The 1970s was a crucial time for feminist and LGBTQ activism and community-building. Between the Sheets explores how and why reading and writing acquired such prominence and power in queer communities in Britain in this important decade, engaging with the pleasure and politics of print before the establishment of important queer bookshops like Lavender Menace and Gay’s the Word in the late 1970s and early 1980s. With contributions from artists, activists, writers, and academics, it will stop to consider tactile encounters with the printed word, reflect on collective interactions with print in reading groups and consciousness-raising sessions, and think about the development of spaces for sharing and selling books, magazines, and pamphlets in the 1970s, from women’s centres to nightclubs.
Between the Sheets is framed around three conversations with a range of speakers who will share their experiences with print cultures in the 1970s, focusing on the politics of print, on spaces of distribution and connection, and on how these often ephemeral queer print cultures have been archived and are remembered in the present. These discussions will be punctuated by performances and screenings. Looking at reading and sharing the written word as a call to action, Between the Sheets asks what the role of print was for queer communities in the 1970s and what the significance of these radical queer print cultures is for LGBTQ activists today.