Guest post: Conference report by Steph Schem Rogerson

The ALMS Conference Without Borders was a game changer for me. Surrounded by thinkers, artists and archival practitioners from around the world, I gained valuable knowledge about queer archives, some I had never heard of. The approaches and methods to archival research were diverse, often with electrifying results. I presented my paper at Bishopsgate Institute.

Queer Photography, The Archive and The Elasticity of Time attempted to flesh out how fragmentation, temporality and elasticity are vital to queer discourse, particularly in terms of queer representation being evaluated beyond constraints of truth. The paper outlined how temporalities facilitate critical approaches to discourse and social change by shifting hegemonic power relations from absolute truth to signifying potentialities. Rather than adhere to the efficiency and completeness associated with the principles of archival work, my presentation focused on ‘being at home in marginal areas’ (Walter Benjamin) in order to investigate distinctive applications of difference.

The three-day conference created a number of important relationships that will stay with me. Built on passionate interest and dedication to queer knowledge, several delegates, may very well become life-long friends. This conference not only assisted in the growth of my research, but also developed a sense of kinship with archivists, artists and thinkers that I may not have gained access to without this conference.

Steph Schem Rogerson

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