Queering the archive: Hide me don't hide me

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This paper is an exploration of a practice based approach to using queer theory in resituating an archival film through a case study of the proposal for the animation project ‘Hide me, don’t hide me’ 2023.

Focusing on Margaret Thompsons 1960 film ‘Understanding aggression’ as the key text, we aimed to work with an established young LGBTQI+ group on Teesside and co author a new narrative focused on key objects in the film, subverting their status as solid and inert by using animation to free them from the boundaries of their form and explore fluid and subtle new readings.

From initial studies of the NHS BFI archive, there are a range of strategies present and productions ranging from animation through to comedy and documentary. Alarmingly lacking is any discussion of the lives and identities of people from the LGBTQI+ community, even rarer is any discussion of the intersectionality of mental health and LGBTQI+ identifying people. Our community partners identified visibility, community and identity as key themes through early discussions on agenda.

Through an exploration of the creation of the project proposal, I examine the adequacy of queer in ‘queering the archive’ as an approach in the context of the projects parameters and in meeting the combined needs of the projects stakeholders.

A note on terminology: I am using LGBTQI+ as a term to encompass the diverse group of individuals from the community youth group who self identify as part of this community.

The terms queer and queering are used in relation to queer theory and stratagems, in particular challenges to binary notions of gender, identity and states of health as well as an a term to refer to queer identifying people in relation to the project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023


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