UCL Urban Laboratory


Urban Laboratory research contributes to Whitechapel Gallery exhibition on London’s LGBTQ+ venues

2 April 2019

Archive material collated during UCL Urban Laboratory’s research on London's LGBTQ+ nightlife infrastructure will form part of an exhibition opening in April at the Whitechapel Gallery.

First Out café in Soho

Queer Spaces: London, 1980s – Today’ casts a celebratory and defiant eye over the history of London’s queer spaces, combining rarely-seen archival material with original work by artists concerned with the vibrancy and importance of LGBTQ+ cultural life. The exhibition asks what defines a ‘queer space’ and the relationship of these venues to the LGBTQ+ community.

Findings from our London-wide study of venues, conducted by Prof Ben Campkin and Lo Marshall, will be exhibited, alongside materials collated from the archive that honours the rich histories of iconic venues in the capital, including some of the most valued but now closed spaces such as the London Lesbian and Gay Centre in Clerkenwell, and First Out Café. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a public programme featuring film, conversation and performance.

‘Queer Spaces: London, 1980s – Today’ opens on 2 April 2019 and runs until 25 August 2019. Free entry.

Print editions of Urban Pamphleteer #7: LGBTQ+ Night-time Spaces: Past, Present & Future are currently available from the Whitechapel Gallery’s bookshop.

Our 2017 report LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London: Night Venues, 2006–present, by Ben Campkin and Lo Marshall (July 2017) can be found here.

Image: First Out café in Soho. Credit: Simon Murphy on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)