An LGBT plenary session is lined up for the 44th annual Oral History Association conference in Atlanta this weekend at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Local and national gay and lesbian panelists will speak on the importance of oral history projects.
Oral history projects in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities have been underway for many years — in Atlanta, there is Touching Up Our Roots headed up by Dave Hayward and the artist collective John Q, including Wesley Chenault of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr.
Touching Up Our Roots filmed a documentary on noted Atlanta gay activist Jesse Peel, “The Saga of Dr. Jesse Peel,” who was a leader in the fight against AIDS when it hit the city.
Last April, Georgia Voice and the John Q Collective collaborated on “Memory Flash,” an interactive, multimedia art walk through several of Atlanta's gay history landmarks.
I photographed the event and several hundred shots later, my work was finished. I was satisfied with my contribution, but nothing could have brought it all together quite like experiencing the living catalogue the event produced, which is now on display at Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art.