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Rendering Houses in Ladakh – Open Access Monograph Case Study

In anticipation of long-form publications coming into scope of the UKRI open access policy from 1 January 2024 we are publishing a series of case studies written by Goldsmiths researchers who have published their monograph Open Access. In the first of our blogs Sophie Day reflects on the process of Open Access monograph publishing and how it has enabled research participants in India to read her latest book Rendering Houses in Ladakh.

Rendering Houses in Ladakh explores house-plots: it tells of the plots that provide foundations for houses-and-people, and it traces plots to the stories that grow in those houses about people who leave and stay, about homes that are partitioned or remain intact, about land lost to new building or floods. This double house-plot is also explored for the wider region of Ladakh (Himalayan India) to illuminate life along heavily militarised borders that are disputed among three post-colonial nation-states, and divisions among the various people who call Ladakh home.

The first circumambulation of the year, Leh, Ladakh (1981)

Because my Ladakhi colleagues do not generally read English, we developed an approach of storyboarding photographs with words  to narrate house life, and 60 of these images are included in the book. Seven of the nine book chapters describe individual  pastoralist, urban, rural, Muslim or Buddhist houses and these house stories meander across some or all the forty years I have visited the region since I conducted my doctoral research (1981-83). When negotiating a publishing contract, I considered it crucial that this book would be available open access so that my colleagues could see, read, and use it in Ladakh. I was exceptionally fortunate to be able to fund the fees charged by Routledge (who bought Bloomsbury’s anthropology catalogue, with whom I originally signed my book contract) from a research grant. Since it is virtually impossible for most people to buy academic hardbacks (Rendering Houses costs £130) and since our research is intended to be publicly available, the trend towards lower OA fees from publishers and alternative forms of publication without any fees is very welcome.

Thankfully, several hardback copies of Rendering Houses arrived two days before I flew to India for the book launch. ­In June 2023, Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation hosted my presentation alongside the protagonists from two of the book chapters: Deen Khan tells of exile at home in the

Book launch, Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation, Leh (2023)

place where he was born in Chapter 5, and Tashi Lazom tells of the house and body we sponsored in the form of a chorten or stūpa in Chapter 9. Tashi Chenzom and Tashi Dolma – who describe how they established a nunnery as uneducated elders in Chapter 7 – joined us along with Phuntsog Anchuk, whose father-in-law is depicted in a photograph that I had taken in Kharnak (1981) with its tents, flocks of goat (yielding cashmere wool) and sheep, and yak. This photograph had taken us all some time to decipher and, when it was recognised, only one branch of the family wanted to take it in to their home to add to their collection of family portraits, as I describe in Chapter 4. Several people at the launch, including younger Ladakhis involved in doctoral and other forms of research or creative practice, immediately found Rendering Houses on their phones.

Sophie Day is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London

New UKRI Open Access policy for monographs – what you need to know, how to comply and how we can help

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s)  Open Access policy for monographs, book chapters and edited collections comes into effect on 1 January 2024.

If researchers receive funding from UKRI and plan to publish a monograph, an edited collection or a book chapter, they will need to comply with the UKRI open access requirements.

In this post, we will outline the key policy points our researchers at Goldsmiths need to know to ensure compliance and what the Online Research Collections (ORC) team in the Library are doing to help our researchers meet the new requirements.

The monographs policy compliments the UKRI open access policy for peer reviewed research articles which has been in force since 1 April 2022. For information on how to comply with the UKRI open access policy for peer reviewed research articles you can visit our guidance page. We have also created a resource that guides authors through the steps we advise them to take to ensure that their research articles meet the UKRI requirements.

How do I find out more about the policy?

There will be a training event on Thursday 7 December which will summarise the UKRI policy and provide guidance to UKRI-funded researchers on the actions they need to take prior to the submission of a book proposal, as well as licensing requirements, policy exemptions, managing third-party copyright and funding options. You can register for the event  here.

The Online Research Collections (ORC) team in the Library have prepared guidance on the new policy.

The team have also created a guide on open access monographs aimed at all researchers at Goldsmiths.

If you have any questions about how the new policy affects your work, please email gro@gold.ac.uk.

Context

The new UKRI policy builds on earlier open access initiatives that focused on research articles with the aim of improving access to monographs and other long-form publications. Alongside UKRI, both the Wellcome Trust and Horizon Europe/ ERC have brought monographs into scope of their open access policies.

It is expected that that there will be an open access requirement for long-form publications for REF2028. The expectation is that any formal open access requirements for long-form publications will be more flexible than the UKRI policy. When the details of the new REF open access policy are announced, the Online Research Collections team will provide guidance and support to researchers at Goldsmiths.

UKRI acknowledge that open access is less established for monographs than for research articles. In anticipation of the new policy, they have been working alongside JISC to develop new open access publishing models and initiatives for monographs. These activities complement other projects such as COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) that aim to build an effective infrastructure for open access book publishing. UKRI will also be providing dedicated funding to support the new policy through a centralised fund of £3.5 million per year that will open for applications on 28 November 2023.

Policy requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections from 1 January 2024

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 (unless a contract has been signed between the author and the publisher before this date that prevents adherence to the policy) which acknowledge funding from UKRI will need to be made open access.

There are two routes to compliance:

  • Making the Version of Record free to view and download on the publisher’s website within 12 months of publication
  • Making the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) free to view and download on a repository such as Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO) https://research.gold.ac.uk/ within 12 months of publication. The policy allows the author and publisher to agree the appropriate version to self-archive on a repository.

The open access versions of monographs, book chapters and edited collections must be published under a Creative Commons licence. UKRI has expressed a preference for a CC BY licence, but other Creative Commons licences are permitted. UKRI in collaboration with Jisc have produced a guide on ‘Publishing under the UKRI open access policy: copyright and Creative Commons licences’ which provides advice for UKRI-funded researchers on copyright and licensing.

Exemptions to the policy

Authors should seek to publish open access wherever possible, but UKRI allow a number of exemptions to the policy. Please email gro@gold.ac.uk if you are considering applying for one of the following exemptions:

  • The policy does not apply to trade books (defined by UKRI as an academic monograph rooted in original scholarship that has a broad public audience), scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, scholarly illustrated catalogues, textbooks, and all types of fictional works and creative writing (including artist’s books).
  • The only appropriate publisher for the publication, after liaison and consideration is unable to offer an open access option that complies with the policy.
  • Reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option available to enable open access publication.
  • Authors have signed a contract with a publisher before 1 January 2024, which doesn’t enable open access in compliance with UKRI’s policy.
  • Where a monograph, book chapter or edited collection is the outcome of a UKRI training grant (including UKRI-funded studentships) open access is encouraged but not required.

Selecting a publisher

Authors are advised to choose the publisher most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met. To ensure compliance, authors should inform their preferred publisher that the publication is in scope of the UKRI open access policy and check if they can offer a compliant open access publishing option prior to the submission a book proposal and before entering into any contractual agreement.

Although open access publication is most commonly associated with journal articles, there are a growing number of options for making monographs, edited collections and book chapters openly available.

A publisher may charge a book processing fee for open access (the typical cost of a book processing is charge is between £5,000 and £12,000 depending on the publisher and the length of the book) or offer free open access supported via alternative funding models, such as subscribe to open models (for example the MIT Press Direct to Open model) or ‘diamond’ open access. Information on the different publishing models for open access monographs is available here.

Many publishers offer open access of the final Version of Record within 12 months of publication either through the payment of a book processing charge or via an alternative funding model. Information on the open access policies of a range of publishers is available here.

Some publishers may not offer open access of the final Version of Record but may permit authors to deposit their Author’s Accepted Manuscript (a version of your accepted manuscript agreed between you and the publisher) at no cost in an institutional repository such as GRO within 12 months of publication. Information on self-archiving monographs and book chapters in a repository is available here.

If your preferred publisher does not have an open access programme, check for other open access options and consider other publishers before considering an exemption. Authors can contact gro@gold.ac.uk for further advice at this stage.

Working with co-authors and publishers

You should inform any collaborators, (such as co-authors or the editor of a collection you are contributing to) about UKRI’s open access requirements. When contributing a book chapter to an edited collection, you should seek agreement with the editor(s) and publisher for the version of record or the AAM of your chapter to be made open access via the publisher or self-archiving in a repository. UKRI recommend authors inform the editor of the collection and the publisher of the UKRI requirements at the start of the collaboration discussions and before entering into any contractual agreement for the publication. If the publisher charges for making the version of record open access, you may be eligible for open access funding from UKRI.

Third-party material

UKRI does not want the use of third-party materials to be a barrier to making a book, edited collection or chapter open access. They have produced a helpful guide aimed at UKRI-funded researchers that offers advice on how to manage third-party copyright, clear permissions, and use third-party content in line with copyright law.

UKRI also allows authors to claim up to £2,000 to clear third-party material used in an open access book, edited collection or chapter. These costs should be accounted for in grant applications, where possible.

A policy exemption is also available in exceptional circumstances where securing permissions for third-party materials is not feasible, and this means open access is therefore not an option.

Applying for open access funding

UKRI will be providing dedicated funding to support open access monographs, book chapters and edited collections. Funding will be provided through a centralised fund of £3.5 million per year held by UKRI that research organisations will apply for. Successful applications for funding will need to demonstrate a substantial link between the publication and UKRI funding. The Online Research Collections team in the Library are in the process of contacting all UKRI-funded researchers with advice on how to apply for open access funding from UKRI.

UKRI will contribute up to the following maximums (inclusive of VAT, where applicable):

  • £10,000 for book processing charges
  • £1,000 for chapter processing charges
  • £6,000 for participation in an alternative open access model (not exceeding the total cost of participation). UKRI will fund up to another £3,000 where there are two or more eligible outputs.

Funding applications will be in two stages. Authors should send the following information to gro@gold.ac.uk  for a Stage 1 application to be made:

  • UKRI funding reference
  • Author name(s)
  • Title of publication (draft)
  • Name of publisher (if known)
  • Estimated open access costs requested from UKRI (if known; including VAT)
  • Anticipated date of publication
  • Statement about relationship to the UKRI funded project or grant, including the author’s role in this
  • Additional comments and administrative information

The Online Research Collections (ORC) team in the Library will then register the output with UKRI using the information provided by the author. UKRI will confirm if a publication is eligible for funding after a Stage 1 application.

Stage 1 applications open on 28 November 2023. A publishing contract does not need to be signed for a Stage 1 application to be made and it is recommended that an application is made as soon as you have a commitment from an editor to publish your book or chapter as this will help UKRI allocate funds for you.

At Stage 2 Goldsmiths provides final confirmation of publication to allow UKRI to release funds.

Checklist for authors

To comply with policy, the key steps you need to undertake are:

  • Inform your publisher, and any collaborators, (such as editor of a collection you are contributing to) about UKRI’s open access requirements.
  • Check your preferred publisher offers a compliant route. If your preferred publisher does not have an open access programme, check for other open access options, and consider other publishers before contacting gro@gold.ac.uk for advice on applying an exemption.
  • Email gro@gold.ac.uk to request that Goldsmiths submit a Stage 1 application if your publisher requires a fee to publish your work open access.
  • Make your version of record or accepted manuscript open access within 12 months of publication and with Creative Commons licence. For any third-party content within copyright, only include the content under the licence or terms under which the rightsholder has released it.
  • Email gro@gold.ac.uk  to request that Goldsmiths submit a Stage 2 application

Can I publish my monograph, book chapter or edited collection open access if I am not funded by UKRI?

At Goldsmiths there is no institutional fund to support the costs of publishing open access for unfunded researchers.

