PRIDE NT - OUR QUEER HISTORY is an exhibition celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the inaugural Darwin Pride Festival. The Stonewall Gay Pride Festival in 1985 marked the first public coming together and coming out of Darwin’s queer peoples. During the past three decades the Territory’s dynamic queer community has rejected silent invisibility and, in doing so, has succeeded in the struggle to be seen, heard and respected.
Leading historian, co-curator and co-founder of NT Pride in 1985, Dr Dino Hodge developed the exhibition narrative with Koulla Roussos, Matthew Van Roden and the staff of the NT Library.
“No longer are we a fragmented set of fringe-dwellers struggling to find even one public voice. We now enjoy a substantial public presence of many voices speaking out with strength and confidence. Today, we proudly participate in every facet of public life. Our past and present contributions give form and colour to Territory culture.” said Dr Hodge
The exhibition draws upon archival records, artefacts, oral histories, photographs and newspaper reports. Community members also have contributed new information, further expanding the historical record.
Importantly, seven leading Territory contemporary artists have created new works responding to the exhibition's themes and celebrating their queer identities. They are Garry Lee, Therese Richie, Andy Ewing, Matthew Van Roden, Jane Black, Hande Noyan and Koulla Roussos.
Co- curator Koulla Roussos said: “This is the first time an exhibition of this magnitude has been launched at the NT Library. We want to impress upon the community the importance of this history and ensuring that it gets recorded in the archives for future generations”
This ground-breaking exhibition is being opened The Hon Garry Higgins MLA, the Minister for Arts and Museums.
Co-curator and artist, Matthew Van Roden said:
“Some say history is condemned to repeat itself; that we never truly learn the lessons from the past; that each new generation is condemned to repeat the follies of the one before it. This exhibition documents the follies of our queer community: our inability to supress what is natural and beautiful within us; our insistence on flourishing despite discrimination and shame; and our determination to repeat these follies over and over again.”