Human Rights film evening
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[00:00:00] This recording was made during the second Asia Pacific outcomes week, [00:00:04] held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011. [00:00:09] Welcome to the movie night horror film evening at the Human Rights conference. And it's good to see so many of you here. [00:00:21] It's always difficult with all these clashes and the dinner and everything else. So it's splendid that quite a few of you decided you needed to see these films. And you were absolutely right. The way the evening is working, which some of you may not know, depending on on how you've how much you've read the program, it has changed slightly from what it was going to be originally, but I think most of you have got the right thing we've got we're involved with two movies, we're only seeing one in entirety. And we're going to be tantalized on the other by, and we're going to be able to see it on the web in about two months time. It's wonderful. So, from hapa, seven to eight, we're with grace poor, who I'm going to welcome to the podium in a moment. And she is one of the major contributors, instigators organizers and everything else with courage unfolds, which is our first half hour. And we're going to hear from grace show a four minute trailer and then have a q amp a for that will take us till around eight o'clock or a minute or so after that for a minute or two late depending on how many questions you've got. And then we move on to assume nothing. Where Kirsty MacDonald and Rebecca Swan, we are lucky enough to have both of them here. And we also have two others who have been intimately involved with the project. Marnie Mitchell and jack Byrne also here and can be part of the q&a later on. And they're going, Rebecca and Kirsty are going to introduce that film, which is about 5456 minutes, we will show that film, and then we'll have a q&a on that. And that will take us to somewhere in the region of 930. But it's not a strict finishing time. So that's the that's the shape of the evening. And I'll say more about assume nothing later, but we'll start with courage unfolds, which is a film a very brave film seeking to educate communities mainly in Asia, about how and why the Agha Carter principles need to be used to promote human rights and protect people from Vance and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. I'll leave grace to talk far more about it. But I will say a little bit about grace, who is of course, a splendid woman. And she's a Malaysian activist, who's been working to end domestic violence and child sexual abuse for over 20 years, has been a principal researcher on a study conducted by the San Francisco based national Asian Pacific Islands domestic violence Institute on domestic violence related homicides in API communities in the States. She's written and directed and produced documentaries that have been screened in 18 countries. As a filmmaker, she's focused on producing work on issues of gender violence and grassroots politics. She's had awards for her anti violence work and for her documentaries. She's a graduate of Syracuse University's School of Communications. And she's heavily involved in this movie. Let's hear from and welcome grace. [00:03:44] podiums always make me uncomfortable. [00:03:50] I want to give a little bit of introduction to this film, I also want to apologize for the fact that we're not showing the for rough cut that I had planned to show. The full video will be 30 minutes long. But unfortunately, there was some group footage in the video for which we are still waiting for permission from people. And so we don't feel that without their permission, it's safe to show the rough cut. So that's why we're showing the trailer. December 10, is the day that human rights is celebrated. It's the day that human rights community observes International Human Rights Day. And in 2008, it was the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now, December 10, is also the last day of 16 days of activism. And I assume that most of you know and familiar with 16 days of activism, it's a campaign celebrated its observed every year around the world. It started in 1991, was initiated by the Center for women's global leadership. And the focus of that 16 days of activism is to challenge and end violence against women. So given the confluence of these two things, in 2008, that December 10 was the day that the 16th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was going to be celebrated. And that it was the last day of 16 days of active activism for that year. My colleague and I, again, Crystal, both of whom we work for the Asia program of the International gay and lesbian Human Rights Commission, we thought it would be a very good idea to find a way to create a visual statement, a visual reminder to women's groups in the API region, that when they do their 16 days of activism, activities, they must include lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people. Because very often, LGBT people are invisible in 16 days of activism in many countries. We also wanted to send a visual statement to the human rights community, that when they were celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they needed to include and definitely recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as integral to selfhood, and that that needed to be included. So we called Skype meeting thank goodness for Skype, what would we do without it? So we convened a Skype meeting with countries with about maybe 13 countries in Asia. And we brainstormed and what would be a good way to create a visual statement. And the idea that came was that we would create a traveling banner that a banner made up of panels of fabric from all over Asia, and that each panel of fabric would capture a message from an LG LGBT group in a country in Asia, and a message that was meaningful to them. And that Eagle hook