Dr Rosalind Galt, University of Sussex

Co-investigaor: Dr Karl Schoonover, University of Warwick

 

The intersection of queer sexualities with global politics has become a pressing issue in recent years: violence at pride marches in Serbia, India and South Africa are just one vector of tensions among ideas of global citizenship, nationalist politics, and sexual identity. At the same time, film and other visual media have formed increasingly transnational routes to queer cultural visibility. Audiences in the UK can view cinematic representations of gay and lesbian life in Thailand, and vice versa. This project will investigate the role of film and video in negotiating queer cultural identities in the global context.

The project brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars along with filmmakers, activists and film festival programmers. This combination of theoretical approaches with the perspectives of creative industry professionals and media artists will enable a broader understanding of the complex dynamics of queer film cultures, as well as helping identify new ideas for local and international engagement. The research will consist of four main events, spread through 2012. The first is a workshop on queer cinema and the politics of the global. This event, based at the University of Sussex, will bring together a prestigious group of international scholars with specialisms in international cinema studies, media and culture, the politics of globalisation, queer theory, and philosophy to outline the key issues and methods necessary to develop research in this newly emerging area.

The second phase will augment this foundational scholarly work with the perspectives of film curators and activists. Core scholarly participants will be joined by film programmers representing a range of queer cultural activity, such as the transgender film festival in Amsterdam and the MIX experimental queer film festival in São Paolo, as well as queer filmmakers such as Jim Hubbard and Campbell X. In addition to a workshop with scholars and film programmers, there will be two public roundtables, in Brighton and London, which will bring both local queer communities and film festival audiences into the conversation. These public events, addressing questions of Queer Cultual Space, and Curating Queer Cutures, will be developed in partnership with the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the Duke of York Cinema in Brighton.

The third event will draw on the expertise of both the scholars and the programmers to curate a series of international queer film and video work. This series will screen in partnership with CineCity, the Brighton-based film festival. Films will be curated as part of the research process, and the series will thus form an important public-facing output of the project. Two film events will be programmed in collaboration with guest curators: Sridhar Rangayan from Kashish: Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and Stephen Kent Jusick from MIX NYC: the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival. Rangayan will bring a selection of new queer short films from India and Kent Jusick will present two programmes of queer experimental film and video. These events demonstrate the vibrancy and heterogeneity of queer film and video, ranging from underground classics to popular romances and activist documentaries.

The final workshop addresses the question of queer counterpublics. Film festivals provide one of the few safe public spaces for queer culture, especially in regions where homosexuality is not legally protected. One of the key aims of this project is to extend that space, both by creating a rare opportunity for scholars, curators and activists to work together to analyse global queer cinema and by asking the group to strategise how we might help grow and develop these cultural spaces.

 

 

Project website

Project blog

RCUK Gateway to Research

 

Events:

CineCity Curating Queer Film Symposium

CineCity Kashish: Queer Indian Cinema screening

CineCity MIX NYC: Queer Classics and New Queer Film and Video

GQC at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival discussion on Global Queer Space