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Indexing Resistance: The Blood & Guts of Queer Protest in Canada

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Indexing Resistance: The Blood & Guts of Queer Protest in Canada. Toronto, June 23-24, 2022.


Symposium: Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1T9)

Exhibition: the plumb (1655 Dufferin St Basement, Toronto, ON M6H 3L9)


Register here.

Indexing Resistance is an interdisciplinary 2- day symposium at Lula Lounge with an accompanying month-long exhibition at the plumb. By reflecting on relationships between the visual, the scholarly, and preservation, Indexing Resistance presents papers and artwork exploring the diversity of resistance and protest in queer communities in Canada that focuses on untold, overlooked or forgotten histories. Keynote speaker, Julietta Singh discloses in her book No Archive Will Restore You (Punctum Books, 2018) that the concept of the archive is bodily, where memory and trauma are intertwined into the fabric of flesh. Singh’s approach to queerness, race, the archive, and resistance address these complexities by suggesting that knowledge (corporeal or intellectual) cannot repair the past.

      While Gay Liberation has become historically synonymous with the Stonewall Riots, in Canada, the context derives from several culminating factors, such as the Canadian government’s use of “the fruit machine” (1950s), the “We Demand” rallies (1970s), and the Bathhouse Raids protest (1980s). We reflect on what has been overlooked and omitted. Archives, such as The ArQuives (Toronto), the Two-Spirit Archives (Winnipeg), Transgender Media Lab (Ottawa), Queer Heritage Initiative (New Brunswick), and the Sexual Representation Collection at U of T (Toronto) are highlighted over the two days to share their holdings and create dialogue.

     By orienting ourselves in opposition to hegemonic power, queerness views the past, present, and future as struggle. As literary scholar, Kathy Acker writes “[w]ithout language, the only people the rebels can kill are themselves” (Blood & Guts in High School, 1989). We take up that call by directly facing the blood and guts of queer resistance by approaching historical materials through inter-generational discourses to support and develop new points of view on queer resistance.

Day One

Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1T9)

Thursday June 23rd, 2022 8:30am to 9pm

Session 1: 10am-11am. Roundtable. Queerness, Archives & Resistance: Mass Media & Marginalization. Students include Emily Barton, Leslie Corbay, Axelle Demus. Chair: John Greyson 

Session 2: 11:05-12:05pm. Keynote: No Archive Will Restore You, Julietta Singh

Session 3: 12:10-1:15pm. Lunch

Session 4: 1:20pm-3:35pm. Artists in the Archive. Kelly McCray, Keith Cole, Natalie Wood, and Pamila Matharu. Chair: the plumb

Session 5: 2:40pm-3:40pm. Intersecting Queer Archives. Meredith Batt (Queer Heritage Initiative of New Brunswick) and Evie Ruddy (Trans Media Lab, Carlton University). Chair: Craig Jennex

Session 6: 3:45pm-4pm. Housekeeping/announce opening—end of Conference Day

Evening Event: 7-9pm. Art Opening at The Plumb Gallery. 1655 Dufferin St Basement, Toronto, ON M6H 3L9.

Artists include Keith Cole, Pamila Matharu, Patrick DeCoste, Kelly McCray, Andy Fabo, Natalie Wood, Courtnay McFarlane, Florence Yee, Deion Squires-Rouse, Jamie Ross, Kalil Haddad, Muhammad EL Khairy, Shake n’ Make.

Day Two

Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1T9)

Friday, June 24th, 2022 9am to 4pm

Session 1: 9:30am-10:30am. LGBTQ2S+ Archives: training the next generation of archivists with Dennis Findlay, Raegan Swanson and Lucie Handley-Girard. Chair: Pamila Matharu 

Session 2: 10:25am-11:55pm. Archiving Porn/Porning Archives: Thomas Waugh, Abdullah Qureishi, Daniel Laurin, Patrick Keilty. Chair: Mary Bunch  

Session 3: 12pm-1:15pm. Lunch

Session 4: 1:20pm-2:30pm. Queering Memory, Seeing the Past Now: Andy Fabo, Courtnay McFarlane, Anton Wagner. Chair: Julietta Singh

Session 5: 2:35pm-3:10pm. 2Spirit Archives: Albert McLeod & Brett Lougheed. Chair: Schem Bader

Session 6: 3:15-3:30pm. Announcements, Thank you’s—end of Conference Day