Artwork by LGBTQ+ people, seeking a safe space in the UK after escaping discrimination and marginalisation in China, will be showcased at a new exhibition in London.
The 'Let Untold Stories Rise' exhibition at London's LGBTQ+ Community Centre features a vibrant collection of miniature magazines known as 'zines', which were made during a series of creative workshops. Each zine contains artwork, personal stories and commentaries, and they’re often used as a medium for marginalised communities to share their experiences and perspectives.
The exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK and it plays an important role in amplifying the voices of people who’ve long suffered from invisibility, discrimination and barriers in all aspects of life. In the Western LGBTQ+ culture, there is very limited safe space and representation for people of East Asian heritage. The same dilemma exists in the Chinese community, which is dominated by strong heterosexual family values and cultural traditions. Chinese LGBTQ+ people are, therefore, marginalised and often treated as outsiders on both sides.
The Queer Zine-Making Project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Impact Accelerator Account. It is co-led by Dr Hongwei Bao, Director of Research for the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies at the University of Nottingham and Qiuyan Chen, Founder and Director of the community support and campaign group, Queer China UK.
The exhibition is free to attend and will run from 29th April - 28th May at the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre. Some of the zines will then be donated to the Hackney Chinese Community Archive and the London LGBTQ+ Community Archive.