Invitation to make a proposal to contribute to the London LGBTQ Learning Network event: intersections

Mon, 17/06/2013 - 12:21 -- ashlee

Invitation to make a proposal to contribute to the London LGBTQ Learning Network event: intersections
centred is inviting proposals to contribute to the 30 July London LGBTQ Learning Network event: intersections. This is the final Learning Network event that will be funded by the original Big Lottery funded In Our Name project.
The event, which is for diverse LGBTQ and equalities organisations, artists, organisers, volunteers, activists, funders and infrastructure organisations, aims to:
• Celebrate everyone’s participation in the Learning Network since it was launched in 2010
• Create a space for fresh engagement, new thinking and debate around intersectionality, equality and diversity in relation to organising and activism
The event aims to bring diverse contributors including activists, organisers, academics and artists together around intersectionality, with presentations and multimedia contributions.
Contributions could be:
Spoken/signed presentations of between 10 and 20 minutes
Diverse performances/films of up to 10min
Visual art/photography that could be displayed in the event space
The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. – Combahee River Collective
By intersectionality we mean people’s identities and social positions being shaped by several factors at the same time, creating unique experiences and perspectives. These factors include among others sexuality, gender identity, race, disability, age, class, nationality, and faith. These identities and experiences can be changing and contradictory. 
Intersectionality is a concept that can be used when thinking about complex social positions and identities. This might include when thinking about identity and lived experiences of inequality or when thinking about representation in art and media, as examples.
The concept of intersectionality holds that, for instance, one is not a lesbian and disabled, rather one is the combination of these at the same time, i.e. a disabled lesbian. These different elements form and inform each other. In this example one’s identity as a lesbian is formed by one’s identity as disabled, and vice versa; the two elements of identity cannot be separated, are not lived or experienced as separate.
From this perspective it can be unhelpful to make comparisons between different ‘equality groups’, e.g. between ‘lesbians’ and ‘trans people’, or to imagine ‘hierarchies’ of equality, e.g. between race and sexuality, because when doing so the existence/experiences of trans lesbians, and BME LGBT people, are marginalised or misrepresented.
In practice intersectionality is less about bringing two different things/groups together, e.g. older people and disabled people; and more about considering the experience of older disabled people, people at the ‘intersection’ of older age and disability.
Approaches to intersectionality include: questioning and widening categories (e.g. through the use of more ambiguous labels like ‘queer’, and umbrella terms like ‘trans’); using categories strategically to understand continuing inequalities; and focusing on neglected points of ‘intersection’ in order to reveal the complexity of lived experience.

If you are interested in learning more about the theories of intersectionality, as background, centred can provide resources, please contact us: or 020 7437 6063.
If you are interested in proposing a contribution on intersectionality in relation to organising and activism at the event please respond with a 50 – 150 word description of your proposed contribution, including:
• an overview of what your contribution will be
• format (e.g. spoken/signed presentation, performance etc.)
• technical requirements (if any) (e.g. projector, audio, performance space)
• cost (we have a modest budget for contributors and this will be prioritised to ensure access and inclusion; we would anticipate anybody in a paid role that concerns these issues to present on a pro bono basis)
If you have an idea that you would like to talk through before submitting a proposal please contact us: or 020 7437 6063.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 24 June 2013.