Rebel Dykes LGBT history documentary UK
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warning: Adult content
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April 10, 2022
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Let’s ride with the dykes that changed London's radical scene

Embark on the motorcycles of a group of young rebellious dykes in London for a retrospective of their histories. From their activism to their lively discussions about sex, discover the way they live and the way they loved in the post-punk UK.

Released last November, Rebel Dykes is not like your basic documentary. A mashup of archives, interviews, and animation narrates the stories of a group of young lesbians who met at Greenham Common peace camp. We then follow the newly formed group of friends all their way to London, where they become artists and activists and make a room for themselves in Thatcher’s United Kingdom.

Exploring the intersections of politics and intimacy, filmmakers Harri Shanahan and Sîan Williams make a cultural history that was sunk into oblivion accessible. Both based in Manchester, the creators are familiar with the punk subculture. Sîan Williams has been working as an audiovisual archivist and Harri Shanahan has been making post-punk music videos. Rebel Dykes is their first documentary, in which they participated in all its aspects (Harri Shanahan even taught themselves animation!)

This documentary is a goldmine of information regarding what was discussed at the time, how it was discussed, how dykes organized themselves for protests, their views on British feminism, and much more.

From the BDSM club Chain Reaction, one of the only London’s women-only clubs at the time where many dykes would hang out, to anti-Thatcher rallies and the AIDS crisis, we follow the group of friends as they try to navigate the very hostile environment of the time. The documentary is a touching representation of chosen family and a badass reminder of our history.

Rebel Dykes is a documentary that has for sure a lot to teach us in our current struggles. Genuine sources of information about LGBTQI+ history are definitely lacking. We need a lot more of ‘Rebel Dykes’ to learn about all the intricacies of our community across history and countries, which is why it is so important to support such an initiative. Scroll down below to discover the trailer!

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