Skittles’ photography exhibition for Pride Month aims to help tackle stereotypes in media
Exploring the idea of ‘queer joy’, the exhibition aims to “help diversify archives and photography collections by documenting the vibrancy and dynamism of the today’s LGBTQ+ community”.
- Daniel Milroy Maher
- 27 June 2023
Skittles has once again collaborated with Gay Times, Queer Britain and Getty Images on a Pride month campaign that seeks to bring awareness and visibility to the LGBTQIA+ community. First joining forces in 2021 for the launch of the Recolour The Rainbow campaign, this latest initiative follows a similar mission.
Titled See The Rainbow, it is composed of an exhibition titled Queer Joy, social activity across Gay Times and OOH activations at UK Pride events throughout the month of June. Together, these efforts hope to “shine a light on the LGBTQ+ community’s history and look towards future representation and archives”.
The exhibition, which forms the centrepiece of the campaign, had its preview at Liverpool’s iconic Royal Albert Dock in May, before going on show at The Outside Art Project in King’s Cross, London, where it will run from 1 June - 31 August 2023.
Comprising 50 evocative portraits of queer people, the chosen photographs are on display in one of the largest outdoor gallery spaces in the city. Each work is informed by the exhibition’s concept of ‘queer joy’, which is defined as the “the deep happiness that brings warmth and purpose to queer lives”.
Alongside the expressive portraits, some are accompanied by quotes from the subject that delve a little deeper into what helps achieve this emotional state. Among those featured are catalysts such as “the dance floor”, “being my whole self” and “being a suited and booted non-binary grandparent”.
The photographers who created this work were selected by Skittles and its partners in 2022 after a nationwide search for LGBTQIA+ photographers who the group felt could “help diversify archives and photography collections by documenting the vibrancy and dynamism of the today’s LGBTQ+ community.”
This exhibition also follows on from the 2021 Recolour The Rainbow campaign, which saw the brands work with renowned colourists Dynamichrome and adam&eveDDB to re-colour four important LGBTQIA+ photographs, bringing new life to archival imagery.
Speaking on his team’s ongoing efforts, Ryan Pardo-Roques, senior brand manager at Skittles, says “[We] have been on a journey with our work and allyship of the LGBTQ+ community for almost a decade. As we enter Pride month, we’re bound to see brands use this moment to speak to the LGBTQ+ community but it’s important to ensure this is backed by credible partnerships, action and extends all year round.”
Looking to the future, Skittles will continue to work with the 10 emerging LGBTQIA+ photographers as they attempt to “try and capture all identities in 1000+ images and help tackle stereotypes in media.”
Skittles®: Queer Joy (Copyright © Skittles®, 2023)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.