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Must See Stories: Digital commission from six LGBTQIA+ artists

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A new digital channel will launch in February 2021 thanks to a collaborative project between Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) and Curious Arts.

Six LGBTQIA+ artists from the North East have shared their response to the theme 'What does Pride mean to you?' as part of a new, digital editorial programme Must-see Stories. These commissions explore both individuals and communities’ journeys and experiences of what pride (with a small and capital P!) means to them. The collection will explore how the six contributors celebrate their identity and show pride in who they are.

The collaboration will pave the way for more oral histories to be collected from the region and has been described by TWAM as 'a pivotal chapter in the development of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museum’s online platforms.'

These new digital commissions will go live on the new Must-see Stories platform and subsequent channels in February 2021.

The artists:

  • Bridget Hamilton is a writer and creative producer based in the North East of England. Currently working on New Writing North's young writers' programme, Bridget has produced written and audio content for brands such as The Independent and BBC Radio Three.
  • Chantal Herbert is an audio producer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, and one half of Tits Up Creative. She creates impactful and atmospheric audio productions that centre on social activism, feminism, violence against women and girls and the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people.
  • Dandysocpic is the not-quite-drag performance alias of artist JG Tansley; they make performance work that is gender-bent, unapologetically camp, heartfelt and unashamed.
  • Julie Ballands is a filmmaker and digital storyteller whose work explores themes connected to people’s sense of place and belonging, often drawing upon archived material and personal testimonies. Having undertaken artist residencies and commissions for many organisations in the community, charity and arts sectors, Julie has also worked for the last 20 years in cultural institutions across the North East.
  • Laura Crow aka The Crow Factory is a designer based in Gateshead. Her work is predominantly made digitally, and she is interested in social and political themes combined with cinematic composition and bold colours.
  • Richard Bliss is an artist who makes things with other people. Usually working with textiles, he has been on a quest to make the perfect shirt for the last three years. Along the way he has made work about the changing nature of masculinity, celebrated craft workers who have been left out of official histories, and tried to increase the visibility of LGBTQI people in museums, galleries and libraries.

The commissions are funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s supported Sustaining Engagement with Collections Fund and will capture and celebrate the stories of LGBTQIA+ communities in Tyne & Wear.

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