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Agents of Change

Agents of Change
4 July - 30 July 2017

An exciting programme of art, film and discussion commemorating a pivotal moment in the history of British LGBTQ rights

Agents of Change coincides with the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexual acts (Sexual Offences Act 1967), with Newcastle Pride 2017, and with Tyneside Cinema's 80th anniversary celebrations.

Agents of Change launches with a special event on 4th July 2017 featuring the preview of British artist David Haines's exhibition Two Way Mirror (2016/2017), a two channel video work in which the artist takes the viewer on a cyber journey through the bedrooms of online ‘chat boys’ in search of materiality. The event on 4th July will also feature David Haines In Conversation with curator and writer Úna Henry, followed by a screening of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1965), which was especially selected by Haines as part of Agents of Change.

The public programme continues on 21st July with a screening of the reissue of Basil Dearden’s 1961 film Victim, the first British film to deal explicitly with homosexuality, six years before the Sexual Offences Act in 1967. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with Clarissa Smith, Professor of Sexual Cultures at Sunderland University and Newcastle University’s Dr Gareth Longstaff, Lecturer in media and cultural theory engaging with queer theoretical critique and Lacanian psychoanalysis.

The programme will also include screenings of Derek Jarman’s final film Blue, in which he reflects on his deteriorating condition from AIDS; Call Me Kuchu, an inspiring film about Uganda’s first openly gay man; Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same,  the story of the romance between a shy greeting card store employee and a female alien, The Fits, in which an 11-year-old tomboy who becomes entranced with a dance troupe; and  Prick Up Your Ears, Stephen Frears’s film about the spectacular life and tragic death of British playwright Joe Orton and his partner Kenneth Halliwell, starring Gary Oldman.