Understandably the response to the current viral pandemic was to ensure the safety of participants and organisers alike, resulting in the postponement of the last Hubs of the 2020 Festival (OTP Dublin, OTP New York & OTP Boston).
The pandemic was brought even more forcefully home when on 1st April our dear colleague Tarlach Mac Naillias (OTP North America Coordinator) died with a virus-related illness in his adopted city of New York. Our thoughts are with his bereaved husband Juan and their families and friends. These links are to the obituaries published by The Irish Times and New York Times NYT | IT . The task of making sure Tarlach’s and our collective campaigning history project continues in the immediate months faces the same uncertainties that we are painfully aware. We are therefore bringing plans forward looking towards technology to both help re-imagine the project together with making it more accessible. This has already commenced with a pilot YouTube site being launched to showcase a selection of the OTP Festival presentations given during previous OTP Festival Hubs celebrations to be found HERE
The ambition is to have all of this coming year’s OTP Gazetted Presentations recorded at source or at Festival Hub (subject to health advice in each country/district) then uploaded to this site. This will provide both a wonderful lasting tribute to all our Festival presenters together with a globally accessible queer archive. A legacy of the remarkable insights generated through the OTP project for current and future generations.
This new development will not alter the annual nine-month preparation and delivery of our OTP Project. The OTP Call for LGBT+ History & Unique Oral Testimony Presentations, will be broadcast in late June. This invitation will for the first time include an invitation to offer a filmed version of the presentation. Although much is not known or knowable about the duration of social distancing and gathering rules this e-development will allow the OTP Festival 2021 to safely go ahead.
The annual OTP Conference Gathering planned for May 2020 at Queen’s University Belfast was postponed in March. Instead, and in consultation with our Belfast hosts, plans are underway to reschedule the programme dedicated to ‘Completing the Past: LGBT+ History and Creative Production’ for May 2021. A virtual symposium tentatively scheduled for 12th September is intended to feature discussions on creatively engaging with the past and to serve as a prelude to the rescheduled conference gathering. Please look-out for further Festival updates @ https://www.outingthepast.com/.
LGBT+ History Month has announced its theme for 2021 – Mind, Body and Spirit. Resources, including the Five Faces for February are on the website HERE. We will be having a digital launch on the 4th November in conjunction with the British Library. If you want to know more please subscribe to OUTburst