An illustrated image of two people with their heads bowed together. The background is pink and the text on the image reads ' The Pink Bans. They shouldn't pick on a bloke because of his sexuality - Bob Pringle, Building Labourers Federation, 1973.'

Join comics-journalist and cartoonist Sam Wallman as he presents a lecture on his 2023 Creative Arts Fellowship research into the Pink and Green Bans movement and how it will contribute to a new artwork celebrating the 1970s coalition of blue collar union workers and LGBTIQA+ people.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library's Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

Sam Wallman is a 2023 Creative Arts Fellow, Supported by the Friends of the National Library.

About Sam Wallman's Fellowship research

During his Fellowship, Sam has drawn upon the Library’s unique collections to continue his research into the Green Bans (strike action conducted for conservational or environmental purposes), and also attempt to uncover more information about the Pink Bans, of which less is known. The Pink Bans were a series of work stoppages and industrial bans carried out by unionised construction workers in the 1970s in defence of persecuted LGBTIQA+ people (before the emergence of the gay rights movement).

This research will be distilled into a series of large format original illustrations and a large-scale banner produced in the highly ornate style of trade union banners of the 1900s. The illustrations will form accessible summaries of the history of these movements, built around specific items uncovered in the Library’s collections, and offer an entry point into this history. This 'Pink and Green Ban' art project will tour union halls, galleries and a labour history conference, and be a celebration of the supposedly unlikely coalition of blue-collar workers and queer people. 

About Sam Wallman

Sam Wallman is a comics-journalist, cartoonist and labour activist based primarily in Melbourne, with an active interest in history-as-present. His illustrated work has been published in The Guardian, The New York Times, and on the ABC and SBS. His first long-form graphic novel, Our Members Be Unlimited: A Comic About Workers and their Unions (Scribe Publications) was recently published in Australia, the US and the UK, and was shortlisted for the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. 

About the National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellowship

The National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellowship program offers writers and artists an opportunity to undertake a 4-week residency at the Library. This program is supported by generous donors and bequests.

Image credit: Sam Wallman, Pink Bans, courtesy Sam Wallman.

Type Fellowship presentation