Manchester Metropolitan University

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

‘No Easy Walk to Freedom’ LGBT Human Rights film screening

Where: No. 70 Oxford Street

MMU are proud to host screenings of two new films that examine issues of LGBT human rights and activist struggles in diverse political contexts across the commonwealth. Both films are products of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights - an international research and documentary film project led by Nancy Nicol – Professor of Visual Arts at York University in Toronto. The project brings together 31 partners in 12 countries to research and document LGBT rights struggles and social movement histories in a number of Commonwealth countries. Each film screening will be followed by a discussion with Nancy Nicol, which will be co-chaired by Jon Binnie and Christian Klesse of RCASS.

‘No Easy Walk to Freedom’ – (90 min. 2014) documents the struggles to repeal Section 377 of the Indian penal code, which outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. 377 is the first of such British colonial laws which spread throughout the British empire and today account for half of the countries worldwide that continue to criminalize homosexuality. The documentary traces the history of the legal battle while exploring a diversity of perspectives on queer organizing in contemporary India through the voices of HIV AIDS workers, queer activists, community leaders and legal experts. Participants include: Angali Gopalan (ED, Naz Foundation India Trust), Anand Grover (Lawyer’s Collective) Saleem Kidwai co-author with Ruth Vanita of Same-Sex Love in India and Chief Justice Shah (retired). In 2009, the High Court of Delhi struck down s. 377 on constitutional grounds, in a ruling heralded world-wide for its application of equality rights. However, in December 2013, the Supreme Court of India set aside the ruling, upheld s. 377 and re-criminalized. Created in partnership with Naz Foundation India Trust, the NGO that filed the petition against 377 in 2001, and directed by Nancy Nicol with cinematography by Shakeb Ahmed.

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