Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed

Africa In Motion

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

Thu 17 November 2022

Tickets no longer available
Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible

A close-up of two women's faces

Photo by Fabrizio Rainone

Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.

But the late punk maverick did not just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship.

Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

Winner of two British Independent Film Awards, including Best Documentary.

Content Notes: This film discusses mental health issues that some may find distressing.

Event Collection

Part of Africa in Motion 2022 #




Event Type





5:00pm — 7:00pm




Tickets: £0/2/4/6/8

Booking fee: 10%


Wheelchair accessible

Tickets no longer available