would then commission a scene stress to assemble all of these panels of fabric into a banner, and that the banner would travel through different Asian countries. [00:07:32] Now, there were some challenges with having the banner travel to different countries, because some countries couldn't host the banner there. They couldn't get police permits, there was a risk that the media might get hold of the information and publicize it, which would create problems. So and there were financial restrictions about getting the banner. So given those considerations, three countries came forward, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. So the banner began its travel on in, in November, in Bangkok, Thailand. for sexual diversity day, I believe it was November 29. And then from there, it traveled to Manila, for in December for pride, Manila pride. And then from Manila, it traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, where which was the last day December 10. And it was very appropriate that the banner ended its journey in Jakarta, because that's where the Dr. Carter principles were developed. And it was launched there with local events in Dr. Carter. So you'll see some of this footage that that a video team followed the banner, and interviewed activists in the different countries where the banner travel, you will see some of that footage in the trailer. This trailer with will be released in a couple of weeks on YouTube. It's going to be the beginning of a pre launch for a campaign that we're calling the courage unfolds campaign. So far, I think 14 countries excluding New Zealand, Australia, so I'm hoping that you will join the campaign. 14 countries in Asia have are going to join Eagle herb in this campaign. And what the campaign involves is how to build activities around launching of this video in their countries with a campaign that is either going to push for anti discrimination legislation that's going to somehow find a way to to get it to make the job Jakarta principles. activist friendly, unpack it for the public, make it relevant to local struggles for LGBT rights. And I can talk more about the campaign later. But I think that's the only intro You know, I think that will be sufficient. We'll just we'll just watch the trailer now. [00:10:24] We're now going to move straight into q&a. We've got a couple of roving mics Kevin's got one of them is Carol got the other [00:10:35] side. [00:10:40] cura guys, that's just um, you know, really enticing, and we all want to see the rest of it. And you put it out there, you know, challenge at the beginning, like will be wonderful to have people from out here on from Australia to be part of the activism around the launch self we want to be what's the best way for us get involved. So, you know, and I know that you're very busy. So So doesn't put all the burden on you? Is there a website we can look at or what? [00:11:09] Yes, we will have [00:11:12] one way is to put your name on a signup sheet. So maybe we could have a sign up sheet right. And I collected some names yesterday from the workshop, we will send you information. The other ways that within the next two weeks, once the trailer goes on YouTube, there will also be a widget I think people know what that means is No. Okay. Anyway, it's a tool. It's an online tool, basically, which will tell you certain things that you can do. And and one of the things is that you sign up and you say, you know that you want to hold a screening, we will connect you with other people who are going to do a screening will send you a screening guide on how to organize a screening will send you like tips and techniques sheet on what kinds of things you know, you need to pay attention to so that you can have a successful screening with lots of ideas on on how to build a campaign, we're trying to sort of play with the idea of 29 because there are 29 principles. So maybe you can get creative. Like in the Philippines, we are going to give away 29 awards to LGBT allies who have done wonderful work on behalf of LGBT people. I think in China, they are going to do a series of activities of 29 ways to be friendly to trans people. So you know, different people are doing different things. And I think that the idea is to make it interesting for people to make it also something that the media will be interested in. Of course, you can also do heavy duty work like using it to push for legislation. But yeah. [00:13:03] Are you able to give us a bit more of an indication about exactly what [00:13:09] the full video will show? Yeah, [00:13:15] we, the video will basically be divided into Oh, well actually [00:13:24] was the best way to put it, we are trying to make the joke Joker that we are trying to act, let's put it this way. We're trying to activate the Dr. Carter principles, taking it away from being this dry document into something that's going to be interesting for people. And we thought that we would do it through the lens of activism in Asia. So we have a lot of compelling stories that LGBT activists share about the struggles they're going through, we have some moving stories of abuses that people have gone through. But we also show the fight. Because we don't want to just reinforce the idea that API people just suffer. And that you know, we are struggling under overwhelming conditions, that there is a very vibrant activism and fight against homophobia and transphobia in the region. So those two things will be shown. And then we are going to weave the different rights as they relate to the different things that people are going through. So that when you watching the film, you sort of when you see for instance, when you saw a little bit of the reenactment the Thai lesbian who was who it was, who experienced corrective rape. I don't know if you're familiar with the term but corrective rapists, rape to change a person, you know, you believe that a lesbian or a woman who or person who was perceived to be you