LGBTQI advocates often credit the Stonewall riots of June 1969 as a watershed moment of the gay liberation movement—three nights of radical collective response, wherein butches, queens, sex workers, homeless youth, and trans/gender-nonconforming folks fought alongside one another to protest the punitive surveillance and imprisonment that was a given for those who dared congregate openly as queers.
The word realism conjures the everyday, the unfussy, the small. But what’s real when the world has gone mad? It’s a question that gripped Italian photographers, directors, journalists, and writers around World War II and is surely worth asking again. This exhibition heralds artists who captured quotidian life in an era of daily shocks.