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April 7, 2022 @ 2:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • For Writers
  • Re-Writing the Archive
  • Workshop

Re-Writing the Archive

Elliot Gibbons
Elliot Gibbons Re-Writing the Archive


Metal at Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Avenue
Southend-on-Sea, SS0 8NB
Pay What You Can, £5 suggested donation

At the first ‘Rewriting the Archive’ workshop for Essex Book Festival, Elliot Gibbons (Essex-based writer, researcher and curator) will host a session on writing with and against archives. Stemming from his extensive research into uncovering queer histories of Southend-on-Sea, participants will be urged to deconstruct homophobic, racist, or generally derogatory newspaper clippings to write alternative narratives.

After being introduced to the methods behind this approach to the archive, you will work in small groups to analyse the language of a series of newspaper articles from 1967 onwards. This will instigate a group discussion. One of the questions we will collectively think through is can we apply the terms non-binary, trans, or queer on to moments when these terms were not in circulation. More broadly, this workshop will stress the importance and benefits of working with an archive subsumed by negative representations to our present and future selves and communities. The workshop will actively encourage the writing of queer histories from the periphery rather than the centre. You will then write a piece on a clipping of your choosing or even from personal experience. Following this, we will share our texts in an informal and supportive roundtable.


About the Writer

Elliot Gibbons is a writer, researcher, and curator based in Essex. He is currently studying an MA in History of Art at UCL, whilst fundraising to curate an exhibition and publication on Southend-on-Sea’s queer history. He also works part-time for Focal Point Gallery and TOMA (The Other MA). He holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art (2019), and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins (2016).

He is largely interested in unearthing queer histories outside of urban centres, and queer art histories during the AIDS crisis in Britain. His research has previously contributed to an online exhibition for Snapping the Stiletto, and he has had his writing published by ‘thisistomorrow’ and AQNB.


Part of Essex Writers House 2022

For the month of April 2022, Metal presents Essex Writers House, a popular annual programme hosted in partnership with Essex Book Festival. Across the month, we look forward to sharing a range of events, workshops and sharings for writers across our brilliant county. Essex Writers House invites anybody interested in writing to take part, including beginners, established authors, book lovers, families and storytellers of all kinds.

Find out more at metalculture.com/essexwritershouse

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Metal at Chalkwell Hall
Chalkwell Avenue
Southend-on-Sea, SS0 8NB
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01702 470 700

Accessibility: Please contact the venue direct about wheelchair and disabled access.

Hearing Loop: Essex Book Festival has a mobile Roger Pen hearing loop system, which needs to be booked by individuals in advance at least five days before the event. If you would like to use the Roger Pen email hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk