Brighton: 18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference

18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference on 11-12 February 2011 in Brighton, UK. Hosted by University of Brighton LGBT and Queer Life Research Hub in conjunction with Women’s Studies Centre, University College Dublin. The theme of the conference is ‘Revolting: Bodies, Politics & Genders’. The conference will present papers and works by academics, scholars, students, activists, documentary and film-makers, writers and artists.

About Lesbian Lives XVIII
The Lesbian Lives Conference has been organised by the Women’s Studies Centre at University College Dublin for the past seventeen years and in 2011 it celebrates its 18th birthday in Brighton. The conference is a mix of academics, activists, performers, artists and writers and is open to all genders and any political and sexual orientations. There is an ethos of welcome and accessibilty.

Confirmed Speakers include:  Ali Smith, Emma Donoghue, Joan Nestle, Davina Cooper, Sarah Franklin, Reina Lewis, Caroline Gonda and Rose Collis. Panels include Irish Lesbian Activism and screenings by Irish Queer Women film and videomakers.

The organisers say: Brighton is easily accessed by train from Gatwick Airport – the journey is less than 30 mins. Aer Lingus, British Airways, Ryanair, BMI, Air Southwest all connect Ireland and Gjatwick.

Lesbian Lives XVIII
c/o Dr Kath Browne
University of Brighton
School of the Environment & Technology
Cockcroft Building, Lewes Road
Brighton BN2 4GJ

Join Lesbian Lives on Facebook.

'Black Girl Ugly 2010', photo by Sherley Olopherne

‘Black Girl Ugly 2010’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

Art And Arts Related Workshops At Lesbian Lives XVIII
I have had a look at Lesbian Lives XVIII’s programme.  At the conferencey you can join workshops lots of workshops! Here is a list with a few samples which may be of interest to you dear arts professionals and art lovers.

Fingering our Histories: Exploring our Archives
– Lizzie Thynne (Sussex): Surrealism and Resistance: The War-time Campaign of Artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Taken Spaces: Black Lesbians Against White Aesthetics
– Sherley Camille Olopherne (photographer)

Projecting: LGBT Media Representations
– Fiona Philip (Leeds): Inciting Revolt: Bryher and Hollywood’s ‘Triumphal Bridal Procession’
– Tayfun Tezel (Charles University): Representations of Homosexuality and Homosexual-Oriented Character in Turkish Cinema
– Yasmin max Sason
(UEL): Revolting Lesbians on Israeli Media – Dancing with Conflict on Screening Lesbians on Israeli Media
– Rasha Touqan (LSE): Sex Kitten or Ice Queen: Lesbian Representations in Western Media

Playing a Part: The Story
of Claude Cahun, at Sallis Benney Theatre
– Screening and discussion of ‘Playing a Part’ (Lizzie Thynne, 2005)

Man for a Day
– Presentation and workshop with Diane Torr

Performing an Erotic
– Gael A Harvey (Essex): Queer Cinécriture: The Body Politic in the Lesbian Aesthetic of Barbara Hammer

Lesbian Gaze
– Sam McBean (Birkbeck): Gazing at the Family Photo: Queer Desires in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home
– Elisha Foust (Royal Holloway): Dykes To Watch Out For: A Meditation on Revolt in the Graphic Novel

Photographer Sherley Camille Olopherne

Sherley Camille Olopherne:
‘I think my photographic vision is coming into focus just as I’m coming into myself and submitting all of my being to all possibilities wherever they may come. Artistically at a crossroad and committing myself to producing images that present the perverse, the destructive, the sexual, the eroticized and ultimately the beauty of life and women bodies. It is intentional the focus of my photography are of Black women first and everything else thereafter. Exhausted upon entering lesbian spaces to only find ten or so Black women peppered here and there for effect I wanted to create a space where Black women are the sole or at least the central subjects. It’s also important to me as an artist that the Black women I showcase thru my photography are not the ones readily visible in lesbian circles and feel it my duty almost to bring to the foreground the Black lesbians with “everyday” tribulations” and concerns.

I often hesitate to label myself an artist. Photography for me is a very selfish action, I simply wanted to interact with my community in a heartfelt and meaningful way and found all other avenues too distant to what I wanted to say, which is simply I/we exist, us Black lesbians, us Black women, us poor, middle class women, us folks who wail unabashedly when hurt, us folks who love maniacally and obsessively, us folks who are simply too “dirty” for the crisp mainstream or heterosexual society.’

'Talking Circle' photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Talking Circle’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

'Black Girl Ugly 2010', photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Black Girl Ugly 2010’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

'Alter', photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Alter’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne


Brooklyn based photographer Sherley Camille Olopherne was a featured photographer at The Black Woman Arts Festival in 2008, as well as Gaywise Arts Festival 2009. In February 2009 she presented her on going series “Dying Breed: A Look at Butch/Femme” at Lesbian Lives XVI Conference in Dublin. Sherley is a feature photographer for the yearlong program by the Brooklyn Arts Council titled “Black Brooklyn Renaissance 2010.” She recently had a solo show titled “Taken Spaces: Black Lesbian Against White Aesthetics” showing at 32 Jones Gallery from June 4-30th,2010. Taken Spaces: Black Lesbians Against White Aesthetics examines the subtleties of moments for black lesbians as they negotiate and insist on space. Historically dominated by white women, the queer and lesbian community is presented in Taken Spaces as a black experience. A collection of portraits and mixed media in the form of collage, black lesbians are exhibited in all their complexities and colors in human and mundane acts. This momentary portraiture presumes. She was also part of The First Brooklyn Pride Art Show that was curated by Angela Jimenez showing at Littlefield in Brooklyn, New York from June 12-30th, 2010.

'Lesbian Family Portrait', photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Lesbian Family Portrait’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

'Against the System', photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Against the System’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

'Femme Parade' photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

‘Femme Parade’ photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

Related Links

See more photos at Sherley Camille Olopherne’s website

The London GFest’s Queer Visual Arts Exhibitions

The GFest’s queer visual arts group exhibition in London, Nov 9 – 22, 2009, has a strong pressence of lesbian art this year. Artistic Director Niranja Kamatkar says: ‘This year’s GFest submissions have shown a high artistic merit and the response to ‘call for entries’ was overwhelming. We had a few challenging moments in putting together this exciting programme and selecting from a large number of entries, all having amazing qualities.’

GFest 09 Selection Panel members are Dr Alan Tomkins, Ajamu X, Brian Lobel, Campbell, Helen Sandler, Shaun Levin, Sita Ramamurthy and Niranjan Kamatkar.

The women artists, who are contributing to this international queer arts exhibtion are Anne Foster, Chantz Perkins, Corinne Bot , Eleanor Cardwell, Francesca Alaimo, Jemma Watts, Sarah Ahmad and Sherley Camille Olopherne.

The queer group exhibition is at McKenzie Pavilion Gallery Spacein Finsbury Park, next to the Café & pond area. (5 min walk from Finsbury Park or Manor House Tube, Piccadilly line) London, UK. The exhibition dates are Nov 9 to 22, 12 – 4 PM (including Sat & Sun).

London’s premier LGBT cross-arts festival  – GFest –  is a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer artists, organisations and venues to promote LGBT and queer arts. The festival’s organizers, the arts charity ‘Wise Thoughts’ are celebrating their 10th year of working against social injustice and marginalization this year.