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SQIFF 2019
Black History Month: Portrait of Jason

Tue 15 October 2019

In partnership with Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), for Black History Month SQIFF present Portrait of Jason, which depicts sex worker and entertainer, Jason Holliday, recounting his life story for filmmaker Shirley Clarke.

Jason is the sole on-screen presence in the film. He narrates his life story to the camera, behind which Clarke and her partner at the time, actor Carl Lee, provoke and berate Jason with increasing hostility as the film progresses. The film alleges to employ avant-garde and cinéma vérité techniques to reach the tragedy underlying Jason's performative persona. However, Portrait of Jason is one of – if not the first – documentation of black queer experiences and trauma exploited by white ‘gatekeepers’ for the sake of the artist’s cultural and financial capital gains.

Although Portrait of Jason is a landmark film, there is a need here to discuss the fuzzy problem of ‘visibility’ within the white/capitalist domination of visual culture. Are the lines between exposure and exploitation blurred in Portrait of Jason?

Curated and hosted by Sequoia Barnes, an art/design scholar and doctoral candidate at The School of Design with Edinburgh College of Art.

Accessibility information for this event

Captioning, Interpretation & Large Print
Film has English audio with English language subtitles/captions. If you would like to attend this event and require BSL interpretation for the introduction/discussion, please email access@sqiff.org at least 2 weeks in advance. Film is moderately accessible to English-speaking blind and partially sighted audiences with a lot of visual storytelling but some explanatory dialogue and all English language. Large print versions of handouts available.

Building Access
CCA has good access for wheelchair users, gender neutral toilets, and welcomes assistance animals. See the CCA Accessibility Guide for more information. Programme content notes will be available. Comfy seating (bean bags) are available. If you would like to reserve this, please contact access@sqiff.org