SHOUT Festival of Queer Arts and Culture grew out of a desire to celebrate and promote the diversity of Birmingham’s LGBT cultural community. Launching in 2009, SHOUT Festival (a project of Birmingham LGBT) was created as a direct response to a significant lack of representation for of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer in Birmingham’s arts venues.

We are in the middle of an increasingly difficult climate for LGBTQ+ communities. In a time when incidents of transphobic and homophobic hate crime have almost doubled, protests against LGBTQ+ inclusive education are happening all over the midlands, and local LGBTQ+ venues are facing closure from gentrification, Looking Back, Moving Forward asks how can watching the past help our communities to move forwards.

Looking Back, Moving Forwards is a queer cinema project that looks back into queer history on screen and presents archive film and documentary in new lights to inspire audiences to make change and take action. Each screening is brought to life with an interactive programme of talks, workshops, or panel discussions highlighting how the struggles for LGBTQ+ communities of the past might inform the actions we take today. Working across two phases, at SHOUT Festival in November 2019 and Birmingham LGBT History Festival in February 2020, we will explore the ways that film can influence, inspire, and ignite its viewers into taking action to make a difference for, challenging injustice and discrimination.

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