Judith Ackland
Judith Ackland, The Cabin from the Shore, Low Tide (1941). Photo: Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

The South West is an area rich with LGBTQ+ history and culture. Many LGBTQ+ artists and writers have visited and lived in the South West, demonstrating how the peninsula can act as a space where new forms of intimacy, collaboration and resistance become possible. LGBTQ+ communities continue to thrive in the area today both through regional and transcultural forms of exchange with people, histories and forms of activism beyond the UK. At the same time, LGBTQ+ people based in the South West often experience social and cultural isolation and loneliness, and many arts, culture and heritage institutions are eager to do more to include and welcome LGBTQ+ audiences.

The last few years have seen a series of pioneering LGBTQ+-led artistic and heritage projects involving major cultural institutions in the region. These include Queer Kernow (with Royal Cornwall Museum); The Beat of our Hearts (with Northcott Theatre); Out and About: Queering the Museum (with Royal Albert Memorial Museum); Queering Climate Activisim (with Royal Albert Memorial Museum and TATE St Ives); and SEEN (with Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange), to name but a few. The Queer Peninsula strand will build on and expand this important work and seek to create new forms of dialogue and collaboration with LGBTQ+ communities and the arts and culture sector in the South West. It will seek to support new artistic responses and creative collaborations and contribute to the creation and preservation of archives of LGBTQ+ voices of people based in or otherwise connected to the South West.

The Queer Peninsula strand is co-directed by Professor Jana Funke (English and Creative Writing) and Dr Ina Linge (Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies).