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Catherine Freyne, Scott MacKinnon and Mark Don have drawn on their exemplary skills as oral historians, historians of sexuality and as experts in audio and radio history to produce a captivating 2-part program on the history and meanings of Mardi Gras. The programs marked the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras in June 2018 and the timeframes covered by the episodes, the foundation years of 1979-1981 and the near death and resurrection years 2002 to 2003, enable a sophisticated presentation of a complex history.
The producers draw on their knowledge and connections with Sydney’s gay community utilising the valuable Sydney Pride Oral History archive as well as the City of Sydney’s archival resources to produce a program giving voice to many participants, scholars and observers over the years. The evocative use of music, sound and excellent narration transports us back to the heady, if often conflictual days of the 1980s and 2000s, but teaches us important lessons about the personal and political history of gay, lesbian and queer life in the decades since and now.