Although open access funding is limited at Goldsmiths, there are alternative open access publishing models that don’t require the payment of a fee to a publisher. In these models, publishers support the costs of making their books open access via alternative sources of funding such as sponsorship, membership or subscription schemes. More information about publishing models that don’t require a fee is available here.

A list of publishers that provide open access with no requirement for the author or institution to pay is available here. Many publishers will allow authors to deposit a version of their monographs, or parts of their monographs, to the GRO repository at no cost, further information is available here here.

Monograph publishing comprises an important share of Goldsmiths’ publishing profile and several current and former researchers at Goldsmiths have published their monographs and edited collections open access. Many of these titles have been published by Goldsmiths Press, that launched in 2016.

Pieter Sonke, Online Research Collections

 

Submissions Open For Creative LGBTQ+ Project

If you’ve been following this blog for the past few months, you will have read about the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices @ Goldsmiths Library project.

As a reminder, this project is focused on creating a collaborative exhibition to be launched during 2024 in Goldsmiths Library with a theme of positive representation and experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

The exhibition will include content from Goldsmiths University Special Collections and Archives; alongside works by individual creators.

You can find out more about the project in some of our older blog posts.

Today we are opening the form for submissions.

WHAT CAN YOU SUBMIT?

Any art or creative work by an LGBTQ+ person that fits the above theme, and can be shared or represented in a digital file format is welcome as a submission. This can include image, video, audio, text files, but is not limited to these forms only.

And if your creative work relates to or is inspired by LGBTQ+ material in Goldsmiths Special Collections and Archives, even better!

Contributions from amateur, hobby, DIY artists, crafters and creatives, those who do not consider themselves to be artists or creatives, and those who have never submitted to an exhibition before are especially welcome.

Participants must be 18 or over. Submissions will be included in the exhibition at the discretion of the organiser.

Any submission you make must be your own work and something that you are happy to be shared in a public space. You will retain full copyright of your work.

You do not need to either work or study at Goldsmiths to submit an entry.

YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS

All information submitted via this form (except email) will be included in the exhibition. If you would like your submission to appear anonymously in the exhibition, please select the option at the end of the form.

Email addresses submitted will be kept securely and confidentially and will only be used to contact you about the exhibition. They will not appear on the website.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE & GO LIVE

Call for exhibition submissions closes on 31st October 2023.

The exhibition will go live in spring 2024.

Follow the Goldsmiths Library blog for updates about the exhibition.

NEED MORE INFO?

If you’d like more information about the project, please contact a.green (@gold.ac.uk)

Ready to send your contribution? Fill in the form here.

 

Paper with painted rainbow hearts surrounded by artists tools.

Image by stux on Pixabay.com

 

A Queer Project We’re Positively Proud Of

Since beginning the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices exhibition project, I’ve been exploring Goldsmiths collections, with a lot of support from the Special Collections and Archives team, and pulling out items of interest. This has been as a way to discover items for the exhibition, and also a way to discover materials that I could use as inspiration for my own creative responses to the exhibition focus – that being “positive reflections and experiences of LGBTQ+ people”. 

When I started, I wasn’t sure what shape my creative response would take. In the end, I decided to give myself some rules just so I could start creating something, rather than dithering endlessly about what form it would take.  My rules were (1) create something specifically in the Special Collections space itself (2) create something no-tech/low tech/physical, rather than digital. 

I’d recently discovered zines via the library’s own Liberate Zines collection, and I also came across the concept of photocopy art in the Women’s Art Library collection. 

So, I took those concepts and pulled together a poster collage with a DIY feel to it, which has a focus around the portrayal of gender. Why? Because I am trans*/gender non-conforming, and I wanted to see what items there were in the collection in relation to that. I included photocopied images and “negative” text (ie white on black) by Volcano DeLagrace & J. Jack Halberstam from their Drag King Book; Tessa Boffin’s portrayal of women in masculine presentation; Invasorix tarot cards; and part of a Mandy McCarthy image in a photocopy collage.

