As part of Back History Month King’s Place, London put together a series of film screenings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week’s was a programme of six short films that all had the same theme – LGBT issues in the African/Black community. These issues are seldom confronted so it was rehreshing to see a programme devoted to a subject that is so often marginalised my the African/Black community.

Stills from films 'Souljah' and 'Mosa'

 

 

Mogadishu Dreaming

Ahmed Hagi left Somalia for Australia as Somalia fell into civil war. His landscape paintings allow him the space to try and interpret his identity, incorporating his cherished memories from childhood within his adopted home ofAustralia.

(Dir: Lesley Branagan, Australia/2010, 9 min)

 

Mosa


Mosa explores a young woman’s internal struggle after being the victim of a hate crime rape in South Africa. Now inLondon, Mosa takes advantage of new opportunities to start a new life, but after feeling objectified once again, she breaks through and finally decides to live on her own terms.

(Dir: Ana Moreno, UK/2010, 15min)

 

Souljah

On a South London estate the local youths see themselves as being in a war — against the police, gangs, the world. They think nothing of bullying an effeminate young African asylum-seeker and his mother.

(Dir: Rikki Beadle-Blair, 2009/UK, 11min)

 

Young, Black and Gay


Poet Dean Atta on coming out and his experience as a black gay man living in London.

(Dir: Kathy Sheppard, UK 2008, 3min)

 

Blood

 

Kolton Lee the director of short film, 'Blood'

 

Danny is a champion amateur boxer about to compete in his first professional fight. Years of coaching by his father Isaac and trainer Geoff are about to pay off. All Danny has to do is win. But as everyone is soon to discover… sometimes you have to lose to win.

(Dir: Kolton Lee, 2005/UK, 16min)

 

B.D. Women

A celebration of the history and culture of Black lesbians. Lively interviews feature Black women talking candidly about their sexual and racial identities. These contemporary views are cleverly interwoven with a dramatized love story, set in the 1920s, in which a sultry romance develops between a gorgeous jazz singer and her stylish butch lover. B.D. WOMEN rewrites the vanished history of Black lesbians’ lives in an eloquent and entertaining way.

(Dir: Inge Blackman aka Campbell X, UK 1994, 20 min)

 

After the programme, Ashmeed Sohoyhe, the scriptwriter of the film Blood, and Nadia Denton who curated the programme took the the floor for a question and answer session.

 

Q) As a writer and director team being not necessarily be from the black LGBT community, how did you go about trying ensure that it was a true authentic story?

 

Ashmeed Sohoyhe: I grew up in Guyana, I grew up knowing that some places were more accepting the Caribbean was multicultural was multi-cultural before Britain was. Just our experiences of falling in love, I suppose, and our experience of questioning who we like and who we’re allowed to be in certain contexts. In certain contexts I have to shorten my name to ‘Ash’ to make myself more acceptable to certain people.

 

Ashmeed Sohoyhe: Originally they weren’t gay, but then I developed the idea of sexually and young black men –  maybe – being pushed into boxing. The characters have been enslaved by a white framing of their sexuality. The black gay community have had a raw deal as they were told this line of Christianity where being homosexual was bad. But there is a culture clash with this issue.

 

Q)  What was the selection process involved?

 

Nadia Denton: All of the films were previously screened, an exploration of different issue, HIV, rape, violence. A programme that pulled together different experiences.  Transgender visibility is not so great in Britain. Being gay and being disabled is also another issue that needs to be explored.

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