Ja’s homophobia on show
TABOO Yardies, Jamaican film-maker Selena Blake's documentary about the indifferent treatment of gays in Jamaica, will be screened May 1-4 at the Firehouse Theater in Harlem, New York.
Blake says Taboo Yardies has sparked healthy debate wherever it is shown.
"We are having a dialogue that has been needed for a long time and I'm certain others are still talking about Taboo Yardies because of a two-week media campaign and screenings where the film screened at the Theological College of Jamaica, UNAIDS and the University of the West Indies," said Blake. "We are giving ourselves permission to see gay Jamaicans as human beings instead of aliens or crazy people who belong in the madhouse."
Taboo Yardies contains interviews with members of the Jamaican gay community as well as legislators. It is the St Catherine-born Blake's second film, her first being Queensbride: The Other Side, which looked at the decline of a Long Island housing project.
Taboo Yardies has done the promotional rounds since last year. It has been screened in London, South Africa, Ireland and Toronto.
Looking ahead, Blake says she is mobilising a group of peacemakers/ministers/artistes to lead a 'United For Change Campaign' to Jamaica.
"We are forming a group of affirming and supportive individuals and organisations to help create safe spaces in Jamaica. It is important that the film continues to inspire dialogue and personal growth," she said.
-- Cecelia Campbell-Livingston