PHYLLIS AKALIN reports on UCL’s LGBT+ Network’s Stonewall Screenings, exploring what the selected films can teach us about intersectionality and their relevance to the BLM movement.   ‘It really should have been called Stonewall uprising. They really were objecting to how they were being treated. That’s more an uprising than a riot’. It is with these words that the American journalist Howard Smith recalls the events which took place 51 years ago at the Stonewall Inn. In the 2010 documentary Stonewall Uprising, Smith and other contemporary witnesses reflect on the spontaneous demonstrations held by members of the LGBTQ+ community in 1969 New York City. This monumental uprising was a reaction against the violent police raids of the Stonewall Inn, one of the few gay bars in the neighbourhood of Greenwich Village at the time. Today, the Stonewall uprising is considered to mark the beginning of the global gay liberation movement and…Continue Reading

The Stonewall Screenings: A Portrait of Pride

EMMA CHEUNG explores the concealment of queer identity in Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith and Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden. The lesbian narrative of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith revolves around duplicity and entrapment. Beautifully reimagined for the screen in The Handmaiden, both works present a captivating portrayal of the way disguise forces itself upon queer identity. The role of clothing in Fingersmith is at the forefront of the reader’s mind. With dishonest intentions, the characters mould artificial identities through changes in dress in order to control the way in which the world perceives them. But within this method there is a potential sacrifice of the self. Does a disguise leave space for the existence of a true self beneath? At what point does external perception become self-perception? The dizzying web of betrayal and fraudulence in Fingersmith plays with these questions, continuously drawing upon the crisis of identity that can plague the queer experience. The…Continue Reading

‘My strait gown cuts me’