Programme Events Past Events SCREENING: DYKE HANDS, QUEER SHORTS 7PM Wednesday 23rd March 2022 A CINENOVA COLLECTION SELECTION, FEATURING FILMS BY: JAMIKA AJALON, L.FRANKLIN GILLIAM, SONALI FERNANDO & PRATIBHA PARMAR. Join Languid Hands for an evening of shorts from Cinenova’s collection, made by, or centring, Black lesbian & non-binary people, inspired by S. Diane Bogus’ 1989 book of poems and essays ‘Dyke Hands & Sutras Erotic & Lyric’. The screening includes films by Jamika Ajalon, L. Franklin Gilliam, Sonali Fernando & Pratibha Parmar, exploring themes of the erotic, mental health, black female subjectivity in the urban space, the politics of the body and the life and legacy of Audre Lorde. JAMIKA AJALON MEMORY TRACKS, 1997, 10 MINS. A tribute to African-American women activists, whose violent actions were often characterised as being the result of mental illness. ‘Memory Tracks’ explores the relationship/ interconnectedness of the urban landscape and subjectivity. In this short experimental film, we see the spirit of resistance, often misread as madness, as we follow a young Black protagonist in search for her revolutionary past as written on the urban landscape. A woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown follows the afroed spirit of a revolutionary past through London's streets: Brixton and Portobello. The camera is used as a means for reflexive analysis of black female subjectivity and performances of resistance in urban spaces, specifically within the context of London's Portobello and Brixton. SHADES, 1995, 13 MINS. A lyrical, sensual piece which deals with issues surrounding skin colour and codes of Blackness. SHADES explores issues of colourism in the African American community. Drawing on erotic imagery and the relation between a light skinned woman and a darker skinned Lesbian, this film questions what exactly is meant by “Black enough”. L.FRANKLIN GILLIAM SAPPHIRE AND THE SLAVE GIRL, 1996, 18 MINS. Loosely based on the 1950's British detective film Sapphire, in which two detectives investigate the murder of a young woman who is passing for white. ‘Sapphire and the Slave Girl’ examines the determinants of Sapphire's murder investigation through its cinematic representation. Referencing detectives from Marlowe to Shaft, the film enacts its analysis in the persona of the hard-boiled detective in order to highlight transgressions of identity and location. Featuring a multifarious cast of identity-shifting Sapphires, this fast-paced genre bash visualises and problematizes the way that identity is negotiated and performed within urban spaces. Racial politics are positioned at the core of the intrigue, the theme around which the mystery spins. And the city, Chicago, provides the premises from which a theorem is proved. Action passes for fiction; architecture and streets pass for avenues of control. Things are not always what they seem… NOW PRETEND,1991, 10 MINS. A newly digitised experimental investigation into the use of race as an arbitrary signifier. By probing the constraints and possibilities allowed by fiction and verbal language, Gilliam’s work thinks about what it means to have or inhabit a black body. ‘Now Pretend’ plays with the potentialities of black and white film, the limits between light and shadow. Drawing upon language, personal memories and the 1959 text, "Black Like Me", the short deals with Lacan's "mirror state" theories of beauty and the movement from object to subject. We are delighted to be able to present a newly digitised version of the film, with captions by Collective Text. SONALI FERNANDO THE BODY OF A POET: A TRIBUTE TO AUDRE LORDE, 1995, 29 MINS. A lush and beautiful meditation on the life and work of Audre Lorde - African-American, lesbian, feminist, professor, mother, visionary and 'warrior poet' - who died of breast cancer, metastasised to her liver in 1992. An imaginary biopic, ‘THE BODY OF A POET’ centers on the efforts of a group of young lesbians of color to devise a fitting tribute to one of this century's great visionaries. Its genre-bending celebration of the life and work of Audre Lorde, black lesbian poet and political activist, daringly meshes diverse media conventions and techniques as it explores Lorde's trajectory from birth to death. Avowing the subjectivity and desire with which we view our forebears, the film meditates on those moments in a life lived with passion that steel the political will and irradiate the poetic consciousness. Refreshing and visually stunning, this brave film features assured acting by a dedicated cast and a taut script comprising the work of contemporary African American lesbian poets. PRATIBHA PARMAR WAVELENGTHS, 1997, 15 MINS. In her quest for true love and human contact, Mona (Indra Ove) is persuaded to try cybersex, which is emotionally and physically safe. ‘WAVELENGTHS’ explores the time honoured quest for love and human intimacy in the polished world of computers and the Internet. Set in gay bars, dreams, and cyberspace, this perceptive and highly visual film contemplates one woman's search for emotionally safer sex. Mona's girlfriend has left Mona with a broken heart, an empty goldfish tank, and—in her altered state—the ability to pick up other people's conversations. Stuck in the post relationship blues, Mona just can't seem to move on...that is until she discovers "cybersex". This stylish film from Pratibha Parmar features photographs by Nan Goldin and the hit single "Missing" by Everything But The Girl. ARTIST BIOS JAMIKA AJALON Jamika Ajalon is a creative polymath. Writer at base, she uses a melange of interdisciplinary practice as her pen. She has a BA in Film/Video achieved at Columbia University, Chicago, and an MA in Communications in Culture and Society from Goldsmiths University, London. L.FRANKLIN GILLIAM L.Franklin Gilliam believes that, in a broken world, the vision and creativity of artists are critical to transformative systems change. Gilliam’s creative practice is research-based and multidisciplinary. It has taken the form of film/video art, installation, games, and illustrated lectures. Gilliam’s projects explore the interplay between obsolete technology formats and the faulty transmission of historical knowledge and difference. SONALI FERNANDO Sonali Fernando is a writer and filmmaker who has directed over thirty films for Channel Four, the BBC and independent release. Working in documentary and drama, she has explored themes ranging from the contemporary art market to the new face of imperialism. .PRATIBHA PARMAR Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar has an exemplary track record for her passionate commitment to making films with integrity and illuminating untold stories with visual flair and imagination. Her award-winning work has been widely exhibited at international film festivals and broadcast globally. Pratibha’s dedication in bringing complex subjects into mainstream media has helped change the contours of popular discourse on race, feminism, sexuality and creativity. Image: from 'The Body of a Poet' by Sonali Fernado Booking for this event has now closed.