The queer archive in fragments: Sunil Gupta's 'London Gay Switchboard'

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Sunil Gupta's 'London Gay Switchboard' (1980) was a forty-minute tape-slide work made whilst Gupta was a student at Farnham. The work was only staged once, and has survived in pieces: individual photographs have been shown, and a short edit of the work was made from surviving fragments. This essay attempts, for the first time, to reconstruct the work from elements in Gupta's archive. It also interrogates the value of the archival fragment for queer history and practice, proposing that the fragment's connotations of loss can be set against its political utility and affective force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Queer history
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Photography
  • London Gay Switchboard
  • British queer history


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