Resituating Interruptions is a collaborative project by the NSCAD Queer Collective, in partnership with the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive, and with contributions from Wesley Riley and Vie Jones. Please visit our thank yous page for a full list of the people who made this project possible.
2SLGBTQIA+ historical material is hard to find. Queer communities, for many reasons, do not always leave easily accessed paper trails. Erasure and censorship, both of information and physical space, is a felt problem. Often, queer history and knowledge circulate as whispers and word-of-mouth, between and among those who seek it out. The Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive is the first institutional, dedicated queer archive east of Montreal. This project, made in consultation and partnership with the NS LGBT Archive’s creators, seeks to mobilize and activate the contents of this collection on occasion of its public launch on October 15th, 2020. Resituating Interruptions gathers, groups, and curates material from this collection around topics ranging from feminist political organizing to the surveillance of public sex. Institutional archives are often not the most accessible– in creating this project, we hope to uphold the vibrant queer history of K’jipuktuk/Halifax and facilitate it’s access for not only those who will seek it out, but also for those who might not yet know they’re looking for it. Sifting through the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archives' material, which ranges from activist banners and pamphlets to personal newspaper clipping collections, was also an act of interrogation. We searched for the missing pieces in the archives and considered the gaps, invisibilities and absences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), trans, disabled, fat, and neurodivergent queer people. Collaborating with two community members, Vie Jones and Wesley Riley, we position their contributions alongside the archival material as a way of imagining and forwarding queer archival futures that encompass a multitude of intersections with queerness. Working with this material today, we hope that we have produced a little bit of archival magic, collapsing the bounds of time in public space to make queer history, present, and future tangible and more accessible.
About the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive
The Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive has been developed over the last two years, and is launching for public access on October 15th, 2020 from 4-5pm. There is a virtual launch on Microsoft Teams, which you can access by clicking this link. The archive was initiated by Jacqueline Gahagan, with research and archives assistance from Daniel MacKay and Lydia Hansberger. Like many queer archives, much the material contained within the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive comes from personal collections and local, many now defunct, organizations. The formats of these materials are diverse, including personal papers, photo albums, banners, VHS tapes, graphic art and posters. You can learn more about the archive here.
A Note on Queer
Throughout this project, we use the term queer as an umbrella term to refer to the many diverse forms that sexuality and gender can take. The term queer, historically and today, is often used as slur against members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community; it’s use by members of the community is an act of reclamation, organizing a community around shared experiences outside the bonds of a heteronormative world. With this in mind, we want to take a second to recognize those for whom this word still holds pain, and hope we have used it with respect and care.