Margate Queer Writers presents Memory 2021 marking the 50th anniversary of Bernadette Mayer’s diary project – The Isle Of Thanet News

Memory 2021 Image Liam J O’Driscoll

July 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of Memory by poet Bernadette Mayer.

Memory is a diary from July 1971 based on notes and writings and a series of 1,116 slides (36 images taken each day).

Throughout July 2021, the queer collective Margate Queer Writers recreated their own version of this “emotional science project”.

Margate Queer Writers participants were asked to choose a day in July 2021 that they would like to record. That day, they wrote a text and took photos reflecting themselves and the world around them.

Picture Alexandros Haros

The result is an archive of the lived queer moment in all its raw immediacy. Fragments of text and a selection of photos have been designed into posters.

There will now be an exhibition of the text and photography and an audioscape of readings for the private preview from 6-8pm on Friday July 1 at Margate Caves.

After the opening, the works will be exhibited in public places in Margate throughout July.

Image Hayley White

The founder of Margate Queer Writers, Liam J O’Driscoll, said: “I wanted to celebrate Bernadette Mayer and his flagship work from 1971 Memory, so I gave myself the task of doing my own version of his project exactly 50 years after her . Margate is full of queer creatives who are open to collaboration and fun projects, so I thought, why not ask Margate Queer Writers to get involved too?

mage Lennie

“This project turned out to be a time capsule of that awkward moment when we stuttered out of some of the worst of the pandemic and started interacting with the world and each other again. It also coincides with a queer renaissance now happening in Margate. We have a bustling drag scene, regular music events like country music-themed Queer Cu*try, and a brand new queer venue called Camp Margate.

ImageTom Wilson

“For this project, I asked contributors to follow their instincts because not all of us are writers. Some chose to write traditional journal entries. Others wrote poetry, song lyrics, captions, tours, lists. Some wrote found texts and heard conversations. We have it all!

Picture Jen Scott with Shelly Grotto

“The pictures are beautiful. Photographing everything from the beautiful to the mundane, the photos provide insight into the life and perspective of Margate’s queer community.

Picture Mia

“Recording our days at this point in the pandemic gives us insight into how COVID has affected this seaside queer community at this time. Isolation, mourning, fear and loneliness are themes in the works, but we also have the excitement of coming back together, of finding friends, of dancing, of being creative again, of the hope of encounters sexual. And of course it’s Margate, so there are lots of sunset pictures too!

To follow the Memory 2021 journey, visit @margatequeerwriters and @margatepride


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