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09 June 2020

'Queer' Asia organises Film screenings to support LGBTQ+ Asian communities for Pride Month 2020

'Queer' Asia are organising a series of free online film screenings with suggested donations to go directly to community organisations to address the economic fall-out from the current pandemic.

'Queer' Asia poster

‘Queer’ Asia is a collective of early career researchers, doctoral researchers, and activists, co-founded by Dr Daniel Luther, a Visiting Research Associate at Queer@King’s in King’s College London.

They have partnered with queer and LGBTQ groups, LSE Spectrum, LSE Embrace and Queer@King’s, to support the filmmakers who are very generously sharing their films for this charitable cause.

The community organisations that the screenings support work with queer, trans, and marginalised LGBTQ+ people in the UK, Palestine, Lebanon, India, China, and against homophobic legislation worldwide. These are:

Call Her Ganda (Dir. PJ Raval) in support of GANDA Filipinas 

Online screening window: 1 June – 12 June 2020

This documentary focuses on Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, who was brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine. It follows three women intimately invested in the case: an activist attorney, a transgender journalist, and Jennifer’s mother as they galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of US imperialism.

Extravaganza (Dir. Matthew Baran and Will Dai) in support of The Outside Project 

Online screening window: 1 June – 13 June 2020

Drag queen Miss Jade has brought together 12 of the city’s drag performers for a one night show. They are the fiercest kings and queens in town. Extravaganza takes you behind the scenes of one of China’s most dynamic drag scenes. Feel the shade, live the fantasy.

The Drum Tower (Dir. Fan Popo) in support of Beijing LGBT Center 

Online screening window: 5 June – 20 June 2020

Engaging with life and companionship in urban cityscapes in China, Popo’s film ‘The Drum Tower’ features an all transgender cast and is the first Chinese film with an all lead trans cast.

Ghost Empire § Cyprus (Dir. Susan Thomson) in support of The Human Dignity Trust

Online screening window: 10 June – 26 June 2020

Ghost Empire § Cyprus looks at the numerous recent arrests of gay men in Northern Turkish occupied Cyprus, including even the former Finance Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, under a British colonial law dating from 1889.

Is it too much to ask? (Dir. Leena Manimekalai) in support of Sampoorna

Online screening window: 15 June – 3 July 2020

‘Is it too much to ask’ follows the journey of two friends Smile and Glady, looking for a rental apartment in Chennai and the obstacles and social stigma they encounter in not just looking for a home, but being single and the fact that they are transgender women.

Haki Fadi (Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration) in support of Al Rafah Social Care 

Online screening window: 1 July – 12 July 2020

This film is a statement by non-normative people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, who refuse to define and box themselves. The film does not only point out the multiple struggles non-normative people face, but also conveys the message that the key to resistance is love.

Le Coup (Dir. Jacqueline Nassour) in support of HELEM

Online screening window: 2 July – 13 July 2020

A story about two girls from different backgrounds who finds one another and express their similarities through movement, music, and dance.

The film details and tickets are available on the ‘Queer’ Asia website 

'Queer' Asia are also hosting an online workshop for researchers, arts practitioners, activists, and students working on the intersections of queer and Asia called ‘Reclaiming Radical Now’. This replaces their cancelled conference so that previously invited presenters can address questions around solidarity and radical politics in the face of the current global health and environmental crises and the rise of right-wing governments and organisations. 

Through these activities they aim to provide a means to support the global community, those who are isolating in homes that may not be safe places, or have lost access to vital community networks based on gender, race, or ethnicity, and those whose livelihoods are impacted by the financial fall-out from the current global pandemic.

The COVID-19 Community Support Screenings are a chance for us to reach out to organisations and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the loss of livelihood and financial hardship due to COVID-19, particularly in the informal sectors including queer filmmakers. We are particularly happy that our collaborations with Queer@King’s, LSE Spectrum and EmRace that enabled us to support these filmmakers and provide a way to connect LGBTQ people cut off from community and networks in the lockdown globally, where mainstream representations tend to not include people like us. The screenings are our way of giving back in both ways in this time of crisis.

'Queer' Asia

In this story

Daniel Luther

Visiting Research Associate