Yom Shabbat, 15 AdarI 5781
Shushan Purim Saturday, 27 February 2021
Twilight People exhibition opens in Islington

8 February 2016

Britain’s first ever exhibition highlighting the heritage of transgender and gender nonconforming people of faith has opened to great fanfare. 

Part of Liberal Judaism’s Twilight People project, a collection of photographs, recordings and artefacts exploring this ‘hidden history’ are on display at Islington Museum in London until March 5. The exhibition will then go on tour around the country.

A successful launch event took place at Islington Museum on Thursday February 4, with the Deputy Mayor of Islington, Cllr Kat Fletcher, and Cllr Osh Gantly – Cllr Gantly – one of very few openly transgender elected representatives in the UK”– among the invited guests. Liberal Judaism was represented by chair Simon Benscher and senior rabbi and chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich, as well as Rabbis Janet Burden and Janet Darley.

Danny said: “One of Liberal Judaism’s tasks is to prod at least the Jewish community, and arguably wider society, to think about things in a different way. And, one of the things this exhibition does, is to get us thinking about gender in a very different way. We also have a responsibility to be a voice for those whose voices are often not heard, and to make clear the stories that are often hidden.

“That is why I am proud of this exhibition and proud that Liberal Judaism hosts the Twilight People project.”

Twilight People: Stories of Faith and Gender Beyond the Binary captures the voices and images of more than 40 trans people from different faith backgrounds - among them Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Pagan - and interprets them in a heritage context.

The exhibition – which is running as part of LGBT History Month 2016 - combines oral history with portraiture by photographer Christa Holka, alongside film and memorabilia objects. It runs Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm (closed Wednesdays and Sundays).

Guests at the launch enjoyed drinks courtesy of Barefoot Wines and an exclusive live audio installation produced by Roundhouse Radio and SOAS Radio with young people from Gendered Intelligence and other youth groups. They also received an exclusive hard copy edition of the Twilight People exhibition booklet

The audio tour will be downloadable as part of the Twilight People app, after a special after-dark event this Thursday, February 11, from 5.30-7.30pm at the museum. The booklet can be downloaded from the Twilight People website.

Twilight People project manager Surat Shaan Knan said: “This has been an amazing journey on so many levels and I invite everyone to join us and be part of it. Before attending, I would urge everyone to download the Twilight People app on your mobile or tablet – giving an interactive audio guide that will help you explore and enjoy the exhibition in a unique way.”

Islington Council’s equalities champion, Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwarz, added: “I am delighted that the Islington Museum has been able to host this ground-breaking and thought-provoking exhibition. The honest testimony and highly personal art included in the exhibition is both moving and timely, as greater attention and thought is given to the relationship around gender variance and faith.”   

For more information on the exhibition please visit www.islington.gov.uk/heritage and www.twilightpeople.com

Twilight People is supported by the National Lottery through the Lottery Heritage Fund and proudly hosted by Liberal Judaism.