Normal lives

This weekend we focused on potential themes for the project and from this came up with a name. I created a YouTube playlist which we spent about an hour watching. We took down notes on the themes that emerged from the playlist and, aside from marriage equality, one of the main stories we focused on was the Asher’s Bakery being in the news for refusing to bake a cake that supported same sex marriage. From this, we came up with the title ‘Let Us Eat Cake’ for the project. This title has a historical context of rebellion and is also intertextually related to the Asher’s Bakery story. I was initially concerned about focusing the entire project on this single, divisive issue. I am still slightly uncomfortable with this name on a personal level. Both my family, my partner and I believe the Asher’s Bakery incident should not be seen to be a defining factor of the community through this photography exhibition. There are many other important issues and events that have happened in Northern Ireland in regards to LGBT equality, such as the DUP using the petition of concern against Gay Marriage. However, after much debate with the rest of the participants, I do not believe this is an issue that I can personally resolve. We also looked at each other’s photographs from the last month during this session. I had been to New York over Easter so most of my photographs were cityscape related, a few were to do with NYC AIDS walk advertisements and public statements of equality, such as the NIKE store’s inclusion of the sports-wear hijab and pro-equality t-shirts, which I loved. I found it interesting that most of the group’s photographs were based around rural landscapes or urban graffiti artwork. I wonder does this suggest that Northern Irish LGBT people are very influenced by their public setting? I also really enjoyed that most of us depicted the people we care about in our photographs. This reinforces my thoughts in my first post, that LGBTQ+ people in Northern Ireland live a very normal lives, except for the equality issues we face and I believe this should be truthfully depicted in our work together.

– Natalie