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24th February, 2020

Fragments of a Film: Sunil Gupta’s London Gay Switchboard


Event Details

24th February, 2020
17:30 - 19:30
University of Liverpool, Library School of the Arts, 19-23 Abercromby Square

The Liverpool Film Seminar is a collaboration between the Departments of Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University and Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool that began in 2010.

Dr Glyn Davis (Edinburgh) will present a talk entitled “Fragments of a Film: Sunil Guptas London Gay Switchboard” for the Liverpool Film Seminar


In 1980 the London-based queer photographer Sunil Gupta made the sound-and-image installation London Gay Switchboard as a student art project; the work focused on the eponymous volunteer-run organisation. The completed tape-slide work, a deconstructed form of cinema, was received with shock and objections by Switchboard’s staff. Gupta never staged the work again, and its component elements were seemingly lost, though some fragments (individual images, a short reconstruction of part of the original) have been circulated in various subsequent exhibitions. Using Gupta’s “film” as a central example, this talk will explore the archival and philosophical challenges of working with lost and fractured instances of cinema, in particular considering the queer potential of the fragment as a conceptual and political tool.
Dr Glyn Davis is Chancellor’s Fellow and Reader at the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh School of Art). He is the project leader of ‘Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures’, funded by HERA.

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