Much of the collage comes from a lesbian, drag king, queer feminist perspective, and it was an interesting experience for me to see how that might and might not relate to my own identity as someone who is assigned male at birth.

I decided that I wanted to focus on the creators words only, so I made liberal use of highlighters on the posters to draw attention to who these artists were and draw attention to text and images they used. When I looked at what I’d pulled together/repurposed, and was wondering why this collage of unrelated artists and their thoughts made sense to me, I realised it was a focus on the idea that we can “do” gender however we want to and that’s okay. 

As a creative practice, it was useful for me to look at materials I wasn’t aware of, and discover new artists myself. When I was talking to the SCA team about the project and things I was interested in seeing, thanks to their knowledge of the collection and broader thinking they introduced me to all the artists I mentioned above and took me in a direction I had not realised I would go in. The exhibition is about positive experiences/perspectives of LGBTQ+ people, and I wanted this piece to be about things that were positive to me in relation to my identity, and I expected that to come from AMAB bi and trans* perspective – so it was interesting to see that it didn’t work that way. The positivity of this piece in relation to how I felt was gained from an entirely different direction. 

Here are a few images of the “Do Gender However It Works For You” work in progress in different stages. Just so you can see how it came together. 

A few of the original sources

 

Content scaled up and photocopied as negatives

Paper folding, sticking and test colouring with highlighters

Photocopied collage and more colour tests

 

Completed piece?!? Maybe!

 

We have another workshop for the exhibition coming up on the afternoon of 10th August 2023, which is open to all (including anyone from outside of Goldsmiths University). We’d like anyone who wants to get involved in contributing to the exhibition to come along. The workshop will give people the chance to learn about the project, including how you can get involved. And we’ll share some of Goldsmiths University Special Collections and Archives collection with you to spark ideas about how LGBTQ+ lives can be revealed, celebrated and portrayed positively through it. Getting involved could mean one of many things – create a piece for the exhibition; pull out materials from the collection that speak to you in a positive way from an LGBTQ+ perpspective; contribute a character to a pixel style game; or share your own positive experiences in whatever form you want to. 

You can book your place at the workshop here: https://libcal.gold.ac.uk/calendar/SCA/LGBTQPositive3

Ash Green (LGBTQ+ Positive Voices @Goldsmiths curator)

Share Your Pixel Pride – Collaborate On A Game

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that the Special Collections and Archives team is working with Ash Green (they/them) to create an exhibition of LGBTQ+ positive perspectives.

Tied in with this, for Pride month there’ll be a drop-in event in Goldsmiths University Library with the aim of creating a collaborative game (using Bitsy) that will give LGBTQ+ people the opportunity to share snippets of their positive experiences, lives and perspectives.

The event will take place on 27th June between 12:30 and 14:30, in the Library (Ground floor, in front of the big screen near the cafe).

Pixel Pride

No Programming, Coding Or Game Making Experience Needed To Participate

This will be a no-tech game making session, with contributors drawing 8×8 characters and writing their dialogue on paper. The characters will be added to a Bitsy game to be created for the 2024 exhibition.

If you’re not sure what you want your character to say, you can take inspiration from some of the LGBTQ+ themed Special Collections & Archive material we’ll have available during the event.

What’s A Bitsy Game?

As mentioned earlier, we’ll be using Bitsy to create the game. This is a great free little game making tool that lets you create retro style narrative pixel games without needing to be a programmer. Take a look at some examples of Bitsy games here: https://itch.io/games/tag-bitsy

You Could Probably Even Contribute in 5 Minutes

Though the event lasts for 2 hours, you can turn up at any time and leave at any time too. It might just take you 5 minutes to draw your 8×8 pixel character, write down the words it will say in the game, and then you’re done. 😊

So, come join us for the event on 27th June and share your Pixel Pride.

Find out more here.

