Our Screen Heritage – capturing the stories of queer communities
Margate and Folkestone Pride alongside Screen Archive South East (SASE) have launched Our Screen Heritage – a series of public film events exploring and celebrating LGBTQIA+ life in Folkestone, Margate and surrounding areas.
Following a major public callout for film footage, aiming to discover, document and share key stories of past and present queer communities, contributions so far span over 30 years. From memories of growing up queer in 1980s Britain and life under Section 28, to films made by young people reflecting on what it means to be LGBTQIA+ today.
A team of volunteer community curators from Folkestone and Margate’s LGBTQIA+ community are actively collecting material from the public, alongside capturing on film for the first time, stories, and memories from the local LGBTQIA+ community.
Our Screen Heritage will host screenings at the Quarterhouse in Folkestone on 15 October and at Dreamland in Margate on 22 October. Folkestone will present films and performances accompanied by artists The Nightbus, Fever Dream, Ernst Fischer, Helen Davison and Ash McNaughton. Margate’s films will be shown alongside a line-up of artists and performances to be announced shortly. Events will be free and open to all.
As well as screenings, a series of exhibitions will be held in both towns. In Folkestone, exhibitions will appear along Tontine Street, covering themes of nature, families, the future of the LGBTQIA+ archive, as well as Pride, protest and parties. Exhibitions will take place from 30 September to 16 October at local venues DIY4FOLKE, CT20 and D:NA and 13 to 16 October at UCA Brewery Tap. Folkestone Museum are hosting a display about Our Screen Heritage from 30 September.
In Margate, Margate Pride presents an immersive screening experience entitled The Weirdness of Queerness at Walpole Bay Hotel on 8 October plus an exhibition entitled (Archive As) Rebellion at The Margate School 12 October to 25 October, exploring the process of discovering and bringing LGBTQIA+ histories to the public.
Screen Archive South East continues to accept submissions of LGBTQIA+ footage for preservation and to be made available for free community use both now and in the future.
Above image: ‘Folkestone Spacious and Gracious’, still, film by Peter Whale (1969)
Main image: ‘Muscle Mary’, still, film by Jake Wood. Filmed in Romney Marsh, the area has a rich LGBTQ+ history and artistic connections such as Derek Jarman, Henry James and Edward Burra. The film was submitted by Kent artist Jake Wood as part of the Our Screen Heritage open call and will feature as part of the Margate shows.