PRIDE at the Fowler: Archiving Gay History

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The Fowler, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and ONE Archives at USC Libraries are proud to co-present a program in honor of Pride, focusing on the work of contemporary artist Sadie Barnette and filmmaker Whitney Skauge at the intersection of art, archives, and anti-erasure efforts. Recent celebrated projects by Barnette and Skauge feature archival content about the lives of two gay Black activists—the 1992 presidential candidate Terence Alan Smith, aka Joan Jett Blakk, and Black Panther Party member Rodney Barnette, who established the first Black-owned gay bar in San Francisco—who fought against political oppression and advocated for the safety of their community at the height of the AIDS crisis in the early 90s.

Join us in the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Virtual Screening Room for a viewing of The Beauty President (dir. Skauge), a presentation by Barnette; followed by a conversation with the artists and speakers, Alexis Bard Johnson and Faridah Gbadamosi, moderated by the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s May Hong HaDuong, about the capacity of contemporary art to breathe new life into archival content; how to deal with what’s missing from and the limits of existing archives; and the power of images to undo the lies of history.


Sadie Barnette’s multimedia practice illuminates her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the US. Barnette has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from UC San Diego. Her work is in permanent collections of LACMA, Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Guggenheim. Her permanent, site-specific commission at the LAX International Airport will open in 2024. Barnette lives and works in Oakland, CA and is represented by Jessica Silverman.

Faridah Gbadamosi is the Artistic Director of Outfest, one of the only global LGBTQIA+ arts, media, and entertainment organizations whose programs empower artists, communities, and filmmakers to transform the world through their stories. Gbadamosi oversees the year-round artistic vision for the organization’s many programs, including the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender moving images at risk of becoming lost due to deterioration and neglect.

Alexis Bard Johnson is the curator at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries. She oversees the exhibitions and programs at one of the largest repositories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials in the world. Johnson earned her PhD in Art History with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stanford University. Before joining ONE, Johnson worked at the Princeton Art Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

May Hong HaDuong is the Director of UCLA Film & Television Archive. A UCLA alumna, May has served in the film archiving world for more than 15 years. May was the senior manager of public access at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she served as a principal representative for the Academy’s film archive. Prior to serving at the Academy Film Archive, she was the project manager for the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Moving Image Preservation, a collaboration between the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Outfest, which produces the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.

Whitney Skauge is an award-winning filmmaker dedicated to diverse storytelling and representation. They are vice president of development at two-time Oscar-nominated Breakwater Studios, dedicated to the craft of the short documentary. Skauge’s debut short film The Beauty President (2020), produced by Breakwater Studios, premiered at SXSW and was distributed by LA Times Short Docs in 2021. Skauge’s films act as an extension of social and political activism with hopes of helping audiences understand themselves and the world around them better.

Image Credit: Installation view of Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon, The Kitchen, New York, January 18, 2022–March 5, 2022. Photo by Adam Reich.