Library Easter Hours

Library and IT 
The Library will remain open 24/7 throughout the Easter break. The in-person Library Helpdesk and IT Helpdesk and online live chat service for Library and IT will be available Thursday 6, Friday 7 and Tuesday 11 April, from 1 to 6pm.
You also have continued access to an extensive digital library, including 228 databases, over 40,000 e-books and more than 12,000 online journals, available online, 24/7.

Library Help Desk and Live Chat hours are changing from 1st April

From 1st April the library Help Desk and Live Chat hours are changing. 

The service hours will be:  

Monday-Friday : Help-desk 9am-6pm ; Live Chat 9am-6pm. 

Saturdays: Help-desk 1pm-6pm ; Live Chat 1pm-6pm. 

Sunday: Help-desk CLOSED ; Live Chat 1pm-6pm.

Plans for LGBTQ+ Positive Voices @ Goldsmiths Library

February 2023 saw the launch event for the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices @ Goldsmiths Library project take place.

During this event we shared the background to the project, plans for future workshops in the coming year and for the exhibition on campus in 2024.

We will be running two more workshops along the same lines in 2023, on April 20th and August 10th. Booking is now open for the April event at: https://libcal.gold.ac.uk/calendar/SCA

These workshops will give participants the opportunity to find out about the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices project and explore Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives to create their own pieces for a physical exhibition focused on “creative works that are a positive reflection of being an LGBTQ+ person.”

Attendees of the first event are also welcome to attend these upcoming workshops.

The workshops are open to all members of the LGBTQ+ community (not only those either working or studying at Goldsmiths). And if you know of any individuals or groups outside of Goldsmiths University community who would be interested in participating in this project, please let them know about it.

The exhibition at Goldsmiths University is expected to launch in February 2024, and the deadline for submissions is 20th October 2023. Details of how to submit work to the exhibition will be shared soon.

Contributions for the physical exhibition are also welcome from people who have not attended any of the workshops.

If you would like further information about the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices @ Goldsmiths project, or need support to find materials in Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives for a piece you are creating, please contact special.collections@gold.ac.uk

We look forward to receiving your contributions to this project.

Ash Green (Project Lead) & Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives

”Every day is a new day“: Our Positive Action Graduate Traineeship

In September 2022, Hong Luo started working with us as part of the Positive Action Graduate Traineeship, which seeks to address the underrepresentation of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds working in Higher Education Libraries. The traineeship offers a recent graduate the opportunity to work for 12 months as a Library Assistant, gaining experience which may hopefully lead to a career in libraries. 

Hong describes her experiences of the traineeship so far in the words and illustrations below.

“ You never know what waits for you, until you take action ” 

知之之要,未若行之之实 

I used to resist this sentence, which has been told so many times by friends and tutors, as I always want to make a perfect plan before taking action. But gradually I am understanding what that sentence means. 

As a Fine Art student at Goldsmiths, standing in front of the Library Help Desk, I never knew the offices behind this desk were home to a group of warm, meticulous and professional library staff. The library job is never only about lending a book or finding a study space. There are so many things you can explore or utilise in the library, including study skills workshops, the zines collection and monthly book displays. 

I am principally based in the Reader Service team within the library. Day-to-day tasks for this team include shelving, searching for lost and missing items, mending books, processing membership applications as well as answering varied enquiries at the library help desk. There are so many things to do in the library and I never feel bored.     

The library job never finishes, as I was told by in my first week by my colleague Judith (a lovely lady who has worked in the library setting for a long time). The first development I noticed was that I slowed down my pace, becoming calmer, starting my day with the basic things and focusing on the details. 

What attracts me most to the traineeship is that, though this position is based in the Reader Services team, I also get the opportunity to work with different library teams, throughout the year. This is an excellent opportunity for me to learn, explore how an academic library operates as a big system, understand what is unique about Goldsmiths Library and how I can help to make it a little better.  

During autumn term I worked with the Digital Assets team, dealing with inter-library loan (ILL) requests and scanning for reading lists. Processing an ILL request is a bit like detective work and it can get complicated if the book is old or in another language. But for me, that’s also the most fun part. I’m often amazed by everyone’s reading lists, how unique each person’s interests are, and how many things there are in this world just waiting to be explored.  

