Tongues Untied + Q&A

screening with The Homecoming: A Short Film about Ajamu
Dir: Marlon Riggs
United States

Book Tickets

Date: Fri 10 July, 2020
Time: 19:00
Price: FREE
There are currently no screenings of this film.

Dir. Topher Campbell
17 mins

By the 1980s and 90s, Brixton had acquired a fearsome reputation as home to a rebellious black presence. This tough urban image also hid a thriving gay scene and arts movement, in which young photographer Ajamu Ikwe-Tyehimba was active. This energetic film traces Ajamu’s jump from South London back to his hometown of Huddersfield, Yorkshire, for an exhibition of his work. Playing with and remixing images of black masculinity cross-cut with a “feminine gentleness”, he attempts, as sociologist Stuart Hall describes, “to transcend both”. Often explicit and very humorous, his approach is never dull, provoking controversy and shocked amusement in equal measure.

Dir. Marlon Riggs
55 mins

A black male warrior fighting for the right to love other black men, Marlon Riggs affirms what was nearly lost, newly found: the certainty that black male lives are utterly precious.” — Alice Walker

As conversations reverberate across the creative industries galvanized by the Black Lives Matter movement, we present a rare online screening of Tongues Untied (1989).

Cited as one of the most significant documentaries of the 20th Century, Marlon Riggs' landmark essay film is as arresting today as it was thirty years ago, exploring what it means to be black and gay. 

Moving between poetry, performance and personal confession, Tongues Untied is in turn humorous, erotic and sobering, as Riggs conveys with eloquence and anger the homophobia and racism that confronts black gay men.

My struggle has allowed me to transcend that sense of shame and stigma identified with my being a black gay man. Having come through that fire, they can’t touch me.” — Marlon Riggs


Register here and we will send you the instructions closer to the date.

After the screening, Vivian Kleiman will be in conversation with Topher Campbell. 

Vivian Kleiman
Director/Producer Vivian Kleiman is known for tackling challenging subjects with bold cinematic style. She was the Executive Producer of the Academy Award nominated documentary short Last Day of Freedom and, with longtime friend and artistic partner Marlon Riggs, was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award, the Organization of American Historians’ Eric Barnouw Award, and the International Documentary Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

She has also been nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement, and has 8 co-productions with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) for national PBS broadcast. She taught at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film & Video Production for 9 years. Currently, she is in post-production on No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics.

Topher Campbell
Afro-Queer Artist Topher Campbell's 20+ year output spans broadcasting, theatre, performance, writing, experimental film and site-specific work. His focus has been on sexuality, masculinity, race, human rights, memoir and climate change.

Alumni of the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, in 2005 he was awarded the Jerwood Directors Award and was nominated for the 2011 what’s On Stage Theatre Event of the Year Award.

In 2017 he was Longlisted for the inaugural Spread the Word Life Writing Prize for his forthcoming memoir Battyman. In 2000 he co-founded rukus! Federation a Black Queer arts collective with photographer Ajamu X. This culminated in the internationally recognised rukus! Archive currently held in the London Metropolitan Archives. The rukus! Archive won the 2008 Landmark Archive Award.

His latest film FETISH, a collaboration with 2014 Mercury Music Prize Winners Young Fathers, is shot on the streets of New York. It was premiered at the Barbican Centre, London, Official Selection for the 2018 Aesthetica Short Film Festival and 2018 Scottish Queer International Film Festival. It was also a featured presentation at OOPS Festival Copenhagen and The British School in Rome in Rome, Italy.

Topher is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Patron of Switchboard and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sussex, Brighton, England.