LGBT+ History Month 2023 #BehindtheLens: What’s On?


LGBT+ History Month 2023 #BehindtheLens: What’s On?

The LGBT+ History Month 2023 logo. A film clapperboard with the colours of the Progress Pride flag along its clapper sticks.

February is LGBT+ History Month and each year, the education charity Schools OUT UK, which works to make educational institutions safe and inclusive places for members of the LGBT+ community, chooses a different theme to highlight and celebrate the contributions and achievements of LGBT+ people in different arenas, and amplify LGBT+ voices and experiences. The theme for 2023 is #BehindtheLens and focuses on LGBT+ people working behind the camera in the film industry. In honour and celebration of LGBT+ History Month this year, the library, People, Culture and Inclusion team, CCCq staff network, and Student LGBTQIA+ Society have teamed up to provide a programme of events and collection of resources that you won’t want to miss so read on to find out more.

Tuesday 31st January 1pm at Augustine House: Progress Pride flag raising

We’re kicking things off with our Vice-Chancellor Rama Thirunamachandran on Tuesday 31st January with the raising of the Progress Pride flag at the front of Augustine House at 1pm. All staff and students are welcome to attend and the flag will remain in place throughout the month.

The intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flag.
The intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flag.

Sunday 5th and Sunday 26th February 7-11pm at The Lounge: LGBT+ History Month quizzes

Join us at The Longue on the first and last Sunday of February for our LGBT+ History Month Quiz! To reserve a place, a standard entry fee of £1 will apply. For the quiz on Sunday 26th, the entry fee will be £2, with £1 of every entrance fee going toward the charity, Mermaids. Staff and Students are welcome to attend – please remember to bring your Staff / Student ID cards. You can find out more about Mermaids and the work they do here.

Wednesday 22nd February 6:30pm at Verena Holmes: God’s Own Country film screening

Come to VH0.04 for a film screening of British romantic drama God’s Own Country. The film, written and directed by Francis Lee, stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu. The plot follows a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is transformed by a Romanian migrant worker. To help us gauge numbers for the event, please sign up here:

Thursday 23rd February 6-8pm on Teams: Stitch & B*tch session

As we look to start wrapping up LGBT History Month 2023, join us virtually on Teams in our Stitch & B*tch session to learn how make some crafts and hangout with likeminded individuals who are open to learning and conversation on anything and everything LGBT+. No previous experience in crafts is required. All materials and instructions will be provided ahead of time.

Tuesday 28th February 6-8pm: Canterbury Christ Church Creatives workshop

Canterbury Christ Church Creatives is hosting a workshop as part of the University’s LGBT+ History Month activities this February in collaboration with CCCq, the University’s LGBTQIA+ Staff Network. Referencing the 2023 LGBT+ History Month theme of #BehindTheLens, participants of the session will be able to hand tint black and white photos and images that have significance for them.

Ahead of the workshop, participants will be asked to provide up to 5 photos or images of their choice (in colour or black and white). These will be printed in black and white on photographic paper ready for them to hand tint at the workshop. Hand tinting involves applying colour to all or part of an image, either to heighten the realism of the image or for artistic purposes.

If you would like to participate in the session, please email Canterbury Christ Church Creatives here and send across your photos or images of choice by Monday 20th February.

For more information on Canterbury Christ Church Creatives, click here.

Throughout February at the library

Here at Augustine House library we’ve got a striking display on the ground floor of Augustine House, by the entrance to the Library Point and opposite the lifts, which showcases some of our excellent resources related to #BehindtheLens, including books, DVDs, and CDs. If you’re not sure which books you might want to have a read of, CCCU senior lecturer in History Mitch Goodrum has written some overviews that may pique your interest. We’ll have a presentation running which explores some important LGBT+ figures in the world of cinema and their roles in the industry, and even some freebies for you to take away.

A collection of 15 essays by Audre Lorde that centre the experience of Black lesbians, in the process tackling issues that were being overlooked in contemporary feminist thought, and that still remain necessary today.

CCCU senior history lecturer Mitch Goodrum on Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, featured in the library’s display.

We’re also queering Stress Less and will have a display of more general LGBT+ books, and we’ve got some LGBT+ themed booklets full of activities for you to complete when you’re in need of something fun to do while taking a break.

A colouring page from the Stress Less LGBT+ History Month activity pack.
One of the colouring pages from our LGBT+ History Month Stress Less activity pack.

It’s not just about the physical resources. We’ve also put together a collection of LGBT+ reading on Overdrive and two #BehindtheLens playlists on Box of Broadcasts (BoB), one focusing on film and the other containing television episodes.

In addition to these, we’ve handpicked 28 films that have been made by LGBT+ crew members, and we’re challenging our users to watch as many of them as they can or would like to throughout the month. There’ll be a blog coming with the full list of films and we’d love to know what you think of our picks and what you’re watching so let us know by tweeting @ccculibrary and using the hashtag #BTLfilmchallenge.

A poster promoting the #BehindtheLens film challenge. Contains a QR code to the blog post about the challenge and the link:
A poster promoting the #BehindtheLens film challenge. Contains a QR code to the blog post about the challenge and the link:

We’ve also put together a series of blogs which we’ll be publishing across the month, looking at such topics as queer joy in cinema, LGBT+ creators and themes in horror and puppeteering, deep dives into the Wachowski Sisters’ masterpiece The Matrix and ground-breaking screenwriter Alice Wu, queer video games and, if you’d like to explore the theme further, some guidance on finding resources in the library collection using LibrarySearch and our extensive catalogue of databases.

If you’re on main campus, be sure to drop by the bookshop to check out their LGBT History Month display and see what gems they have in stock (and don’t forget – they can order any book in print for you!) and if you’re at the Medway campus, Drill Hall Library will be flying the Progress Pride flag and have a display of important, interesting and exciting LGBT+ books.

Reclaiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future.

We’re proud to support LGBT History Month. Initiated in 2005 to coincide with the abolition of Section 28 (harmful homophobic UK legislation passed in 1988 designed to prevent local authorities including schools from “promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”), February serves as a powerful reminder to learn about past challenges and discrimination, recognise both progress and continuing prejudice, and commit to becoming dedicated agents of change. We hope you’ll join us.

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