Allowed Out and Out Aloud
A unique collaboration between University of Sheffield’s History Department and Out Aloud Sheffield LGBT choir will be the springboard for ‘Allowed Out’ a multi-media performance of songs and stories of LGBT activism to be showcased at the University of Sheffield’s ‘Festival of the Mind’ in September 2012.
Local writer and former Derbyshire Poet Laureate River Wolton will facilitate writing workshops designed to generate original material for the performance. These are open to any member of the LGBT community and will focus on the critical incidents that have shaped lives, identity and community, as well as individual and collective activism. The writing will go into the Stories of Activism archive and oral history project currently being constructed by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Culture and the Centre for Peace History at Department of History, University of Sheffield.
River Wolton writes: ‘I came out more than twenty years ago after considerable inner turmoil and I’m indebted to the friends, activists and cultural figures whose courage, visibility and pride have made it possible for me to love and live with integrity. Recent years have seen improvements in LGBT human rights in the UK, but every day young people are still bullied or driven to self-harm and suicide by homophobia, and across the globe, sometimes as a backlash to greater visibility, LGBT people are abused, imprisoned, tortured, or even executed because of who they love or how they live. I hope this project will provide insight and inspiration, as well as encouragement for people of all ages and backgrounds to treat each other with respect, dignity and humanity.’