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Gareth Pugh launches Pride documentary and virtual platform

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

30 Jun 2020

British fashion designer Gareth Pugh has launched a documentary dedicated to the fight for queer liberation, alongside a virtual platform featuring video submissions from the LGBTQIA+ community discussing what Pride means to them.

Pugh and his husband Carson McColl’s new documentary film ‘Soul of a Movement: Four Days In June’ looks at the LGBTQIA+ community's ongoing fight for acceptance, documenting the birth of the 1969 Queer Liberation movement alongside the four days in June last year where the couple meet with activists, artists and allies to discuss how they define the movement as it stands in 2020.

The hour-long documentary, available to watch on Vimeo, commemorates fifty years on from Stonewall Riots, and asks the question - “What lies at the soul of our movement?” to examine what lies at the heart of the current day LGBTQ+ movement and what still needs to be fought for.

Commenting on the film, Pugh said in a statement: “It was about exploring the legacy of the founders of our movement, including those present at Stonewall and examining how their values reverberate in our lives today.

“The whole point of the film was to communicate the idea that while the Stonewall Riots lit a fuse, it's the individuals and organisations that appear in this film – and those across the world just like them – that are carrying the fire today.”

Alongside the film, Pugh has launched the ‘Soul of a Movement: Queer Nation’ digital platform, built around a stylised map of the UK and Ireland, featuring a constellation of markers, each corresponding to a short film submitted by a member of the public which is subsequently geo-tagged to a location on this map.

The aim is to allow members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersexed, agender, asexual, and ally community a chance to explore contributions from people from all walks of life, as well as invite them to add their own voice to the project.

Gareth Pugh and Carson McColl launches Pride platform

The project, described as part cultural document, part call to action, has been created in partnership with a series of top web developers, including renowned digital artist Jon Emmony, and the platform has already received submissions from a varied line-up of LGBTQIA+ cultural figures including Munroe Bergdorf, Ib Kamara, Graham Norton and legendary activist Peter Tatchell.

In addition, representatives from grassroots organisations across the UK, including Hidayah, the Time for Inclusive Education Campaign, Voices4LDN and The 343 Belfast have also lent their support in engaging with the project.

Pugh said: “Pride 2020 provided us with a unique challenge: how can we help to instil a sense of community and togetherness at a time where being together isn't possible? With that in mind, we decided to try and leverage our networks to create what will hopefully become a living record of Queer Culture in the UK and Ireland in 2020. At heart, it's about reaffirming that while we may all be on our own right now, as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you are never alone.”

Carson McColl, added: “The site will continue to accept and feature new submissions indefinitely, and will exist in perpetuity as a way of offering people in our community a forum to tell their stories in their own words, without gatekeepers or censorship. It's a space where we can exist and talk about what Pride means entirely free from corporate influence, and where we can share our dreams for the future.

“Right now we're in a period where everything is in flux and change feels possible, so while dreaming of the future might be considered by some an indulgence, in a moment like this, we'd argue that it's a necessity.”

Image: courtesy of Gareth Pugh