Radical Compassion for Pride Month

Akiha HV poster 1

I’m pleased to welcome Savi Hensmen as our guest contributor for this blog following the successful ‘Campaigning then and now’ workshops she recently ran with our volunteers.

‘In the 1980s in Haringey, where the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre project was based at first, sexuality was hotly debated. Then as now, LGBT equality in education was urgently needed but especially controversial.

At a recent Haringey Vanguard workshop, I described some of local activism for equality by communities, along with trade unionists and members of the Labour Party. Then as now, it was important to build alliances, listening to people and looking for ways to connect with and persuade them. We looked at some materials from Positive Images – focusing on schools – and Haringey Black Action, working on broader unity in black communities. Images and shirt amounts of text worked together, both to reach others and help to affirm LGBTQ+ people in our own identities.

Today, social media makes it far easier than before to bring words and pictures together to try to change people’s hearts and the wider world. But, in a discussion, it was pointed out that this could also cause problems, since messages could be posted quickly and people react harshly.

Workshop participants prepared artworks aiming to be relevant to building greater mutual support today, which might allow people to tackle injustice in society and encourage us to care for one another and act with love.

It was suggested that, instead of a ‘call-out culture’ within our communities which can lead to an online ‘pile-on’ of condemnation, there could be a ‘call-in culture’ of speaking out without tearing down, and being supportive. Up-to-date means of communication, creativity and imagination can be used to help to build a better world.’

Using images produced by our volunteers Zarieu and Akiha (her work is above), we agreed to use the terms ‘RADICAL COMPASSION‘ and ‘LOVING EACH OTHER IS A RADICAL ACT‘ as inspirations for our Pride well-being campaign.

Please follow us at @hgveyVanguard on Twitter, and share on Facebook, to help spread a positive message of support to all BAME LGTQ+ people for Pride and beyond. The campaign aims to encourage all of us to reach out to each other, check in on each other and to not assume everyone is having a ‘fabulous’ Pride. Many in the BAME LGBTQ+ will not be able to, nor have the freedom to celebrate Pride.
We will have stalls at London Pride in Soho Square July 6th and UK Black Pride jointly with Opening Doors on July 7th. Thank you to all those who will be volunteering, and to everyone else enjoy Pride and please stop by and say hello!
Take care



Express yourself!

Haringey Vanguard was invited by Opening Doors and Flourishing lives to run our Getting it Down, Getting it Done Digital workshop at the Tate Modern’s Age/ncy late event.

The three-day programme spanned stand-up comedy, physical theatre, workshops, and collaborative installation to explore the idea of ageing as transition across the life course.

Rachel's poster

Big thanks to the HV volunteers who contributed, and credit to Rachel’s design. 

Our next Special Interest Group (SIG)  meeting and workshop is on 26th May 2019  and 
Bruce Castle Museum 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Workshop – Campaigning then and now: What can be learnt from campaigns in Haringey in the 1980s in which BME LGBTQ+ people were involved, which might be relevant to today’s digital age? A hands-on workshop: come prepared to be creative!
We’ll look at posters and leaflets from that time, as well as other activities aimed at changing hearts and minds and empowering LGBTQ+ people, examining how these set out to make a connection and persuade or encourage. Workshop participants would then then identify two or three issues of today and devise a series of tweets and accompanying images. You can also make a banners or posters for Pride 2019.
The workshop will be led by Savi Hensmen a leading activist from the 1980s and original worker at the Black lesbian and Gay centre, which started in Tottenham in 1985.
Pride month is coming!
With both London Pride and UK Black Pride fast approaching, the project would like to do something. We are looking for volunteers for the stall for London Pride on 6th July and UK Black Pride stalls on 7th July.
Please email haringeyvanguard@gmail.com to volunteer and come along to our SIG meeting on June 30th to discuss fun ways to represent the project at Pride.
Our forthcoming SIG group meetings are 
30th June – Pre pride discussion and planning.
28th July – Pride celebration at Bruce Castle museum.

