Next year you’ll be invited to “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” through the colourful and gloriously controversial 35 year history of Sydney Mardi Gras, in an initiative which could lead to a permanent museum honouring the annual world-famous LGBTI festival’s past.
Below, Same Same can reveal the Sydney Mardi Gras crew’s initial ‘Mood Board’ ideas for how the museum might look.
Beginning with the earliest black and white photos showing the dawn of the city’s gay movement and footage from the 1978 parade debut, the exhibition will also showcase the annual festival’s most famous drag divas, party guests and DJs, community group partners, an HIV/AIDS memorial, and a stunning array of original costumes seen through the years.
“We want a museum in Sydney celebrating the journey of Mardi Gras and our fight for equality within our community, and raising awareness that we are not there yet,” says the new Mardi Gras Museum Committee’s chairperson David Wilson.
“The new committee has been formed with like-minded people who have a passion to see this initiative come to life. It would highlight the cultural diversity of the community and celebrate the struggles that have gone before us.”
A location – likely to be along Oxford Street during next year’s 35th anniversary Mardi Gras season – will be secured for a temporary museum, with its crew hoping it could endure.
“This would be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Sydney’s history and diversity,” Wilson adds. “One of our first tasks will be to reach out further to other interested LGBTQI history groups to help move the project forward”.
Chair of SGLMG Pete Urmson agrees. “This is an exciting initiative where we hope to one day have a permanent Museum dedicated to the history of Mardi Gras. Our vision is to have a place where we can educate and break down barriers through presenting our history.”
Only two permanent LGBTI museums exist in the world currently – the Schwules Museum in Berlin and the LGBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco.
If the recent popularity of the Lost Gay Sydney page on Facebook – which now boasts over 5,000 members and hundreds of photos and memories – is anything to go by, there’s an enormous appetite to unearth, rediscover and honour Mardi Gras’ past pleasures.
What do you think of Mardi Gras museum plan? Leave feedback on the comments below, and email David Wilson on email@example.com if you’d like to be involved.