Mothers of Invention by Julie Ballands

Mothers of Invention tells the story of a group of dykes on Tyneside in the 1980s/1990s, who were both political activists and what would now be called cultural producers.

Newcastle was quite unique in that time in that a lot of alternative (to the ‘mainstream’ gay scene) queer cultural events and spaces, were set up and run predominantly by lesbians. This began as a very underground scene (literally nights in basement bars that couldn’t be advertised), and grew into club nights in sympathetic spaces, such as Club Afrika and Live Theatre and eventually burgeoned into the development of the first pride events in Newcastle – Pride on Tyne in the mid 90s.

This short film celebrates those early queer DIY cultural pioneers and maps the places in the city these events took place.

Julie Ballands is a filmmaker and digital storyteller whose work explores themes connected to people’s sense of place and belonging, often drawing upon archived material and personal testimonies. Having undertaken artist residencies and commissions for many organisations in the community, charity and arts sectors, Julie has also worked for the last 20 years in cultural institutions across the North East.