January 29 – Joey Plaster: Vanguard Revisited: Co-Performing Queer Histories in San Francisco’s Tenderloin

“Vanguard Revisited” was an imagined conversation between two groups of queer homeless youth activists based in San Francisco’s Tenderloin: one that in 1966 founded the seminal organization Vanguard, and another which in 2011 “reconstituted” Vanguard around contemporary concerns by reenacting the organization’s street theater, artistic productions, and organizational structure. The project’s goal was not merely to reenact a discrete historical moment, but through these temporal pairings to “body forth” a lineage of Tenderloin-based cultural activism that may be partially obstructed by the archive. I draw on my experiences with this project to suggest, more generally, approaches to generating historical material through co-performances with the individuals who embody the consequences and promises of the histories we hope to represent.