UK LGBT History Month 2018 has Geography as its theme. From the outset, the notion of ‘space’ has been central to the lives of gay and other men who have sex with men as a mechanism for making contact with each other. ‘Hooking up’ not only provides an opportunity for expressing sexuality and identity, but to gain love, affirmation and a sense of connection with a community. In this interactive lecture we work with the genre of performance ethnography to use multi-media and the voices of men who experience ‘hooking up’ at three bench marks in time between 1960 and the present day.
In ‘The Young Ones’, Ian recounts surveillance and his brushes with the law when negotiating Nottingham’s gay party scene in the 1960s. In ‘The Office’, James explains the role of waiting as a point of contact prior to non-verbal negotiations undertaken in the 1980s cottaging scene and in ‘Grindr’, the temporality of contemporary online spaces are explored.
Seen collectively, these three ‘performances’ comprise a patchwork text which aims to construct in the mind of the audience, a longitudinal sense of the way in which the role of ‘culture’ on the macro scale interacts with space on the micro scale. In the interactive Q and A session following the three performances, audience members will be invited to consider the shifts in gay men’s approach to hooking up as well as the efficacy of performance ethnography as a mechanism for communicating the detail of life experience.
This event is part of The University of Nottingham’s LGBT History Month programme.
All welcome (suitable for 16+).
This event is free to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
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22 April 2021
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