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Camp As...

Melbourne in the 1950s

20 to 31 January 2005

Camp As... explored the history of homosexual (or 'camp', in the parlance of the time) Melbourne in the 1950s. Half concealed by a cloak of respectability was an alternative Melbourne to the one usually associated with the era. It offered camp women and men opportunities for pleasure, for meeting and for living lives not at all as broken, tragic and lonely, as the wider world and posterity assumed.

From the statue of Joan of Arc (that notorious cross-dresser) to Val's coffee shop, the Lobster Pot, Hotel Australia, Myers and Moomba, this exhibition revealed a history that they don't teach at school.

Curated by Graham Willett

Graham Willett discovered Australian queer history, as we call it now, in the late 1970s when he became involved in the gay and lesbian movement in Melbourne.

He is the author of Living Out Loud (2000), a history of the movement and is president of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. At the University of Melbourne, he teaches, among other things, the history of queer Australia.

Camp As... was a partnership with Midsumma: Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Festival.



Image from 'Camp As' catalogue

Download exhibition catalogue:
Camp As... (PDF, 508kb)