Still from Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats per Minute, 2017.

LGBT Archive to Open in Paris

In 2020, Paris’s city council intends to open an LGBT archive, chronicling queer culture in France from the 1960s to the present. Recent acclaim for Robin Campillo’s film 120 Beats per Minute, which dramatizes the importance of the French AIDS activist group ACT UP in the 1990s, has given new incentive to create the collection. Earlier this year, the work won the Grand Prix at Cannes.

Former mayor Bertrand Delanoë had attempted to open an archive twenty years ago, but it failed after disputes with LGBT organizations. Anne Sansom of the Art Newspaper reports that Bruno Julliard, the deputy mayor in charge of culture, said, “The film's critical and public success has enabled us to accelerate the process, which has dragged on for fifteen years.”

The project is still in a preliminary stage, but the city plans to collect materials such as magazines and posters, and to have an exhibition space that will be accessible to researchers. The archive will also serve as a community gathering space with several meeting rooms. Additionally, Julliard mentioned that there is potential to partner with museums or other art institutions to highlight the work of queer artists.

Financed by the city of Paris and the French state, as well as private partners, the archive will be located in the heart of France’s LGBT scene, in the town hall of the third or fourth arrondissement, in the Marais district.