The Un-straight Museum, 13-14 June 2014

April Ashley

This international conference, organised by the LGBT arts and social justice organisation Homotopia with National Museums Liverpool, will explore the role of cultural institutions, curators and archivists in representing marginalised communities and promoting diversity. It will address the under representation of LGBT heritage in mainstream public spaces and showcase examples of ground-breaking work where hidden histories are being uncovered and presented.

The conference will take place in the Museum of Liverpool, where the major exhibition exploring Trans* experience, ‘April Ashley: portrait of a lady’ will run until December 2014. This exhibit has already been seen by more than 300,000 visitors and was supported with a grant of £78,000 from the HLF.

With speakers from Sweden, Germany, United States and Finland as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate, this two-day event is aimed at people working in the heritage and cultural sectors as well as researchers, academics and interested members of the LGBT community.

Janet Dugdale, Director, Museum of Liverpool said of this conference: “I am delighted that we can further the cause of making all our cultural institutions more truly inclusive and representative of all the communities we serve.”

Homotopia and National Museums Liverpool have been working together and developing a partnership for several years. During the annual Homotopia Festival every November talks and ‘queering’ events have been presented in the Walker Art Gallery to both attract a diverse audience and to re-interpret some of the collections.

There have also been two major art exhibitions at the Walker supported by Homotopia; The Living and the Dead: Paintings and sculpture by John Kirby, and David Hockney: Early Reflections.

April Ashley: portrait of a lady opened in September 2013 at the Museum of Liverpool. Homotopia devised the project and exhibition and successfully bid for Heritage Lottery Funding. National Museums Liverpool were partners on the project making over 800 sq ft of space available for the exhibit and supplying staff time and expertise.

The Council of Europe awarded the Museum of Liverpool its Human Rights Award in 2013 in recognition of the April Ashley exhibition. The money awarded is being re-invested by the museum into The Un-straight Museum conference.

The Un-straight Museum is also part of the International Festival of Business, the largest global concentration of business events during 2014. The 50-day festival runs across seven weeks in June and July and will attract delegates from around the world to Liverpool.

Watch David Hoyle exploring themes of identity in Walker.

For full conference details visit the Un-straight museum website. For booking details contact Bev@homotopia.net or call 07840 759 467.

Further information

For press enquiries contact Louise Muddle on 07840 758 467.