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Queer and the state
Thu 16 March 2017, 18:15 – 20:00 GMT
TALK & DOCUMENT DISPLAY
Please note that the date of this talk has changed from Tuesday 28 February to Thursday 16 March.
This talk will delve into previously closed secret police and government files to explore how queer spaces were targeted and spied on in the 1920s and 1930s, enabling you to discover the resilience of the community in response.
Be introduced to some of London’s queer venues from the period; from the orientalist interior of the Caravan Club (‘said to be the most unconventional spot in town’), to the African American influenced Shim Sham Club on Wardour Street. The talk will conclude with an exploration of original documents from our collection, combining government and community perspectives to explore the history of queer spaces.
This event will open with a performance of a short play at 18.15.
'Suffering is one very long moment: The imprisonment of Oscar Wilde'
In 1895, Oscar Wilde was found guilty of a gross indecency following his relationship with Alfred Douglas. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. This short play explores these events as they appear in the records of The National Archives. You will hear extracts from documents relating to Oscar Wilde's trial, a petition he made to the Home Secretary, and letters sent about him to the governor of Reading Jail.
As there will be original documents on display no food or drink will be allowed in the room and coats and bags will need to be left in our locker room. Please arrive in plenty of time to leave your coats and bags.
As our festival events are free, not everyone who asks for tickets come to our events. To make sure we have a full house, we allocate more tickets than there are seats. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people. Admission is on a first-come-first-served basis, so please arrive in good time for the start of the event.
We run an exciting range of events and exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. For more details, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/whatson.