It’s no secret that LGBTQ+ representation in archives, museums and galleries is severely lacking. While queer people have always existed, documentation of our lives and experiences has often been obscured or erased, leaving a LGBTQ+ shaped hole in narratives about the past.
To solve this issue, long-standing LGBTQ+ ally, SKITTLES®, with the help of GT, set out to fill the gaps in the archive and raise awareness of this cause. Last year, beautiful images from Pride’s history were recoloured, restoring them to full colour to bring new interpretation and meaning to these images for younger generations. Alongside the images, GT and Skittles also hosted conversations between different age groups from the community to show the similarities and differences between LGBTQ+ life then and now. The mission has only just begun and there are still gaps that need to be filled.
This year, to make #RecolourTheRainbow even bigger, Skittles, GAY TIMES and Queer Britain, the UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum, have enlisted the help of Getty Images to plan to change this. Together, with your help, we want to fill in the gaps of our community’s history.
The experiences of every LGBTQ+ person is worthy of documentation, and it’s our ambition to make the archives of tomorrow as dynamic and representative of the lives of all queer people. For this to happen, however, we need to come together as a community, which is where you come in.
GAY TIMES, Queer Britain, Getty Images and SKITTLES are calling on you to share with us images from Pride’s 50-year history. In order to look back to move forward, we’re hunting for images that have never before been seen, we want to see pictures that capture your experiences in order to create a mosaic-like collection that feels fully representative of the bountiful beauty of all intersecting identities within the LGBTQ+ community.
For those with an appetite for queer history, this might also involve embarking on your own research journey to identify and uncover previously unseen images from 50 years of Pride in the UK. Whether this involves asking queer members of your family for their pictures of Pride events from the past, or reaching out to any LGBTQ+ elders you may know, it will provide an incredible opportunity to unearth some essential, but previously hidden, queer stories.
For Joseph Galliano, the CEO and co-founder of Queer Britain, the documentation and preservation of our individual LGBTQ+ histories are fundamental for understanding our queer futures.
“If we don’t see where we came from, it can be hard for us to properly understand who we are, and for us to collectively imagine the best of all possible futures. Also, the gains we have made as a set of communities were never a given, they’ve been hard won, and we need to know that in order to protect and build on those gains. It’s also that we have such a rich, exciting heritage and everyone deserves to appreciate that.”
Speaking about Recolour The Rainbow, Victoria Gell, SKITTLES® Brand Director said:
“SKITTLES® is passionate about advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re excited to continue to use our platform to do our part in supporting the community. We launched Recolour The Rainbow campaign last year, bringing colour and vibrancy to moments of Pride history, with the ambition to help fill gaps in the LGBTQ+ archive. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with GAY TIMES and Queer Britain, as well as connect with new leaders in the space – Getty Images, as we look to further unearth never before seen photography.”
Photos can be submitted via recolourtherainbow.co.uk
Given the erasure and obfuscation of queer lives throughout history, our job as a community to ensure that existing archives and the archives of tomorrow truly represent the varied and vibrant diversity of LGBTQ+ lives. With your help, we hope to create the UK’s largest, most authentic and representative library of LGBTQ+ images. Together, we can #RecolourTheRainbow, one story at a time.