25th August -tbc
29th Sept 29th – tbc
27th October – Black History month social and exhibition.
24th November –
SAVE THE DATE! 7th December 2019 is the next LGBTQ+ History and Archives Conference at the London Metropolitan Archive. BAME LGBTQ+ History will be at the heart of the day. If you individually, or through your organisation would like to be part of the conference, we welcome ideas for workshops, and talks.  I can send out last year’s brochure to give you an idea of events.

Have a great week!

In celebration of us.

This time of year is full of celebrations! LGBTQ+ Month and International Women’s Day are dedicated to celebrating the political and cultural advances made, with events and the crucial Million Women’s March helping to shine a light on the continuing injustices facing our communities worldwide.

Thank you to all who attended our Vanguard of Then And Now Art and Social event at Bruce Castle Museum on the 27th February. Sherika HV Feb 27th

The vibe was friendly, and big up poet and activist Savi Hensmen, performance artist Lasana Shabazz and singer songwriter Sherika Shepard for their excellent contributions, which made the evening such a great success.

The feedback from the intergenerational ‘meet and match segment’, where interviewees spoke to potential interviewers was positive.



We’re scheduling the next batch of Oral History interviews, so if you’ve put your name down, we will be in touch soon.

HV Pt1


The exhibition of posters and flyers from BAME LGBTQ+ activists runs until March 31st 2019





Haringey Vanguard Artist call out

We’d like to invite artists from the BAME LGBTQ+ communities who have a connection to Haringey, through having either lived, worked or socialised in Haringey, to submit a creative response to the archives displayed at Bruce Castle museum.

Applicants can work in any artistic discipline, including zines, painting, print, video or poetry. Up to 3 ideas will be commissioned for £250 each, and selected work exhibited as part of an exhibition, celebrating LGBTQ Black History month in October 2019.

Please send your one page or max of two minutes video outlining your idea to haringeyvanguard@gmail.com with ART in the title by March 31st 2019.

Our next Special Interest Group meeting is on March 17th 2019 at 1.30pm.  

We’re happy to be hosting this jointly with the Opening Doors BAME LGBTQ+ Over 50’s group, run by Rachel. We will be screening ‘Under Your Nose’ about the UK’s first Black Lesbian and Gay Centre, and discussing future Haringey Vanguard events.

Please email haringeyvanguard@gmail.com by Saturday March 16th at 5pm to confirm your space as we need to know the numbers attending.

Shout out to our partners in last week’s event!

Batty Mama is created by Lasana Shabazz (Minstrels), Ama Josephine Budge (HYSTERIA) and Hakeem Kazeem (Collapse the Closet). Mx Hannah Iheoma Place
Founder at PLACE A  and filmmaker Hayley Reid.

Have a great week!


Ring in the old – Valuing LGBTQ+ Archives


The new year started with a bang- and we here at Haringey Vanguard have had a few busy weeks!  It’s all great news as the work to raise awareness of LGBTQ History, the importance of archives, and documenting LGBTQ lives continues. Members at our last Special Interest Group on Jan 19th, came up with some great ideas for forthcoming sessions, including a podcast, zine training and a visit to London Metropolitan Archives.

We will also be re-running the Sound Recording workshop in the studios of a top producer. People get the chance to test out sounds, and to use a full-size mixing desk.

Come to our SIG meetings,or follow us on facebook and twitter for dates.


Twitter @hgeyvanguard


goldsmiths queer fair no.1 2019 01 21

Haringey Vanguard attended the The Queer History Fair at Goldsmiths University on Jan 21st  Now in its 2nd year, the fair included representatives from The Bishopsgate Institute,  Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Victoria & Albert Museum and the royal Historic Royal Palaces. Attendees came from as far away as Israel who discussed their Haifa Queer History Project which has collected over 40 Oral Histories to date.



AS LGBTQ+ Month approaches, we have some great events planned.

