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This major exhibition takes a queer lens to the State Library’s vast collection and shares more than 20 untold stories that celebrate LGBTQI+ communities.
From hook-ups to ACT-UP, Ballroom to ball sports, fag hags to radical drag, and coalition to intersectionality, we shine the spotlight on lives, loves, industries and identities that have historically been overlooked and undervalued.
Curated from queer perspectives with input from community historians, activists and creatives, Pride (R)evolution centres LGBTQI+ experience.
Experience an immersive display of photographs, posters, letters, scrapbooks, clothing, film and sound — as well as newly commissioned works from queer and trans writers and artists.
A dynamic events program supports the exhibition, featuring local and international LGBTQI+ luminaries. Highlights during Sydney WorldPride include a star-studded celebration of the late Doris Fish. In May, acclaimed playwright Alana Valentine curates an evening of storytelling with music, exploring the legacy of crossdressing vaudevillian Nellie Small. Pride month in June will be celebrated with storytelling, screenings and performance associated with the exhibition.
As part of the Sydney WorldPride 2023 celebrations, see Sydneyphiles Reimagined — a contemporary interpretation of photographer William Yang’s breakthrough 1977 exhibition. View over 200 images, including vintage prints, and become immersed in the heady days of Yang’s early career and the aftermath of the show’s success.
Also on show are rarely seen items from the collection documenting the stories and experiences of LGBTQI+ people.
Ronald (Gamilaroi) is originally from Moree in central north-western NSW. He has over 30 years of experience working at the State Library of NSW and has also worked with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Most recently Ronald has been part of the Library’s curatorial team, specialising in First Nations people and histories, curating exhibitions, and bringing new items and voices into the Library’s collections.
Catherine Freyne (She/Her)
Catherine is a historian and producer of multimedia history content. She has worked as Features Producer at ABC Radio National and Historian at the City of Sydney. For her work in radio, she has received two NSW Premier’s History Awards and the Oral History Australia Media Award. She is currently completing a PhD which combines history, sexuality studies and family memoir. She likes the poet Muriel Rukeyser’s notion that ‘the universe is made up of stories not atoms’ and has a particular penchant for the true ones. She loves birds, underdogs and primary sources.
Bruce Carter (he/him)
Bruce has worked with communities on history projects for over 20 years, for the last decade with researchers at the State Library of NSW. He became a founding member of Sydney’s Pride History Group in 2006 and was a co-curator on the Library’s ‘Coming Out in the 70s’ exhibition in 2020–21. His PhD (completed at UTS in 2019) looked at the concept of ‘memory activism’ and the potential in personal memory and storytelling to challenge social inequality and dominant historical narratives.
Damien Webb (he/him)
Damien is a queer Palawa man (from southeast Tasmania) who has worked in state libraries for the last 10 years, including roles in Western Australia and New South Wales. He previously coordinated the State Library of Western Australia’s ‘Storylines Project’ and has worked with Aboriginal artists, traditional owners and researchers all over Australia.
Throughout the development of PRIDE (R)EVOLUTION, a number of community elders and experts have contributed stories, ideas and feedback.
For this we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our big gay hearts.
We couldn’t have done it without you.
Brianna Lara Ranieri