Permissible Beauty film screening with Q&A
2nd November 2023
Get here sustainably
Whose lives are celebrated in our national story and whose are overlooked?
Why are some forms of beauty more permissible, more highly valued, than others?
How might we start a new chapter of British beauty?
Permissible Beauty, a short film screened throughout 2023 in film festivals, museums and galleries, addresses these questions through an interrogation of portraiture, heritage and belonging.
This new film responds to the absence of Black Queer visibility in our national story, exploring and celebrating what is unique about British Black and Queer identity. Watch the trailer here.
Shot on location at Hampton Court Palace (Historic Royal Palaces), Petworth House (National Trust) and Kenwood House (English Heritage), Permissible Beauty presents a new chapter of British beauty through the richly layered portraits of six contemporary Black Queer Britons – Ebony Rose Dark, Son of A Tutu, Karnage Kills, Julius Reuben, Winn Austin and Le Gateau Chocolat – artists, performers, activists, models and drag queens. An atmospheric soundtrack has been specially created by AFRODEUTSCHE, the British-born Ghanaian-Russian-German composer, DJ and BBC 6Music broadcaster.
Led by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries at the University of Leicester and based on an original idea by performer, songwriter and art historian David McAlmont, Permissible Beauty brings McAlmont together with photographer Robert Taylor (National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert collections); film director Mark Thomas (Soup Collective); and researcher and producer, Professor Richard Sandell, to create a joyful, bold and celebratory Black and Queer reimagining of Britain’s story.
Ben Garcia, Executive Director of The American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York said: “Permissible Beauty succeeds in centring Black voices, bodies, beauty and strength at a headwater of white supremacy. Its intimate portraits, fierce performances and poetic swagger capture your imagination, heart and head. It is so transcendent, moving and inspiring that you might just miss how profound a piece of restorative public history it is.” Permissible Beauty will also be featured as part of Wellcome Collection’s upcoming exhibition The Cult of Beauty 26 October 2023 – 28 April 2024, exploring and subverting the perceptions we have of beauty ideals.
Permissible Beauty has been selected for the following film festivals: New Renaissance Amsterdam, LGBT+ Film Festival Poland, Wicked Queer Documentary Festival, Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Unbordered International Film Festival, Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Black Alphabet Film festival, Out on Film, and New Renaissance Film Festival London.