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The National Museum of Ireland celebrates the return of OUTing the Past the international festival of LGBTI+ history this spring

Fifteen Cultural Institutions, 24 days, 3 weeks, 39 exciting events and one amazing all-Ireland wide LGBTI+ Festival!
Outing the Past is back, bigger and better, more fabulous than ever!

Galleries, museums, libraries and archives across Ireland present OUTing the Past 2022: The International Festival of Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Trans History, an exciting celebration of events, talks, webinars and workshops which will run from 18 March 2022 to 10 April 2022.
In just four years, this important festival, which aims to provide a platform for previously overlooked LGBTI+ histories, has grown from a small grassroots event in Belfast to an island-wide collaboration in 2022. From Dublin to Derry and Kilkenny to Mayo, this year’s programme brings academics, activists and the rich diversity of the LGBTI+ community together, and invites you to participate through online and in person events.
Adam Murray of Cara-Friend, the Northern Ireland based LGBTQI+ support group.

With so many institutions hosting and organising events across Ireland, OTP has truly flourished across Ireland since Cara-Friend organised the first hub on the island in Belfast at the Ulster Museum. Dozens, if not hundreds, of LGBTI+ individuals will be speaking as part of the 2022 festival and LGBTI+ charitable organisations at a local level play a big role in the organising of festival hubs”

Brian Crowley, curator of Kilmainham Gaol expressed how:

delighted the Gaol is to be the host for the opening event of OUTing The Past Festival 2022. The Festival is a very important initiative which addresses the historic erasure of LGBTQIA+ lives and invites the public to explore stories which were too often hidden or denied in the past."

 Hollie Kearns, Learning and Public Engagement Curator at Butler Gallery announced:

‘Butler Gallery is delighted to be producing three events at OUTing the Past Festival for the first time in 2022. The festival is an exciting model of collaboration between museums and galleries that celebrates and brings light to the rich LGBTI+ community history. This is part of our shared heritage and Butler Gallery is thankful to be part of this public moment through OUTing the Past.’’ 

The programme of talks, highlighting key moments throughout LGBTI+ history will run at over 15 institutions throughout Ireland with many online and in person events.
OUTing the Past 2022 will run from 18 March 2022 until 10 April 2022.
Admission to all events is free. Booking is required for some events, see for further details.
Details of the full festival programme are available here

OUTing the Past Festival programme at the National Museum of Ireland

The History of OutWest

3pm / Sunday / 3rd April
Location: In Person/Online - AV Room NMI - Country Life

Celebrate OUTing the Past Ireland 2022 by joining some of the members of OutWest. They will discuss their origins as well as their support and advocacy work for LGBT+ people in the West of Ireland. Originally founded in 1997 as Mayo Roscommon Outreach, OutWest is a voluntary group that aims to organise social outings and events several times a year in various venues in the West of Ireland. As well as advocacy and awareness work, OutWest provides educational sessions, to benefit the LGBT+ community, both in Connacht and on a national level.

How to book: Free. Booking required.


Esther & Oscar at Collins Barracks

Sunday 3rd April 13.00-16.00
In Person - Onsite Performance at the National Musuem of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks

Denis Kehoe - Novelist and lecturer in Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin has developed two alter-egos, Esther Raquel Minsky and Oscar Esterson and will spend the duration of the opening hours of the Museum occupying the courtyard, engaging with the space as both Oscar and Esther. Kehoe will move between genders throughout the day and perform different personas (the soldier, the seamstress, and the sailor) in a series of walks, dances and physical movements.

How to book: No booking required.


Queering the Collections

Thursday 7th April 12.00-12.40
Location: Pre-recorded - Online

Matt Smith will present on his work as an artist and curator, with a focus on Matt’s own experiences and work with Museums. Matt will share his reflections and thoughts on what the National Museum of Ireland should consider in terms of queering the collections.

Working as a hybrid artist and curator, the core of Matt's practice is unpicking the work of establishment organisations and shifting their – and their visitors’ – points of reference. Using techniques of Institutional Critique and Artist Intervention, the familiar is made unfamiliar and power structures are brought to light.

Using craft, with its connotations of the amateur, accessibility and gender and exploiting its place in the art world, the work celebrates the mainstream and also unsettles it, taking objects from their intended roles and repurposing them in alternative situations and narratives.

Through re-appropriation and reinterpretation, Matt's practice aims to question the master narratives we get told and provide a space in which marginalised viewpoints are given space and alternative and contradictory conclusions can be made.

How to book: Free. Booking required.


Collecting the Contemporary at St Fagans National Museum of History

Date: Thursday 7th April 13.00-13.20
Location: Online - Livestreamed via Restream

Mark Etheridge is a Curator at St Fagan’s National Museum of History, in Cardiff, and is responsible for the LGBTQ+ collection. This presentation discusses the ongoing work with individuals and community groups to collect objects for the St Fagan’s collection that represent contemporary LGBTQ+ experiences and events in Wales. These include collecting from community groups such as Glitter Cymru, a support and social group for LGBTQ+ ethnic minorities in Wales; collecting contemporary events such as the changes of rules around gay and bi men donating blood, and the passing of a Church in Wales bill that now allows the blessing of same sex marriages; and also the impact of Covid-19 on pride events in Wales, and how St Fagan’s changed its approach, and collected digital pride events.

How to book: Free. Booking required.


The Rebirth of Dublin Pride

Date: Sun, 10 April 2022 19:00 – 22:00
Location: Livestreamed via Restream

Gay Community News called it the seven-year itch. This headline captured the mood perfectly, there was a quiet sense within the LGBT community that we had turned a corner and there may be better times ahead. The European Court of Human Rights had ruled that Ireland's continued criminalisation of gay sex was contrary to human rights, and in an unexpected move, sexual orientation was included in recently enacted Incitement to Hatred legislation. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church had been shaken by the Bishop Casey scandal, and whereas the AIDS crisis was still raging, more people were living with AIDS and the sense of community was strong while most LGBT activism was devoted to the fight against AIDS. In this context, it seemed that the higher visibility provided by Pride marches and celebrations was needed more than ever after such a long absence, an absence that increasingly seemed to be an aberration given the gradual progress being made towards improved LGBT rights in Ireland.

This presentation will recount the story of how Pride returned to the streets of Dublin after a seven-year absence. It will detail the people behind the initiative, their motivations and inspirations, the challenges encountered, support received from allies, and experiences while preparing for and during the event itself. The presentation will conclude with some observations on the immediate impact of Dublin Pride 1992 and on its wider implications for future Prides in Ireland and its effects on the broader lived experience of the LGBT community, our supporters and all who sought a more pluralistic Ireland.

Please note this is a live stream event. Attendees will be sent the link to the live online talk in advance.

How to book: Free. Booking required.




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