Throughout the late 20th century, Coventry has been a site of intense postwar industrial reconstruction and deindustrialisation, immigrant labour influx and multicultural experiments. In the backdrop of growing right wing ethnonationalism and racism in British politics, this research seeks to understand in what ways queer immigrant bodies relate to the city of Coventry. Largely existing as subcultures, how do these communities seek some form of recognition and rehabilitation against intense and multiple marginalisation from the state and society? What spaces, places and politics do LGBT people of colour identify and affiliate with? To what extent are these affiliations mediated by online platforms, affording as they do a relative anonymity? How did such individuals/groups relate to the movements around ‘political blackness’ that grew in the 1970s in Coventry and other parts of England, or the proliferating demand for gay rights post Stonewall? In what ways did individual and institutionalised Islamophobia after 9/11 enter and segregate queer Muslim immigrants/residents from other queer people of colour?
In addressing these questions, we aim to grapple with the complex history of Coventry over four decades and particularly how 9/11 transformed the erstwhile unity sutured around shared marginalisation. This project utilises archives and cultural memory to reconstruct the social history of a queer and coloured Coventry and the many immigrant communities that constitute it.