Together As One: A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ Community at The Refuge

Together As One: A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ Community
The Refuge
28th July 2022 – 30th September 2022

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A photograph from Together As One an exhibition at The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower
Photo © Peter J Walsh, all rights reserved.

The summer, as part of their Summer of Pride Celebrations, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel hosts Together As One: A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ Community in partnership with British Culture Archive.

Together As One – A Celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ Community features a collection of photographs by Jon Shard and Peter J Walsh capturing two significant moments in the history of Manchester’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community.

Jon Shard’s imagery captures The Haçienda’s hallowed dancefloor club night, Flesh. Launched in October 1991, Flesh was the flamboyant mid-week club night at The Haçienda, which welcomed everyone – black, white, gay, straight and was also the home of the clubs’ first female resident DJs, Paulette and Kath McDermott. Flesh arrived during a turbulent time during the club and city’s history. The comedown from the Halcyon years of 1988 -1990 was in full flow and regular ‘Hac’ nights were losing their appeal due to a number of gang related incidents and laddish clientele putting off the punters. The Haçienda and nights such as Flesh fit into a tradition of creativity and cultural innovation in Manchester, which can be seen throughout the city today.

Photo Flesh at The Hacienda © Jon Shard, all rights reserved.

Photography by Peter J Walsh documents the Clause 28 protest, which saw over 20,000 people take to the streets of Manchester in February 1988 in one of the largest LGBTQIA+ demonstrations to take place in the UK. Margaret Thatcher’s law prohibited local authorities and schools from “promoting” homosexuality and prevented councils from funding much-needed lesbian and gay initiatives, at a time when the community was struggling with the HIV and Aids epidemic and there was a backlash towards the community driven by the media. Peter J Walsh, who is more well known for documenting the city’s nightlife during the ‘Madchester’ years is one of the few who documented this important protest that would help change the face of LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK.

Clause 28 Demo Albert Square 1988 © Peter J Walsh, all rights reserved.

A non-profit organisation set up to document, highlight and preserve the changes in British culture and society through documentary photography, British Culture Archive was founded in 2017 through a passion of documentary photography. Their mission is to make photography accessible and inspire and engage people from all backgrounds, while their online galleries, community workshops and exhibitions showcase and highlight British documentary photography from post war Britain to the the present day.

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