Oscar Wilde’s fight to decriminalise homosexuality beamed on former prison wall

March 10, 2022
Jacqui North's exhibit displayed photos from recent LGBTQI+ rallies in Sydney. Photo: Rachel Evans

Oscar Wilde’s poetry, life and battle against homophobia featured as part of Sydney Living Museum's (SLM) Mardi Gras, ‘After Dark’ event.

The world heritage-listed building and former prison, Hyde Park Barracks, was lit up on February 24 with the ‘Love That Dares’ light-show animation.

Creative producer Jacqui North’s work The love that dare not speak its name, was set against the main barrack’s 17-metre wall. 

Oscar Wilde and his lovers' letters from 1893 were unearthed by the State Library of New South Wales and used in the light story to explain his homoerotic love, wit and campaign against bigotry.

North also displayed photos from LGBTQI+ rights rallies in Sydney to situate Wilde’s historic fight in the present day.  

The ‘After Dark’ event also included a talk about queer resistance in history by SLM curators Dr Scott Hill, Dr Mel Flyte and Jacqui North.

The evening included an FBi Radio-curated music line-up, featuring electronic music performers Stereogamous, electro-pop newcomer Kavi along with resident FBi DJ Isa.

Life-drawing classes were run by Gladdy Drawing Club, along with a drop-in badge-making workshop with illustrator Amy Blue. Queer DJ Sveta featured a musical interpretation of the historic site.

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