  1. The Art of the Gestetner: Duplicating Publishing Workshop by Alt Går Bra

Date: Sunday 3 February, 1pm – 3.30pm

With Tottenham-made Gestetner machines at the forefront, duplicating machines revolutionised how offices functioned, while democratising the printing and publishing medium. These remarkably versatile machines were quickly adopted by groups to produce printed material cheaply and with relative ease, from political and community groups, to fanzine enthusiasts and artists.

This workshop will teach you basic skills towards duplicating your own publications. You will be taught how to use Gestetner-produced styli and wheel pens to hand-etch designs onto wax stencils. Participants will also type on to stencils, learn basic inking, maintenance and how to operate the machines.

The workshop is free and forms part of an exciting week exploring the political and artistic impact of the duplicator, including Bruce Castle Museum’s The Art of the Gestetner exhibition and a conference on the 7th & 8th February which includes a talk by Elizabeth Haven Hawley exploring the earliest U.S. lesbian duplicated publication ‘Daughters of Bilitis’.

Exhibition: https://goo.gl/UMNnzc

Conference: https://www.facebook.com/events/602705493511422/

email haringeyvanguard @gmail.com to attend.


  1. Haringey Local History Fair 2019.

16th February 2019  11am- 4.30pm.  

Haringey Vanguard will have a stall, and there will be other local groups with an interest in the history, social history, natural history and architecture of Haringey. Come to learn and undertake your own research at this gem of an archive.

Bruce Castle Museum

Lordship Lane N17


We met with LGBTQ Artists Hayley Reid,  Hakeem from Batty Mamma, and Hannah from local arts organisation Place A to plan Vanguard of Then & Now Pt 1, an event to encourage people to creatively engage with and be inspired by archives.

             3. The Vanguard of Then & Now Part 1 BME LGBTQ+ Art Social  aims to bring together intergenerational BAME LGBTQ+ communities to socialise and discuss BAME LGBTQ activism and history, over some light refreshments. You can also find out about the different activities Haringey Vanguard is offering.

  • There will be a speed matching session for people interested in being interviewed or carrying out interviews.
  • Performances and
  • A selection of social and political creative works from the LGBTQ+ and BME LGBTQ community (1970s- 90s). This exhibition will be on show until the end of March.

Haringey Vanguard would like to invite artists from the BAME LGBTQ+ communities to submit a creative response to the archives at Bruce Castle.

Applicants can work in any artistic discipline, including zines, painting, print, video or poetry. Up to 4 ideas will be commissioned, and selected work exhibited as part of an exhibition, celebrating LGBTQ Black History month in October 2019.

Date – February 27th 2019  6pm – 9pm.

Bruce Castle Museum  Lordship Lane N17

For further information on how to submit your ideas, come along to the event, or if you are unable to attend please contact: Veronica at haringeyvanguard@gmail.com


  1. Next Special Interest Group SIG meetings

Feb 24th – BME LGBTQ History timeline and catch up.

March 17th –  Subject tbc


SIG meetings are held at Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship lane N17

Hope to see you at one of our events!

Keep warm:)


Reclaiming Our History through action

Hello all

Firstly all I can say is wow wow wow! The Edgy LGBTQ+ History conference on Dec 1st was a sell out!

The conference aimed to explore ideas of Outsider History, supposing the margins as a powerful place rather than a place of exclusion.

It looked at what happens when people get excluded from mainstream memory or when such history strives to become part of the centre. The comprehensive line up of speakers and practical sessions delivered more than we expected.

Kudos to the hard working team headed by Jan who makes sure every year that LGBTQ History is represented in the development and evolution of History theory and practice.

The BME LGBTQ history breakout session was hugely popular with a number of people wanting to understand how to approach the subject and in particular how to sensitively collect Oral histories from people from BME LGBTQ backgrounds.

EDGY Conference 2018 HV workshop attendees

The round table format encouraged people to ask questions relating to their own area of research and subjects covered included  LGBTQ identification, looking at clothing and ‘uniforms’ past and present, the overt and covert exclusion of certain groups of the LGBTQ communities in social spaces, assumptions around family and faith relationships.

It was a learning experience for all who attended.  I was struck by the work of one attendee who goes into Romany communities to talk about LGBTQ issues – valuable work taking place in marginalized communities which is overlooked.

Rose Collins spoke about her 40 years of collecting LGBTQ materials and how she documented her everyday life, which happens to document important  pint sin LGBTQ history in the UK.

British Arab Jamaal Hussain’s ‘Becoming Scheherazade’ was a very moving, raw and compelling performance, weaving insight into his family life, LGBTQ identity and culture and giving much food for thought for the audience. It’s part of his project to collect 1001 Stories from Arabs living in the West, and a great example of how living on the margins can foster creativity even under difficult circumstances.

Kamaal Hussain Becoming S play

Find out more at his site http://www.thethiefofbaghdad.co.uk

Creatively, there was an opportunity for people to look at documenting history and self expression through zine making. Edinburgh Zine library collects Zines from all over the world, and zines are an important vehicle for marginalised voices.  My first attempt wasn’t too shabby!


I can see how engaging in creativity is a way of taking some time out and so very good for one’s wellbeing.


The next Haringey Vanguard meeting dates will be in our holiday blog.

Have a great week!






Haringey Vanguard gets Edgy!

Welcome to the first proper Winter blog Brrr!

We’ve been busy spreading the word about the project and putting on workshops to enable the volunteers to acquire valuable skills. We are always open to suggestions so please let us know what workshops you would like to see.

Our latest round of workshops included Sound Recording and Interviewing & Listening Skills which went extremely well. Our volunteers learned that there is more to recording sound than pointing and pressing start! They enjoyed spending time in a real working sound studio and experimenting with the range of sound effects and treatments.

HV Interviewing workshop Nov 18 2018

In the Interviewing and Listening Skills workshop, the role play and practical exercises enabled the volunteers to feel confident about going out to interview people and to deal with any sensitive issues that arose.  They are now eager to start collecting the Oral Histories of BME LGBTQ+ people who were active in the 80s and 90s.

All our workshops were attended by volunteers and people who have agreed to be interviewed, and it’s pretty heartening to see the intergenerational and community building that is taking place as the project develops.  If you have agreed to be interviewed we will be in contact in the next few weeks.

If you have been thinking about it, please contact us on haringeyvanguard@gmail.com.

The recordings will go into an archive and be kept for posterity, so there will always be a record of BME LGBTQ+ lives in the UK.  YOUR oral history is important!


This year’s LGBTQ+ History and Archives Conference takes place on December 1st and is the 16th and the biggest to date!

We’re pleased to be part of the fantastic line up of speakers and presentations. Please check out the link for last minute tickets.



Hope to see some of you there.


nOSCARS It’s the taking part that counts!

We are so pleased that Haringey Vanguard was nominated for a nOSCARS Award put on by Naz, and now in the 7th year. The nOSCARS is the annual red carpet event for those making a positive difference to sexual health outcomes in Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities.


Our category The Black African and Caribbean nOscar was won by the wonderful Phil Samba who works to promote PrEP to queer men of colour. Well done Phil! We were nominated for the wellbeing workshops we run, and we look forward to documenting the history of BME LGBTQ sexual health throughout the 70s and 80s.

Big thanks to Monique Todd of the Naz project! http://www.naz.org.uk.


Hosted by Princess Tessy de Luxembourg with guests including the grand daughter of Nelson Mandela Swati Mandela, Patti Boulaye OBE, and Shazia Mirza, the event was super glamorous and a chance for people who do invaluable work in the sexual health field to let their hair down and celebrate their achievements over the last year.


Sound Recording Workshop is this Saturday 17th November at 12pm. We have two places left.

Interviewing Skills workshop this Sunday 18th November at 1-3pm at Bruce Castle Museum. N17

Email asap on haringeyvanguard@gmail.com.

Have a great week!