The Campaign for Atlanta: an essay on queer migration

2013
performative essay

THE CAMPAIGN FOR ATLANTA: an essay on queer migration by John Q
Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum

The Atlanta Campaign was a Civil War military strategy that moved Union troops through the state and into the city. John Q’s The Campaign for Atlanta was a performative essay about queer migration into urban areas. This visual and textual essay addressed notions of visuality and how history and place are imaged in ways that make them seem inevitable. Cycloramas and battle paintings more generally can be indicative of this operation. The collective therefore took up ideas of queer memory and fragmentary documents that enabled us to explore alternative ways to engage landscapes of the past. As a useful metaphor, we also navigated the space of the Cyclorama backwards with those in attendance.

Crawford Barton, an artist who photo-documented San Francisco’s Castro district through decades of immense social and political change, was a Georgia native from the rural town of Resaca, site of one of the earliest battles in the Civil War campaign. John Q’s The Campaign for Atlanta featured a selection of Barton’s exhilarating super-8 movies of 1970s San Francisco, Resaca, and Atlanta — films unseen for decades.