What is it about?

Stephen Dwoskin was a prolific experimental filmmaker from the mid-1960s until his death in 2012. He made challenging, complex films about sexuality, vulnerability and care. These were fiction films and shorts, as well as documentaries about other artists, photographers and dancers, disability activism, and personal essay films about his own life and biography. This article discusses how his work was received and understood in Britain by second wave feminists, and how his films slide between representations of women, men, and genderqueer others. I also analyse representations of sexual and medical care in his late films, to show the wider contexts of sexual citizenship for disabled people - which Dwoskin's films also address.

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Why is it important?

This article is one of a series that uncovers the richness of the archive, life and work of an important and underrepresented figure in the history British experimental cinema. It also gives important context to histories of feminist critique, while also highlighting the unique perspective of a disabled artist on issues of desire, intimacy, sexuality, gender and care. It also substantively revises feminist critiques of the male gaze, to show how this disabled filmmaker challenges the underpinning able-bodied assumptions of critical discourses that featured prominently in film and art theory from the 1980s to the 2000s.


I'm invested in revealing the rich histories of disabled filmmakers and artists, and how their complex conceptions of embodiment, gender, sexuality and desire challenge normative frameworks about things like creative agency, sexual citizenship, and technological innovation. This matters to me because I care about amplifying marginalised voices, particularly disabled and queer or queering voices. Writing this article gave me the opportunity to bring to this to light through the rich materials found in the Dwoskin Archive at the University of Reading Special Collections.

Jenny Chamarette
University of Reading

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: ‘A long meandering slide’: Feminist critique, genderqueerness, sexual agency and Crip subjectivity in Stephen Dwoskin’s late works, Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), April 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/miraj_00081_1.
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