by Florent Manelli
Introduced by Clare Summerskill
Marsha P. Johnson, Keith Haring, Harvey Milk, Audrey Lourde, Peter Tatchell, RuPaul… the names of pioneers and trailblazers who have advanced the LGBTQI+ cause and helped bring about new human rights.
This book pays tribute in 50 portraits to the activists, personalities, writers and artists who have advanced the LGBTQI+ movement and celebrates those who have fought and are fighting every day to create a more inclusive and tolerant world.
To coincide with a new touring exhibition of Florent Manelli’s artworks.
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See Link to a video about his exhibition in France here.
Florent Manelli is a committed illustrator and author from Perpignan. It was at the age of 14, discovering the work of Andy Warhol, that he decided to take an interest in the visual arts. From a fine line with black felt to a colorful painting, his drawings are the reflection of an imagination shared between reality, pop art and sobriety. Portraiture has an important place in his work as well as his commitments, especially in favor of LGBT+ rights and the environment.
Florent Manelli has been a columnist for Radio Nova and hosts a live series on engagement on the brut media application. He published his first book, 40 LGBT+ who changed the world (Volume 1) with Editions Lapin in 2019, followed by a second volume in 2020. His third book, Fire or Nothing: Portrait of a Committed Generation, was published in March 2022.
Clare Summerskill is a freelance academic, an oral historian, a playwright and a lesbian comedienne and singer-songwriter. Her publications include Gateway to Heaven: Fifty Years of Lesbian and Gay Oral History (Tollington Press, 2012), Creating Verbatim Theatre from Oral Histories (Routledge, 2019), and she co-edited the recently published New Directions in Queer Oral History. Archives of Disruption (Routledge, 2022). Her plays include Rights of Passage, based on interviews with lesbian and gay asylum seekers in the UK, and Hearing Voices, based on the experiences of patients on a secure psychiatric ward. She regularly tours her one-woman comedy shows to theatres around the UK and the US, bringing lesbian humour to the forefront of alternative comedy.She co-founded the Oral History Society’s LGBTQ Special Interest Group and is a patron of several LGBTQ organisations including Kenric, London Gay Symphony Orchestra, East London Out Project (ELOP), Mind Out, Diversity Choir, and Educate & Celebrate.
REVIEWS (of French edition)
“From Marsha P. Johnson to Adrian de la Vega, via Hamed Sinno, Laverne Cox, Jean Chong, Anohni or Hanne Gaby Odiele (and yes, I chose to end with the Belgian personality of the book!), the author puts women, men and others at the heart of the LGBT+ cause, showing in passing that there is not only one way to be militant and that the path to a more inclusive world can take many directions.
Biographical directories are non-fiction books that I particularly like. I’m more of a fictional reader, so being able to inform myself through a book that gathers information to peck at will is what suits me best. Each portrait is an opportunity to discover a part of LGBTQI+ history and the issues facing the people concerned.
The graphic beauty of the book makes you want to come back to it regularly, and I particularly appreciate the diversity of the people represented, both in terms of gender identities and sexual orientations as well as ethnic origins.
An essential to discover in a short time a whole part of queer culture and, in the words of the author himself, “to celebrate the courage, the beauty of being and the rage to live by being oneself”. – Literary Librarian blog
Many 4* and 5* reviews on goodreads