The Marching Dunstans: performing memory, queering memory

Barbara Baird, Rosslyn Prosser

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The Marching Dunstans were a group of over 100 people in the annual Pride March in Adelaide, South Australia, in 2015, the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in this state. The Marching Dunstans dressed in either safari suits or pink shorts and white T-shirts, signature 1970s costumes of Premier Don Dunstan, the socially progressive Premier who oversaw decriminalisation and many other progressive changes. The Marching Dunstans constituted a queer intervention into the collective memory of this period of social change and the inspiring leadership of Don Dunstan. This article documents the role of the various mnemonic technologies and the affects that these generated. These included the dress, placards, badges, marching, voice and spectacle. It argues that, as an embodied performance of queer memory, The Marching Dunstans created space for a radical queer community politics for the present.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-36
    Number of pages12
    JournalMedia International Australia
    Volume165
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

    Keywords

    • collective memory
    • decriminalisation of homosexuality
    • Don Dunstan
    • history of sexuality
    • performing memory
    • queer memory
    • South Australian history

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