Inevitably, as a beginner here I’ve made mistakes, but this is also the way to learn. I appreciate my kind and experienced colleagues, I feel supported by our teams and have learned a lot from them little by little. Also, learn and find inspiration from our visitors, even through a few sentences, I can tell how unique they are and always come with different views on the same thing.   

Apart from the daily tasks, what also surprises me about the library is that there are subtle changes every day.    

About the people, who come and go to the library every day whether it’s a familiar face or a new one. And about the space, an orange appeared on a bookshelf and mysteriously disappears a few days later, a three-legged fox (we think, they were fast!) runs past the library back door, a bunch of books often appears on the same desk in the early morning, even though I just put them back on the shelf yesterday. 

” Every day is a new day “  

日日常新 

I used to resist this sentence too. However, switching to a new perspective by starting this job, I realise how huge the positive power is within that sentence. I look forward to finding a bit of change each day, learning from my daily work and people who come from various backgrounds, and exploring every little thing around the Goldsmiths Library.   

Hong Luo, Positive Action Graduate Trainee

 

Be Part of the Creative Celebration of LGBTQ+ Lives at Goldsmiths Library

Back in 2021, the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices online exhibition, was launched as a celebration of LGBTQ+ people’s positive experiences, lives and perspectives. 

The project was organised by Ash Green (they/them) during the pandemic, and it was partly inspired by their experience of visiting LGBTQ+ exhibitions (including the Museum of Transology, and The Transworkers Photography Exhibition), and seeing others like them represented in those exhibitions. At the same time, some of the personal stories shared alongside items within those exhibitions made Ash feel as if they had a positive future as a trans/gender non-conforming bisexual person. When Ash put out a call for contributions to LGBTQ+ Positive Voices the intention was to give other LGBTQ+ people a space to celebrate their own stories, and a space that allows visitors to experience creative works that are a positive reflection of being an LGBTQ+ person. The exhibition includes videos, dance performance, paintings, digital artworks, audio pieces and games, representing a broad spectrum of sexual and gender identities from 26 artists and creative contributors from around the world. Each exhibition page includes personal stories in the creator’s words alongside the exhibition piece.

A collage of resources from Special Collections & Archives for the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices project

 

As a follow up to this online project, Ash Green is running a series of workshops with Goldsmiths Library Special Collections & Archives (SCA) in 2023 with the same goal in mind – to support Goldsmiths LGBTQ+ / queer community (& beyond Goldsmiths) to capture and share their positive experiences and stories. We also want to use the opportunity to highlight this positive representation using Goldsmiths SCA materials as a springboard. This could be in the form of: 

  • creating individual pieces of art or creative responses to pieces in the collections or 
  • selecting items from the collections and commenting on how they feel it is a positive representation of LGBTQ+ lives. 

… but doesn’t have to be limited to these suggestions only. 

The project will culminate in a physical exhibition in 2024, as well as including appropriate pieces created throughout the project in the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices online exhibition. 

And by creating new materials focused on the SCA collections, these pieces and their creators could also become a part of Goldsmiths University Special Collections & Archives. 

We want to encourage anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to participate, regardless of whether they see themselves as an artist/creative person, or not. If you are an LGBTQ+ person and have a “positive voice” to share, then you are the perfect participant. 

So, we are inviting members of the Goldsmiths LGBTQ+ community to come along to the project launch event (16th February, 2023), which will focus on the background and plans for the project. Event attendees will also be able to explore some of the Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives and start thinking about (and even create) a contribution for the exhibition if they wish to. 

Follow up events (in spring and summer 2023) will have a similar focus to this event and attendees of the launch event can attend as many as they wish to. 

Book to attend the upcoming event here.

If you’d like more information about the project, including support for finding and accessing Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives materials  outside of the workshops, please contact special.collections (@gold.ac.uk)