Lights, Camera, Activism!
12 February 2015
American LGBT history has a wealth of cinematic output: from the classic Paris Is Burning (1991) to Milk (2008) and Dallas Buyer's Club (2013). On our side of the Atlantic, what film representations are there of LGBT activist history?
Last year's release of Pride (2014) we hope ushers in a watershed of films about LGBT activist history. We're delighted to show Pride alongside two other audio-visual presentations about LGBT activism in London and Cork. Pride is available on Digital HD from 9th February and on Blu-Ray and DVD from 2nd March 2015, and we're greatful to Pathe Films for their support.
Mike Jackson, featured in Pride, from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners hosts the event tomorrow (Friday 13th Feb) from 12-4pm at the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre. Mike said:
Those of us who were activists in Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners are really pleased and proud of Stephen Beresford’s screenplay of ‘Pride’. This is a story of ordinary people working together to achieve extra-ordinary outcomes. Really powerful social change has always come from the grass roots: the Tolpuddle Martyrs who advanced trade unionism; the Chartists who advanced democracy; the Suffragettes who fought for democracy to include votes for women; the Civil Rights movement in the USA who fought for the emancipation of black people and the drag queens in the Stonewall bar, New York who fought back against homophobic police intimidation.
The majority of us have lost a lot over the past 30 years, inequality is now worse than it has ever been in history and the richest 1% are creaming it off the rest of us. We need to come together and fight this injustice, to put people and planet before profits. It is ordinary people who will do this. ‘Pride’ is a funny, poignant reminder of how we do this and what happens as a result.
Rose Bush, who wrote previously on our blog about her experiences as an activist in London, started an oral history project after coming to one of our Archive Open Days. She will be showing a presentation of her initial work historicising her own history in London, aiming for publication in 2016. She said:
London Rebel Dykes of the 1980s is an Academic Cabaret, with music by Poison Girls and Mouth Almighty, punk feminist bands from the era. It is about Greenham Common, squatting, clubbing and clothes. The cabaret showcases images that have never been seen, as well as early photos by famed photographer Del LaGrace Volcano. The cabaret is based on interviews of people who ID'd as 'rebel dykes' in the 1980s, a bunch of punk, political, pro-sex, genderfucking people, who went on to build the Riot Grrrl and Queer movements.
Finally, Orla Egan (UCC, Cork LGBT Community) presents Out and About, a collaboration between the Cork LGBT community and Frameworks Films. The film is an LGBT Historical Walking Tour of Cork, narrated by Orla Egan and John Dunlea. Orla said:
Cork has a long and rich history of lesbian and gay activism and community formation and development. Since at least the 1970s lesbians and gays in Cork have forged communities, established organisations, set up services and reached out to others. As well as campaigning for lesbian and gay rights and providing services and supports to LGBT people, the lesbian and gay community has played a vital role in movements for social justice and political change in Cork. Yet this community, like many other LGBT communities worldwide, has been largely invisible in historical accounts and its contribution to social and political change and developments largely unacknowledged.
Through my work I am seeking to make this history more visible and accessible. I am currently working on a Cork LGBT Digital Archive. See corklgbthistory.com for more information.