Tag: queer history

Catching the Activist Archivist Fever

The archive has been portrayed by historians for many years as a ‘magical’ place of neutral enquiry. In fact, it has historically been used in the perpetuation of many abuses by the state and continues to play a role in privileging some narratives above others at the expense of disadvantaged groups within society. Increasingly, a new breed of activist archivists are paying attention to what can be done to correct the imbalances within the archival record.

Radical Friendship

This is the first in a series of pieces about Radical Friendship. The feature is intended as an exploration of different configurations of friendship, both intimate and symbolic, and the radical potential of these relationships.

The Slippery History of the Dental Dam

As an object, the dental dam awkwardly straddles the history of AIDS activism and queer sexuality, acting as an assertion that sex doesn’t require the presence of a penis to be real sex, while acknowledging simultaneously that such sex still carries risks. The dental dam was deployed as an object for sexual use in an attempt to abate the risk of HIV transmission, but its questionable efficacy as a barrier against the virus has reduced it, for some at least, to a latex relic of historical fears.