Lo Marshall presents Rebel Dykes, a 2021 film telling the story of post-punk SM dyke subculture in 1980s London.
The story of post-punk SM dyke subculture in 1980s London
A fantastic documentary telling the story of post-punk SM dyke subculture in 1980s London. This overlooked but formative history is skilfully woven together through a combination of interviews with the dykes themselves, archival material, animation, and re-enactments, which trace a trajectory from the Greenham Common to the streets, squats and clubs of London.
Crucially, the sheroes and queeroes of the documentary are not all cis, white lesbians, with contributions women of colour, trans women and intersex people raising complexities about the politics and parameters of inclusion.
The film offers a glimpse at the interconnected urban politics of gender, sex and sexuality of the period (the legacies of which endure), including: the ‘sex wars’ between radical feminists and leather dykes; street harassment; fashion and gender expression; kink and polyamory, queer nightlife and kinship, protesting the Thatcher government infamous Section 28, and response to AIDS, and more.
Content note: discussions of homophobic violence, nudity, and discussion and depictions drug use and BDSM.
Name Lo Marshall (they/them)
Department The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Urban Laboratory
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