BFI Flare expanding to offer world’s first virtual LGBTQ+ museum

BFI Flare, London’s major LGBTQIA+ film festival, is expanding to offer a free programme of immersive projects including the world’s first virtual LGBTQ+ museum.

BFI Flare Expanded is part of the 37th edition of BFI Flare. It takes place in an exhibition space at BFI Southbank over the first four days of the festival from 16 to 19 March.

The programme’s cutting-edge projects use virtual reality (VR), screen-based installations, volumetric video, 3D scanning and interactive games.

In addition to the virtual LGBTQ+ museum, visitors will enjoy an interactive digital archive dedicated to the preservation of Black trans history and culture, and a video game telling the story of a trans woman’s journey through sex work.

“We’re thrilled to bring this free programme of immersive art and extended reality works to BFI Flare for the very first time,” said Ulrich Schrauth, BFI Flare Expanded programmer.

The projects “utilise the latest in technology to share powerful and personal stories of identity, belonging, self-expression and vulnerability”, Schrauth added.

He said: “We want to surprise festival attendees with a wide range of different formats and immersive experiences, providing new insight into our increasingly complex world by celebrating the value of LGBTQIA+ histories and legacies.”

Conceived by the British creative technologist Antonia Forster with Thomas Terkildsen, the virtual museum celebrates and documents the global history and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.

Sydney’s LGBTQI+ museum gets permanent home

Guests will explore a digital institution of personal artefacts accompanied by stories told in the words of donors.

Elsewhere, Sydney’s LGBTQI+ museum Qtopia is receiving a permanent home at a former police station, the NSW Perrottet government announced at WorldPride on 24 February.

At the opening concert, the New South Wales arts minister, Ben Franklin, said the museum is “dedicated to telling our stories, to telling our history” (via the Sydney Morning Herald).

Images: BFI

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BFI Flare expanding to offer world’s first virtual LGBTQ+ museum