Protesters at the Anti-Section 28 Rally in Albert Square, 1988 © Manchester Libraries, Museums and Archives

On February 20 1988, 20,000 people came together in Manchester to protest against Section 28 – a much-reviled anti-gay law brought in under Margaret Thatcher that stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

For my latest project, funded by Superbia, I am creating a sound collage-cum-audio documentary piece comprising people’s spoken word memories of the anti-Section 28 march and gig, interspersed with some archival news reports, crowd noise,  and music.

The idea is that people who attended the march will send me their memories via smartphones, rather than me interviewing in the traditional sense. As with many of my heritage projects, it’s a crowd-sourcing approach.

The piece will:

1. Be released as a podcast via Manchester Digital Music Archive.

2. Be uploaded to my Queer Noise online exhibition.

3. Be unveiled at a special listening event during the Superbia weekend hosted by Manchester Pride.

My aim is to weave together lots of of diverse voices and mini hidden histories through a series of short audio clips.

Here’s how to get involved:

1. Have a look at the questions I have posed here. You can answer as many or as few as you wish. Or you can just send me any memory that feels special to you.

2. Record your responses using your smartphone’s voice memo or video facility. Please remember to answer the question using a full sentence.

3. Send your memory to me by text or email and I’ll add it to the piece.


If you are not a smartphone user, or you feel you’d like to speak to me in person, just get in touch and we’ll see what we can sort out.

I am very keen to collect photos and footage too. If there is enough visual material, this will be presented at the listening event also.

Please do tell any friends who may be interested. Feel free to share far and wide!

I am keen to create something truly atmospheric and inspiring.

My email address is:  I can send you my phone number over email.

Protesters at the Anti-Section 28 Rally in Albert Square, 1988 © Kath McDermott

Protesters at the Anti-Section 28 Rally in Albert Square, 1988 © Kath McDermott

NB: Footage from the Section 28 march in Manchester was featured in the recent Boiler Room documentary Fleshback about queer clubbing in Manchester.