For our Reclaiming the Rainbow Photo Challenge we have assembled a brilliant bunch of South Yorkshire Creatives to judge entries. Read on to find out more about them and how they feel about the rainbow flag!
Reclaiming the Rainbow Photo Challenge is a way to raise awareness of the Pride flag as a symbol of safety, build connections, and celebrate the strength of the South Yorkshire LGBTQ+ community through this difficult time. You can find out more about it and on how to enter here.
First up is Zoyander Street (Pictured above). “I am a neurodivergent, genderqueer trans man living in Rotherham, and an artist-researcher and critic working at the fringes of indie videogames for over a decade. After becoming increasingly sensitive to the limitations of linear text, I began exploring interactive and tactile mediums of communication, because I want to surface ambiguity and allow mess to stay messy. Led by ethnographic and historical research, I create lo-fi glitchy games and custom hardware for festivals, galleries, and museums”.
Gilbert Baker said that he chose the rainbow for the flag because it is a “natural flag” that “comes from the sky” – it comes from the same place as the light that shines equally on everyone and sustains the myriad forms of life on earth. Just as you can never find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, you can never perfectly locate queerness or pin down the boundaries of our community; we exist as an expression of the beautiful variety of forms that exist in this world.Zoyander Street
Next up is Nelly Naylor. “My names Nelly, I’m a proper Yorkshire lass, I live in Sheffield with my girlfriend and our cats Slim and Shady! I studied photography at Sheffield Hallam and in my final year I launched my business. I noticed that couples in the LGBT+ community were not represented at all! I knew I was the girl to fly the flag for our community so I become a LGBT+ specialist wedding photographer. 5 years on, a few awards in the bag and 150 5-star reviews online, I’m still championing equal marriage and documenting it in my unique colourful fun style!”
The rainbow flag to me was something I could identify with- for me the symbol if I saw it in a cafe, bar, or on someone’s website, I knew it was a safe space for me to be myself. I know it sounds cliche but I do wear the flag with pride, on clothing, shoes, umbrellas whatever it may be the symbol says to people this is me, I’m comfortable with who I am and this is my journey. I’m also really glad we now have a progress flag now, I feel every year we do progress in everyway.Nelly Naylor
And finally, our third judge is Yuen Fong Ling. Yuen Fong LING is an artist and curator based at Bloc Studio, Sheffield, and Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Ling has a socially-engaged and performance-based art practice that explores his biographical connections with omitted histories, people, places and objects.
Recent projects include: “Towards Memorial” (2019-ongoing) explores the remaking, gifting and wearing of sandals once designed and handmade by gay socialist activist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), and “The Human Memorial” (2020-ongoing) explores the empty plinth to consider what monuments and statues we want in public space? What we stand for, and importantly when and where?
My relationship with the rainbow flag has been different throughout my life. There were times when I shied away from it, embraced it, was protected by it, exposed, made vulnerable by it, and even rejected it. What this has meant, is that it’s constantly evolving and changing symbol for me. Now, more than ever, do we need to reclaim, rework, make our own, these colours for our communityYuen Fong Ling
We hope our judges words inspire you to think about your relationship with the rainbow flag and take your own photo for Reclaiming the Rainbow.
Up for grabs is a fabulous selection of prizes from local traders including Birdhouse Tea, Showroom Cinema, Elly Joy, Truffle Pig Vegan, Beer Central, Moss and Clover, Vulgar Vintage, Artisan and Eco and Louche Mag.
If you’re LGBTQ+in based in South Yorkshire, send us a photo now!
The photo should be
– Inspired by the phrase ‘Reclaiming the Rainbow’ and
– Show either yourself or another LGBTQ+ community member in a location in South Yorkshire.
Deadline for entries is midnight 1 Aug. Full details on entering, can be found here. Good luck!