Suicide and Violence Headline Spectrum 10 This Week: Films from India, Guyana and Jamaica to Screen

SASOD's 10th annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival, Painting the Spectrum 10 continues this week with films focusing on mental health, homophobic violence and transphobic abuse from Guyana, Jamaica and India.

On Tuesday, June 17, “And the Unclaimed” will be screened. “And the Unclaimed” chronicles the events surrounding the suicide of two young girls in Nandigram, one of the interior villages in West Bengal, India. As the story unfolds the story of their love affair, and non-acceptance of the village community, as well as their families, became evident. To deal with such ‘abnormality’, one of the girls was married off in a hurry, which perhaps pushed them towards the end of the road – committing suicide. But their death did not end societal non-acceptance, even after death their dead bodies lay unclaimed in the police morgue for several days. The last letter by one of the girls tells the story of love and loathing; it also asked that their parents cremate them together, which did not happen. Their unclaimed bodies were disposed of by the police, unattained, uncared for.

The screening of “And the Unclaimed” will be followed by a panel discussion of Guyanese experts on mental health and suicide prevention discussing these issues in the context of homophobia and transphobia in Guyana, and this affects LGBT people’s mental health.

And then on Thursday, June 19, a documentary short produced by SASOD, titled “Selina’s Voice,” and a documentary set in Jamaica called “Taboo Yardies” will be screened.

In “Selina’s Voice,” this Guyanese trans-woman recounts suffering a violent attack at a bar on the East Coast of Demerara, Guyana. Selina survived multiple stab wounds, and lives to share her story with the world. She is now publicly advocates for the human rights of LGBT people.

“Taboo Yardies” is a feature-length documentary that captures the violence against LGBT people in Jamaica and the many violations of their human rights; as well as the socio-economics, socio-political, mental health and the intergenerational trans-Atlantic transmission of homophobia. “Taboo Yardies” provides a unique visual experience of how violence is generated on one side of the Atlantic, and is perpetrated, preserved and re-enacted on the other (in the US).

The film festival continues every Tuesday and Thursday in June and closes Sunday, June 29, at the Dutch Bottle Café, 10 North Road (between Light and Cummings Streets), Bourda, in Georgetown. Show time is 6pm each night.

There is no charge for admission to attend the film festival. All firms are intended for mature audiences. Person must be 18 years and over to attend.