in the likes of Section 28 further aided mass homophobia.


Rejected by public spaces and services, queer people were pushed into the underground to create essential safe spaces for expression and existence.


This project explores archival representations of this period of time. Freedom and oppression were side by side. Discriminatory legislation was never far from activism, violence never far from vibrance.

Although a representation of the past, issues of legislative exclusion and public discrimination and violence are far from behind us. Rights to health care, identity, representation, expression, and safety remain illusive at best for trans people. Debates around trans rights continue to exclude trans people, and ministers of ‘equality’ continue to push inequality.

Queer and Indecent seeks to question and create discussion. If one is rejected from the public sphere, then what do they become? To where do they belong?
An archival tale of a community pushed to the margins

An archival tale of a community pushed to the margins

Kate Fahy's Curatorial Statement
The concept of Queer & Indecent was born from a fascination with ideas around space (especially queer space), and fueled by anger towards recent legislation that is particularly oppressive towards the trans community; debating and denying access to public spaces and services. I believe that understanding the past gives clarity to the present, and the exhibition really speaks to that.

It is super exciting to be holding Queer & Indecent at Bricks Bristol’s RELAY project space - a wonderful new space that supports artist development in Bristol. We are working together to create a welcoming and safe space where guests can interact with the exhibition, engage with discussions, and hopefully leave with something to think about.

This project is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network with National Lottery funding as part of New Directions.

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Cheryl Morgan is a co-chair of OutStories Bristol, a volunteer community history group gathering the stories of LGBT+ people living in or associated with Bristol and its surrounds. She is an expert on the history of trans people in the ancient world and has been published in a number of academic venues. Cheryl is a regular speaker on the LGBT History Month circuit, including hosted several events organised by OutStories Bristol in conjunction with M Shed Museum.


Cheryl underwent gender transition in the 1990s when the UK had no trans-specific civil rights laws. She currently works with The Diversity Trust to run a programme of trans awareness training for a range of clients from small charities to large corporations and government. This involves in depth knowledge of how social attitudes towards trans people, and the laws affecting them, have changed over the years.

PANEL  SaturDAY 11 Sept 12:30
@ 12:30 in Bricks relay project space

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