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Transing the Archive: Ben Power Alwin in Photographs at the Sexual Minorities Archives

Free Event

Thu, February 23rd, 2023 @ 6:30PM EST

The Contemporary Arts Center and Leslie Lohman Museum will host “Transing the Archive: Ben Power Alwin in Photographs at the Sexual Minorities Archives.” Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Images on which to build, 1970s–1990s, this online event will feature excerpts from a pre-recorded oral history with Ben Power Alwin conducted by Oraison H. Larmon. The oral history explores photographs that document Power Alwin’s gender transition alongside records from the Sexual Minorities Archives. Following the oral history excerpts, exhibition curator Ariel Goldberg will moderate a live discussion with Power Alwin and Larmon. The oral history will be made available to the public within the exhibition, which prominently features letters, photographs and other records from the Sexual Minorities Archives.

This is an online event. Auto captions will be provided via Zoom. For additional access questions or requests please email [email protected] at least 1 week before the event.

Bios of participants:


Ben Power Alwin (he/him/his) is the founder and Executive Director of the Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc. For 40 years, Ben has been Curator of the Sexual Minorities Archives, a 45-year-old national collection of LGBTQ literature, history, and art. Ben also founded the East Coast FTM Group in 1992 — the first-ever support group for trans men in the New England region, which continues to meet at the Sexual Minorities Archives. Ben holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociocultural Processes from Governors State University/Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus. He has lectured on transgender issues across many universities as well as presented talks on LGBTQ histories of the Pioneer Valley. He wrote for On Our Backs magazine in 1989 under the name Bet Power and published a trans autobiographical piece, “My Wonderful Askewness” in Crossing Sexual Boundaries: Transgender Journeys, Uncharted Paths


Oraison H. Larmon is a doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Larmon’s research centers around bodies, records and archives with specific focus on twentieth century performance art in the Americas. Their dissertation “Trans Figural Records: Trans Bodies Across, Through and Beyond Archives” introduces a new archival concept that re-configures how records come to represent trans bodies. Previously, Larmon worked as an archivist at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute—a network of artists, scholars and activists from across the Americas who address social justice issues through performance research. Larmon is the editor of Franklin Furnace: Performance and Politics (HemiPress, 2018).