Have you ever wondered why you keep some of the ‘stuff’ that you have? Programmes for half – remembered plays, bills for long – forgotten meals, receipts for long rail journeys, or tickets for forgotten films….? A photograph of….. who WAS that? What makes us decide to keep some things, and throw others away. Of the ‘stuff’ that we keep, on purpose or by accident, how does it tell our story?
As part of the ongoing Polari Mission, artists Jez Dolan and Joseph Richardson are looking to recruit LGBT people (of all ages) to bring some of their own personal archive to a session at Manchester’s beautiful and historic John Rylands Library to participate in a one – day workshop led by the artists
11th and 18th of May 2013
10.30 – 4.00 pm
Together we will look at our own, and each other’s archives to look at the hidden stories which form an important part of our shared LGBT heritage.
Far removed from ancient priceless documents, which sit stored, rarely to be seen, we encourage you to come and share your own stories, and your own personal journey through your accumulated ‘stuff’ that until now you didn’t think mattered. This is a unique opportunity to take part in curating a significant exhibition in one of Manchester’s key cultural landmarks.
Elements of personal archives created may be exhibited as part of the forthcoming exhibition The Polari Mission August 2013 – February 2014 at the John Rylands (University of Manchester) Library. Participants need not be credited or named if they would rather remain anonymous. All personal material will be treated in the strictest confidence, and in museum archive conditions.
Polari Mission is interested in hearing from potential volunteers who are aged 18+. The minimum commitment is 4 days (interview/editing) through to as much time as you want to give.
You will receive two days training at North West Sound Archive – one day in recording techniques and one in editing. Previous experience is welcome, but not necessary.
If you’ve got stories to tell – we’re interested in hearing from you
As well as recruiting and training interviewers for this oral history project, Polari Mission is also interested in hearing from people who used Polari.
Even if you didn’t use Polari, Polari Mission is interested interviewing you to collect your stories and experiences as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender person in past decades. The more we can expand the North West Sound Archives with stories relevant to Gay communities the better.
If you are interested in either volunteering at an interviewer or would like to be interviewed as part of the Polari Mission then don’t hesitate, get in touch here: firstname.lastname@example.org 07515 882 367
We are thrilled to announce that Polari Mission has received £69, 400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This will enable us to mount a major exhibition at the John Rylands Library August 2013 – January 2014, and a whole series of participatory activities leading up to this. Please stay tuned for further details!
Jez and Joseph are delighted to be participating in The Unsponsored Guinessless Book of World Records event and exhibition, presented by Ahmed & Carpenter at Rogue Studios project space, Manchester on December 7th.
Starting at 6.00, Jez, Joseph, and a plucky team of hand selected Polari enthusiasts will attempt to break the record for the longest continuous reading of The Bible (King James version) in Polari ever attempted.
Please come and join us, and maybe read a few verses yourself. Oh, and there will be a bar!
We are looking forward to being joined by: Professor Paul Baker (Polari expert and linguist), Tim Greening – Jackson (the Bible’s translator), Dr. Ian Udall (oceanographer), Andrew Hardman (contemporary art critic and writer), Daniel Nield (Theologian), and many others. Fantabulosa!
See you there!
Jez and Joseph will be trolling over to Bury Art Gallery to bring Polari to the home of the black pudding, and through a magical projection of Polari phrases turning the munge into sparkle for Bury Light Night on the Saturday the 20th of October Bona!
Here’s a before picture.
Troll on over!
The exhibition continues until the 23rd. of September, and there will be more news soon.
Meanwhile Jez Dolan has been interviewed by Corridor 8‘s Andrew Hardman about the mission and where we plan to take it next!
The Polari Mission officially launches on Wednesday 22nd. of August 6.00 – 8.00 pm at John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester. Everyone is welcome. Please come along, view the exhibition, and hear plans for the future of the Polari Mission.
Vada her at the scrivee lattie the nochy!
Sunday 19th, Tuesday 21st, Sunday 26th of August & Sunday 16th of September 1.00 – 2.00 at John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
An opportunity to meet the artists for a bona bijou troll through the fantabulosa history of Polari; learn the basics and get involved with saving a dying language!
Booking is essential! Please contact the library on: 0161 306 0555 or email: email@example.com
Artists Jez Dolan and Joseph Richardson are launching a mission to save Polari, one of the world’s most endangered languages, a bold yet secretive part of Gay history. Join the artists for a bona bijou troll through the fantabulosa history of Polari, learn the basics, and get involved with recording and saving a dying language!
The project uses Polari as a starting point to examine how contemporary LGBT groups and individuals view, understand, appreciate, utilise, or see reflected in their own ‘communities of language’ the influence of Polari, and its impact on how we communicate today. The project will produce a series of exhibitions, performances, visual artwork and audience participation.
Polari Mission is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between the artists and specialists in the fields of linguistics and computer science including Professor Paul Baker (Lancaster University) & Tim Greening-Jackson.
'Polari was a secret form of language used mainly by gay men, lesbians and people who worked in the theatre. It was most often used in London and other UK cities with a gay sub-culture, and was popular between the 1930s and 1960s. It was introduced to a wider audience through a 1960s comedy radio program called Round The Horne. Apart from a few familiar words, it is hardly known today.'
Professor Paul Baker (Lancaster University)
Released: 06 August 2012
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