RGU leads a new LGBTQIA+ project to celebrate diversity in Aberdeen

Thursday 26 January 2023

Look Again team and students
Gray’s School of Art’s Look Again team is launching a new project to shed light on Aberdeen’s changing LGBTQIA+ community. The project highlights lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people from across the North East.

The project is supported by £5000 funding from Aberdeen City Council's Covid Recovery Fund (LACER), as part of the Gray’s led Culture-Aberdeen project, to re-energise Aberdeen city centre’s empty shops.

To mark the project launch, Look Again has hosted a ‘Collaborative Insights’ event for Aberdeen’s LGBTQIA+ community, to share experiences about being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The event, held at the Look Again Project Space on Sunday 22 January, brought together representatives from Grampian’s Four Pillars, RGU LGBTQIA+ Network, Aberdeen Taexali, Limbo, Aberdeen Uni LGBTQ+ Forum, Joy on Tap Drag, Baltic Boys Aberdeen and Aberdeen Front Runners.

The next stage of the project will include a new queer performance club night and an exhibition, showcasing a selection of LGBTQIA+ creative practitioners from the city ahead of Grampian Pride in May.

Organiser of project, Bart Grabski from Look Again, wants to highlight and showcase what is currently happening in the city and bring together members of the LGBTQIA+ community to present the rising excitement and collaboration.

Speaking about the project, Bart said: “We want to re-energise the city centre and create a space for people to come together to share experiences and showcase their talent. The ‘Collaborative Insights Event’ demonstrated how vibrant the LGBTQIA+ community is in Aberdeen. As the project progresses, together we want to create more opportunities for LGBTQIA+ creatives in order to celebrate the diversity and strengths of the community across the North East.

“The new initiative, supported by Culture Aberdeen, will help foster a sense of belonging and togetherness for the LGBTQIA+ community and marks a first for the city that is really essential post-Covid. I’m really looking forward to hosting the queer performance club night and would encourage anyone interested in attending the event to be up to date with Look Again’s social media channels.”

Gray’s Look Again Co-Director, Sally Reaper, said: “Visibility of underrepresented communities is a significant aspect of the Gray’s led ‘Culture-Aberdeen’ project to re-energise empty shops in Aberdeen and to establish a new blue-print for the city that celebrates our diverse communities.

“This new LGBTQIA+ project will also include an exhibition with Queer artists, videographers, photographers, drag performers, set designers and DJs creating costumes and other items to be showcased in 1-5 George Street. There will be commission opportunities available, and the project team is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in taking part.”

Gray’s alumnae and former Artists in Residence, creative duo Claudia Sneddon and Joe Morris, known by the pseudonym, Olive and Anya, are two of the leading artists on the project and will perform at a special queer performance club night this spring.

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