Queer Filipiniana

Seminar by Nick Deocampo


 Recalling one hundred years of Philippine cinema means recalling one hundred years of hetero-normative dominance of the Filipino screen. Resulting from this history is a film culture that favors heterosexual representation over other forms of sexual and gender identities. This condition has marginalized films that embrace homosexual desire and identity. This “normal” state of things will be challenged by a three-day workshop where issues on queer subjectivity, representation, and activism will be tackled by the country’s pioneering figure in queer filmmaking. Going beyond aesthetics and filmic practices, the workshop brings Deocampo’s experience in helping formulate the country’s first LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which protects the LGBTQ community from discrimination. Dealing with both the theory and politics of queer cinema, this workshop offers an empowering opportunity for those wanting to explore their marginal world to find meaning and purpose in their difference.       

The course covers the following topics:

May 18: Finding the “I” of the Eye: Queer Subjectivity in Cinema
Discussion focuses on the construction of subjectivity which defines and animates the works and politics in queer filmmaking. As a way of personally introducing the subject of queer cinema, the discussant reflects on his process of building his gay subjectivity in his films by fighting against a history of patriarchy and social control.      

June 1: The Optics of Queer Representation
Discussion takes up the topic of queer representation in popular and alternative cinemas. Showing excerpts from popular films, both local and foreign, discussant analyzes queer screen representation in semiotic, psychoanalytic and culturalist ways.  

June 8: Beyond Desire: Queer Activism
Discussion goes beyond the screen text and moves into the politics of real action. Discussant reflects on activities that moved the needle in favor of the queer community—from street marches, gay parades, queer publication, activist filmmaking, community building, to policy legislation.     

Suggested Reading: