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Outside Organisation's Friday night Queer House Party@queerhouseparty

This new film details the vital work of LGBTQ+ activists amid COVID-19

Gareth Pugh and Carson McColl join forces with Selfridges to highlight the efforts of queer grassroots organisations around the UK in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Last year, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall UprisingGareth Pugh and Carson McColl embarked on a journey which took them from New York’s Greenwich Village to Belfast, Glasgow, and Sunderland, before they finally ended up back in London. 

Over the course of a number of weeks, the creative duo documented the vital work undertaken by a series of charitable grassroots LGBTQ+ organisations and activiist groups in each of the cities, which resulted in an incredibly poignant and galvanising film entitled Soul of a Movement

Now, in light of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent UK lockdown, Pugh and McColl debut a short film which revisits a number of those charities and the people that fuel them, as they talk through the ways in which they are providing aid and solidarity to marginalised people throughout the pandemic, given the government continues to fail to do so. 

First we meet Sophie Williams, chair of Belfast-based feminist-led queer arts space 343, who details the mutual aid its community has come together to offer, including everything from simple befriending phone calls intended to make people feel less alone in isolation, to efforts to raise £3,500 which will be distributed in amounts of £100 to people desperately in need of food, medicine, and vital hormones. 

Later in the film, we are reintroduced to Harry Gay from the Outside Project: a hostel and arts space situated in a former fire station in London’s Clerkenwell, who tells of initiatives the group is currently rolling out. Among them is weekly event Queer House Party which takes place every Friday via Zoom, as well as a takeover of a number of rooms in a Central London youth hostel, which allows the group to offer a place of shelter to some of the most vulnerable people in the LGBTQ+ community. 

Funded and launched as part of Selfridges' ‘Creativity is not Cancelled’ initiative, which serves to bring people together positively in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, watch the full film below, and head to the Soul of a Movement website to learn more about the vital work the organisations featured are doing, as well as how you can help.