LGBT History on Film: Despite Clause 28 – 1988

LGBT History on Film: Despite Clause 28 (1988) from Spectacle’s Archive.

Despite Clause 28 (1988) Trailer from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

In the late 1980s and 90s, Despite TV, a collective of filmmakers founded by Mark Saunders (Spectacle Media) specialising in social and political issues, took an active interest in documenting and raising awareness of state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) persons in the UK.

In 1988 Despite TV produced a short campaign film, ‘Despite the Clause’, in response to the proposal of Section 28, a typically Thatcherite Local Government act proposed in 1986 and passed in 1988 which banned the “promotion of homosexuality”. The bill was proposed by the Conservative Party during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and purported to fear-mongering, homophobic tropes which portray LGBT people as deviant.

Section 28 was to have a damaging affect on LGBT individuals and, in particular, LGBT political and community groups, forcing them to limit their vital contributions to their communities, and in some cases shut down entirely for fear of legal backlash or censorship.

Despite the Clause features appearances from high profile activists including co-founder of Stonewall UK, Sir Ian Mckellen and Michael Cashman and M.P. Diane Abbott. In the film, Abbott, who was present at the proposal of the clause in the House of Commons, describes it as “A horrible, hysterical witch-hunting debate.” She also states that “The spirit behind Section 28 is a spirit of violence and intolerance to anybody that doesn’t conform, to anybody that’s different.”

Despite the best efforts of activists, Section 28 was ultimately passed and not repealed until 2003. Nonetheless, activists describe the resistance built against it as having a positive effect in establishing solidarity between LGBT people across the UK. Stonewall and other activists fought continuously for it’s repeal for over twenty five years. This campaign film subsequently remains a significant piece of LGBT history.

The full film is available for free here.

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Bread & Roses film festival screens Battle of Trafalgar – free event

Despite TV documentary Battle of Trafalgar will be screened  Monday 30th April at 7pm during Law & Disorder followed by a panel discussion at the new film festival at Bread & Roses in Clapham. The event  pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the 1912 strike, led by female textile workers in Massachusetts. Marching for better pay and working conditions, the workers chanted the slogan “We want bread, but we want roses, too!”, a line borrowed from the James Oppenheim poem which became an emblematic catchphrase in the history of socialism.

Bread & Roses celebrates the centennial of this key moment with a selection of films questioning capitalism, and tackling workers rights, social activism and immigration. Family Unite, Unpaid Internships, the Arab Spring and Law & Disorder are some of the daily themes that have been chosen to structure the festival.

Channel 4 commissioned Battle of Trafalgar from Despite TV in 1990 during the poll tax riots; the film documents the mass protest held on Saturday 31 March in central London against Margaret Thatcher’s controversial measure. From the unfair aspect of the tax system to the partiality of mainstream media and the violent policing of the demonstration, the film’s topics specifically resonates in today’s socio-political context, and justify its screening to Bread & Roses’s committed programme.

Bread & Roses festival is organized by Natasha Caruana and Afshin Dehkordi, the two artists behind StudioSTRIKE: a creative space launched in 2010 on the top floor of the last union-owned pub in London, the Bread & Roses – the name inspired the idea for the festival.

The free festival, supported by the BFI and Film London, will run in various venues around Lambeth from April 27th to May 10th. Some of the films presented during these two weeks will include the classic The Grapes of Wrath, the Oscar-nominated documentary If a Tree Falls, and a recent project on the August riots titled My Child The Rioter. The festival will also encompass a live music event, Q&A sessions, and art installations.

To order a DVD of Battle of Trafalgar

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Reinvestigate 9/11 event archive now online.

To view Reinvestigate 9/11 click links below.

Reinvestigate 9/11 – Ian Henshall Talk
Reinvestigate 9/11, Cynthia McKinney Talk
Reinvestigate 911 – Dr. Nafeez Ahmed
Reinvestigate 9/11, Q&A – Part1
Reinvestigate 9/11, Q&A – Part2

Cynthia McKinney was a member of the US Congress for 12 years before being targeted for removal after challenging the official story of 9/11. Cynthia is a global campaigner for many human rights causes.

Ian Henshall is the author of ‘911 The New Evidence’ and a co-ordinator of Reinvestigate 911.

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is a UK based terrorism expert. He is the author of ‘The London Bombings’ and ‘The War on Truth.’

The event covered the FBI Counterintelligence Programme (COINTELPRO), CIA, White House, Bush and Obama Administrations, foreign policy and ‘neutralization’ of internal threats, Chilcot enquiry, 9/11 commission, Israel, Lobbists, Dacajeweiah Splitting the Sky (John Boncore) case, civil rights, racial equality and social activism.

This was a non-funded shoot incorporating work placement participatory filming and editing

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