Celebrate with West Yorkshire Queer Stories as our wonderful project draws to a close!

Join us for an evening of short films and spoken word, specially commissioned for the project and inspired by our collection of oral histories. Support local LGBTIQ+ history by buying a ticket, which will help WYQS reach our £10,000 fundraising goal by the end of May 2020.

As part of a night of premieres, Ian Humphreys will perform a suite of new poems, followed by the short films ‘Riding West on a Walrus Tale’ by Jesson-Hill and ‘I’m OK are you OK?’ by Matt Mead. We’ll wrap things up with a Q&A.

Whether you’ve taken part in the project as a volunteer, told us your story, or never heard of us before, we promise an entertaining and thought-provoking evening celebrating everything local and queer!


About the poems and films:

Ian Humphreys’ new pieces draw on interviews from West Yorkshire Queer Stories to explore common themes and locations, with particular relevance to QTIPOC experience. Collectively, the suite does not aim to represent any of the narrators directly but, rather, is inspired by them. The poems are titled: ‘A thousand crossings’; ‘Like a record, baby’; ‘Prayer for the fabulous ones’; ‘i’; and ‘Seeing the light’. (20 mins approx.)

Riding West on a Walrus Tail (by Jesson-Hill) is an audio-visual queer storybook, combining a sequence of chapters or short stories exploring the West Yorkshire queer identity in its many shapes, forms and colours. The county’s urban, industrial and natural landscapes becomes the stage for the surreal and magical to occur. (20 mins approx.)

I’m OK are you OK? (by Matt Mead) follows nine people telling stories from their lives in West Yorkshire, encompassing identity and intersections whilst journeying across the decades. Each story is told with a mix of styles and formats: from archival film to digital video via VHS and oil paint. I’m OK are you OK? is a film about collective diversity educating and enriching the world. Content warnings: description of suicide, assault, rape. (22 mins approx.)


About the artists:

Ian Humphreys is a professional poet and writer living in Hebden Bridge. His debut full-length collection of poetry, Zebra (Nine Arches Press) was launched three months ago. The Yorkshire Times said of the book, “In all of its magnificent bounty Zebra must be one of the poetry collections of 2019.” Ian is a fellow of The Complete Works, the internationally known collective of advanced BAME poets which promotes diversity, quality and innovation in British poetry. A portfolio of his poems is published in Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe). Awards include first prize in the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize and Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry.

Jesson-Hill became the first successful recipients of an illegal bio-fusion brain transplant in 2013. Since their operation, their bodies act as separate vehicles for a single consciousness; introversion with extroversion, Yin with Yang, He with She, balance and duality remain deep rooted elements at the core of their practice. The duo have since given birth to a number of dream worlds which interrupt our daily ritual, shifting the balance of the many things that keep us in our comfort zone, from those small enough to fit in your coat pocket to those large enough to wrap around the entire universe.

Matt Mead (he/they) is a queer filmmaker working with creative approaches to documentary. Self-taught, Matt uses a range of techniques from the mainstream film industry and experimental moving image. They both shoot and edit, in addition to using mixed media and archive. Matt’s films have screened at London Short Film Festival, Aesthetica, and the Fringe! Queer Film Festival.