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Celebrate queer arts and culture with Midsumma

14 Dec 2017

Celebrate queer arts and culture with Midsumma Image

While rainbow flags swarm the city to celebrate the yes vote, Melbourne’s favourite Midsumma Festival will kick off with a bang in Southbank.

Being Victoria’s biggest queer arts and cultural festival, Midsumma celebrates and amplifies the voices of the LGBTQI community with a range of large and small free events in the city from January 14 to February 4.

The Midsumma Carnival at Alexandra Gardens will kick off the festival with a likely 100,000-person crowd on January 14.

Program manager Daniel Santangeli said Midsumma was a festival for and by the gay community.

“What we are trying to do is looking at those other minority voices and trying to empower them and bring them to the fore,” he said.

“Often something we think about a lot is ‘it’s hard enough for people who are gay to engage in the world. How much harder is it for people who are gay but also have a disability?’”

Midsumma Festival offers a stage for artists with diverse backgrounds to showcase their work.

Mr Santangeli also said the winning of the “yes” vote was a giant step forward but also marked the start of a long journey.

“It signals the fight has only just begun. We are also discussing what a cultural and arts organisation can do to be at the forefront of the good fight.”

He said Melbourne, being one of the largest concentrations of “yes” voters in the country, provided an accepting environment for LGBTQI individuals.

“Melbourne can be a really safe space for queer people and the epicentre of the queer culture as well,” he said.

“In that sense it does give us a central place for us to reach out.”

Midsumma has recently won a GLOBE Community Award for connecting the gay community and has been named a finalist for the Melbourne Award.

No Vacancy Gallery at QV on Swanston St will host a nation-wide queer art award during the festival and expressions of interests are still open.

An exhibition of contemporary artists responding to the library’s queer archives, We Are Here, will be held at State Library Victoria.

Midsumma Horizon, an art party at State Library Victoria encouraging party-goers to dress as their beloved queer figure from history, will close the festival on February 3 and 4.

For more information about Midsumma Festival, visit midsumma.org.au

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