Queering Family Photography

Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

How do photographs reflect, create, and anchor the affective life of queer families? From families of choice to families of origin, Queering Family Photography explores the critical work that queer, trans, and Two-Spirit family photos do in documenting and creating modes of intimacy and belonging. While family photography can be a problematic site of normativity, this exhibition explores how the affective attachments of queer family photographs have also sustained us. This collection of images stretches the frame of family to include kinships outside the heteronormative family model, revealing queer modes of intimacy and belonging. The images capture fleeting moments of love and desire, as well as the connections between generations, which are often fractured and even broken by a normalizing state and culture.

Queering Family Photography draws from: the Family Camera Network, which is collecting queer and trans family photos and oral histories with a focus on migration and racialization; the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives; and the University of Winnipeg, Two-Spirited Collection. The show is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Curated by Elspeth Brown and Thy Phu, with the assistance of Saj Soomal