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Queerberra: images of love and pride

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Last night, East Hotel was home to the launch of an exhibition of love and equality.

Photographer Jane Duong and producer Victoria Firth-Smith have collaborated to create a unique art project that portrays the beauty of Canberra’s diverse community in the form of Queerberra.

In both exhibition and book form, Queerberra’s 100+ photographs portray a rich array of local identities from LGBTIQ, asexual and cisgender peoples to drag queens and kings and beyond, including allies. Their everyday life is captured in a moment and shared with pride.

“It was a deeply affirming experience to witness our community gasp at their beauty as portrayed in the photographs,” says Victoria. “We have people who have never been seen in drag in this collection, people not ‘out’ publicly and people who are naturally shy. For two weeks, the exhibition had become a space to share the stories of the community we have found and forged together, a place to celebrate what is unique to Canberra.”

The exhibition also highlights LGBTIQ Canberrans in the public eye, including Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Chris Steel MLA, Cate McGregor and Ginger Gorman.

Victoria explains that Queerberra had the goal of unveiling the natural beauty of the local LGBT community in an artistic and respectful way.

“Our community is diverse, and we wanted to ensure that we had a wide array of people and places involved. Strangers now have a thread in common, people feel beautiful, respected and brave,” says Victoria. “Queer is domestic, professional, intimate, hidden, political, shared, it was important to me that we offered a more nuanced portrayal of the city and community we’re a part of.”

The Queerberra book is available for purchase here with $5 from each purchase donated to the Aids Action Council, which is one of city’s foremost supporters of Canberra’s LGBTIQ community.

the essentials 

What: Queerberra: The Exhibition
When: Showing until Sunday 26 November from 8am – 8pm daily
Where: East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston
More information: facebook.com/pg/QUEERBERRAPROJECT

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