Desperate Living C–19: Pride Inside with Conal McStravick and Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust

June – July 2020

Pride Inside was a series of queer, collaborative and intergenerational workshops to celebrate Pride at a social distance and formed part of Desperate Living C–19.

Led by artist Conal McStravick, and working with Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust and young persons aged 13-19, the project explored how LGBT+ artists, thinkers and activists have shaped Pride as a protest, a celebration and as an approach to living queerly, leading towards a final online event during Pride week in July 2020.

During a series of collaborative workshops conceived by Conal McStravick with invited artists and activists Peter Scott-Presland, Ash Kotak and Linda Stupart, the group queered their cameras, voices, domestic spaces and plants, and created badges, banners and masks to express something important about their chosen identity.

Guided exercises ranged from ‘We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it. and Naming and shaming the pandemics’, to Reading and writing as collective learning and caring’ and introduced LGBTQIA+ artists and activists such as Audre Lorde, Chelsea Manning, Pauline Oliveros, Marsha P Johnson, Jack Smith, Octavia E. Butler, Derek Jarman and Rotimi Fani-Kayode.

The young persons received art packs with materials as well as weekly contextual resources, material lists and expected outcomes to prepare for the weekly workshops. A final online event took place where the group created a collective and embodied Pride letter to express our hopes and fears to those who impact LGBTQ+ lives this Pride 2020, as well as a video that combined all our shared workshop activities and outcomes.

Desperate Living C–19 is supported by:

Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The London Community Response Fund administered by City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder
Mila Charitable Organisation

About Conal McStravick

Conal McStravick (b. 1979, Lurgan, N.Ireland) is an artist, educator and writer who makes solo and collaborative artworks, workshops and events that explore LGBTQIA and queer feminist activisms, cultures, histories and practices in moving image, performance and text. McStravick has exhibited in the UK and overseas including collaborative exhibitions and events at Generator, Dundee, CCA Glasgow, CCA Derry-Londonderry, Enclave, London and The Northern Quarter, Newcastle with collaborators including Laura Aldridge, Kathryn Elkin, Simone Hutchinson, Alexander Kennedy, Cara Tolmie, and Patrick Staff. He has appeared on panels and given presentations on Stuart Marshall, AIDS activism and broader cultural activisms at BFI Flare, Birkbeck, Concordia, Glasgow International and Chelsea College of Art, where he guest lectures. Mc Stravick studied at Glasgow School of Art and CRMEP Kingston, has served on the committee of Transmission Gallery, was selected as a LUX Associate Artist in 2011.


About Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust 

Mosaic supports, educates and inspires young LGBT+ persons and those around them. 

They do this by providing accessible activities, programmes and services that aim to empower community members, provide essential resources, advocate for young LGBT+ rights, and embrace, promote and endorse the diversity of young persons. 

They are committed to building a strong and cohesive LGBT+ community that is safe, free from prejudice, and thriving. A community where every LGBT+ young person feels empowered, inspired and proud of who they are.

Image credit: Conal McStravick, Mosaic Pride Inside film stills, 2020