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Nothing Ever Just Disappears: A Discussion with Diarmuid Hester and Gays Gone By
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A sepia photo of Josephine baker dressed up for a performance on a stage
Josephine Baker. Image: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

In summer 2022, a group of young people attended Gays Gone By: A Queer Reading and DIY Summer School at the ICA. Organised around the question Gays Gone By was part-reading group, part-DIY art making. Participants met with queer activists and researchers, read pivotal queer writings from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s and, led by facilitator Charlotte Flint, learned how to make their own photobooks. We discussed the changing nature of queer spaces in London, finding community on and off the interent, and what political solidarity could look like in the 2020s.

For this event, the participants of Gays Gone By reunite with Diarmuid Hester, author of Nothing Ever Just Disappears. Picking up on ideas from the summer school, the group will be chairing a discussion with Hester as a group, exploring the questions that motivated Nothing Ever Just Disappears, his writing process, and how he imagines the future of queer space on and off the internet.

Join the young people of Gays Gone By as they delve into Nothing Ever Just Disappears and the intrigues of queer history. The event is open to all and will include time for audience questions.
Dr Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian, writer and activist. An expert on sexually dissident literature, art, film and performance, he is the author of the critically acclaimed Wrong: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper. He is a research associate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a fellow of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and a BBC New Generation Thinker. He teaches at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and co-founded the city’s queer performance and music night Club Urania.

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