Vadí? Nevadí presents:
A SEASON OF TRANS FILMMAKING
These times are strange, scary, distressing, and yet powerful. Rage fills the air and our souls, and the hope of real change feels more and more tangible as people across the globe rise up and wake up.
At Vadí? Nevadí we have been spending the last couple of weeks planning a series on trans life and trans filmmaking. Despite not needing a reason for this (trans film and representation is wholly under-served and far from visible, especially in the mainstream in which Oscar bait ‘trans’ film is predominately allocated to be made by and for cis people), we wanted to recognise the injustices that the trans community are currently facing. There is a global wave happening of conservative governments using the COVID pandemic as a guise for pushing discriminative legislation and a roll back of human rights. Simultaneously, there is a rise of resistance, a growing momentum and an ever present conversation, seen in activism, protests, and solidarity amongst communities and organisations.
While things are fast changing and emerging, we have began to compile a complation resource to provide up-to-date information on the urgent situation that faces the trans community, as well as resources for both giving and receiving support, and a multitude of ways to engage (watch, listen, read, beyond). Find the document here (and please feel free to let us know if you have anything to add)
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues its momentum and strength in response to not only police brutality but also a white supremacist system that continues to purposefully fail people of colour, we also wanted to show our solidarity, to educate ourselves and others, and engage with this huge and mightily powerful conversation that is currently happening.
So, because of these circumstances that we find ourselves in, we have decided to focus our attention on trans representation especially that of trans people of colour.
June is Pride month, and while there won’t be any street parties or parades this year, we can still be present. It also feels like a good time to reflect on the roots of the gay liberation movement, which was fore fronted by black trans sex workers. We must not forget them. We must not forget their battles, their own experiences of butchering, beatings, arrests and raids at the hands of the police. Pride originates from protest and riot. The struggle against oppression has overlapping nodes in all oppressed communities. There is an overarching cause in battles for equality – and that is to confront and fight a system that is persistently trying to oppress.
For the next four weeks, Vadí? Nevadí presents a season of trans filmmaking. Each Monday we will suggest a trans-focussed feature film accompanied by a short for you to watch, and each Sunday we will hold a zoom discussion – a safe space in which to share our thoughts, fears, ideas, and beyond. We have intentionally sought out films that are free to access, however if you struggle to get hold of them please let us know.
Each week we will send out the link for the films and the Zoom meeting which will happen at 5pm every Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled and also take a look at our Instagram page with more regular updates @vadi.nevadi
The programme looks like this:
14th June Zoom Discussion
By Hook and By Crook (dir. Harry Dodge & Silas Howard, 2001)
A queer crime buddy film. It follows Shy and Valentine, partners in crime, in a journey of chaotic adventures and self discovery.
Short – Woman Dress (dir. Thirza Cuthand, 2019)
Pre-contact, a Two Spirit person named Woman Dress travels the Plains, gathering and sharing stories. Featuring archival images and dramatized re-enactments, this film shares a Cuthand family oral story, honouring and respecting Woman Dress without imposing colonial binaries on them.
Short - The Personal Things ( dir. Reina Gossett AKA Tourmaline, 2016)
"You have to find your own way to strike back." Black trans elder and legendary activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy describes how everyday personal acts fuel her political activism. Released in conjunction with Trans Day of Resilience/Remembrance, this short, directed by Tournaline with art by Micah Bazant and animation by Pamela Chavez was produced by Reina Gossett, Hope Dector, and the BarnardCenter for Research on Women.
21st June Zoom Discussion
Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (dir. Michael Kasino, 2012)
This feature-length documentary focuses on the revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha "Pay it No Mind" Johnson, a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and Saint. "Pay It" captures the legendary gay/human rights activists as she recounts her life at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the '70s, and a New York City activist throughout the '80s and early '90s.
"She is an undisputed icon. She's the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sphinx all rolled up into one divine ball." - Jack Wallis
Featuring the music of Anohni and the Johnsons
Behind Every Good Man (dir. Nikolai Ursin, circa 1967)
Produced several years before the historic Stonewall uprising in 1969, director Nikolai Ursin's gently-activist short Behind Every Good Man provides an illuminating glimpse into the life of an African American trans women. In strong contrast to the stereotypically negative and hostile depictions of transgender persons as seen through the lens of Hollywood at the time, the subject of Ursin's independent film is rendered as stable, hopeful, and well-adjusted. The resulting intimate portrait serves as a rare cultural artifact of transgender life and African American life in the U.S. at the mid-century.
28th June Zoom Discussion
Tangerine (dir. Sean Baker, 2015)
Happy Birthday, Marsha! (dir. Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel, 2018)
5th July Zoom Discussion
Screaming Queens – The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (dir. Victor Silverman & Susan Stryker, 2005)
What am I? (archive documentary)
Atlantic is a Sea of Bones (dir. Tourmaline, 2017)
“The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free” – Maya Angelou
We hope that you will join us.
Vadí Nevadí AKA Daniella & Kate