Curated by Dean Hutton and Darryl Els, the festival screened a selection of the best features, documentaries and short films from around the world, offering a diverse reflection on queer life in film. Importantly, the programme had a special focus on early and classic gay and lesbian cinema. Hosted by the Bioscope Independent Cinema, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut.

There can be no ethical queerness without an appreciation of difference. We cannot combat oppression without acknowledging and decoding the intersectional struggles we face with regard to the various identities ascribed to and by us via race, sexuality, gender, ability, class and ethnicity. This is particularly important when checking our various privileges. We need to see cultural representations of ourselves, because so much our humanity relies on the expression of authentic human interaction. Festivals like this are important because queer people’s lived realities are made visible by, between and for queer consumption. We are queer through other queers, a queer ubuntu if you will, and we are in a war against the mythical norm”…

Most gay and lesbian visibility has been co-opted by an apolitical “pink dollar” capitalism as part of mainstreaming LGBTIQ identity. This is most prevalent in white, middle class gay communities that already benefit from whiteness. Commercial interests have chipped away the political from the equality movement to turn us into consumers. I support Johannesburg People’s Pride and Soweto Pride. I have for the past two years boycotted Sandton (white) Pride because I believe queerness is political.”

Being visibly queer is an act of defiance. To be queer and to love is an act of civil disobedience. I think narratives that that say we must conform to heterosexist norms are dangerous. They say you can gain acceptance only through assimilation. Queerness encompasses a form of gender dissidence that is not confined to sexuality, and the more we challenge those kinds of oppression, the less vulnerable we are. Films like these can create safer spaces for us speak, and also for us to shout, to be, without restriction. There more we see ourselves in film, the more we can see that just because we reject “normality” does not make us either unnatural or abnormal. I’m suspicious of the heteronormative conditions imposed on queer people.”
Dean Hutton interview in The Con

Programme
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