know, gay, needs to be cured of their sexual orientation by being raped. So this Tyler's been was raped, gang raped basically. And so as you're watching this, people may not may only thing that the only thing only right that was violated was a bodily right. But there are several other things that took place. So you will constantly be reminded when people go through certain kinds of abuses, multiple rights are violated, or that when one rights is taken away, you're denied, being able to enjoy another right? So we try to unpack that as much as we can. And we end with this, hopefully very rousing call to action, where different activists in different countries talk about how they're going to be using the job Jakarta principles, what they're doing their countries already. And then what we hope this will lead to this courage unfolds campaign that we hope will be built around the video. [00:16:13] That's how [00:16:17] it's the original will be in English. And we are planning to make it available one month before it's released. So that then the partnering countries can get it translated into languages. We don't have a grant to, you know, do the translation in Asia, we can't pick the languages because there are so many languages. [00:16:45] Question, you talked about having to get clearance from the group shots? And I can understand that. How did you go about finding people to participate? [00:16:56] Thank you for asking the question. We were very, very intentional. From the very beginning, we knew that we wanted people to use the video. So from the beginning, we asked people to be part of the process. So that we weren't just making a film and saying here, take the film and go do something with it. So from the very beginning, we asked people to frame questions, we asked people to videotape their own statements. Because the video team only went to the countries where the banner was traveling. And in the countries where the banner wasn't traveling, we asked people to send their statements, video statements and stills. And we worked with people for the last two years. So there was a constant process from the beginning, asking people do you think campaign would make sense? You know, asking people how long the video should be, we wanted it to be a one hour video and people say, don't make it more than 30 minutes. So it's going to be 30 minutes. And we said, Look, we really want to release it December 10. Because it makes sense that human rights today. And the activists said no, you know, most of us have two jobs. We put all our energy into organizing Idaho, we put all our energy into organizing for pride, we just can't organize another big event. So if you're going to release it, release it like in May. So we made all those decisions along with what people on the ground were telling us. so that by the time the video is like out, there's already a sense of ownership. And we felt that was the best strategy. [00:18:40] One Nation and it sounds This is the [00:18:46] type of when you say Wait, [00:18:49] wait and how the [00:18:50] project originates, in terms of how you manage to make the semi final. [00:18:58] Okay, we will we sort of bifurcated [00:19:05] the shooting and the production. The we refers to Lesbian Advocates Philippines, which is a local group in the Philippines, and the International gay and lesbian Human Rights Commission, the Asia program of Eagle hook, and then the post production and all of this campaign building is Eagle hook, the International gay lesbian Human Rights Commission. And because King Christabel and I work in Asia and I coordinate Asia program, you know, it is our job to be constantly working with people on the ground. So that's how we were able to connect with activists. And initially, when we began the project, we thought it would only be a five minute video of the banner. And we would just send out these free DVDs. And then people said, No, you know, we want to be in it, we want to be in it in and before you know it, you know, everybody wants to be in it. So it just grew. And it was going to be just a showcasing of LGBT struggles and activism in the region. And then Boris is in the audience. And maybe he can say something, but you know, the, the momentum about the jog the interest in the doctor, the principles began to pick up, people began to say we need to publicize it. And so then we were told, maybe this video should be about the Dr. Carter principles, since it was developed in Asia. So we freaked out, because you know, we had this idea. And all of a sudden, the intention of the film was going in another direction. So we had to do a lot more gathering of footage, which is why it's taken us quite a while. We honestly we change like three editors, we now with a third editor. And we working with multiple formats, you know, most performance all kinds of material. But it's a good organic way to work with a film that's meant to be something that activists are supposed to use. So I kind of like that organic process if it's a pain in the ass, but you know, it's it's it's it Yeah. [00:21:21] Maybe Boris, you want to say something about the wifey. And, you know, [00:21:27] yeah, where to begin, there's so much to say about the Jakarta principles. Maybe it's good to highlight that, as grace said, lots of people when they read the jobs Academy principles, think it's quite boring, legalistic, very difficult to really understand what's behind the principles. So in a Coordination Group, we decided to also work on an activist guide. And this is somewhat similar to what grace is doing with her video with her documentary. We asked groups from all over the world to share their ways of working with a job Jakarta principles, concrete examples and to share that with us. And we combined it and we compiled it into an activist guide to the Georgia Carter principles. For those of you who attended the conference, it was in the welcoming package. It says, you know, that's the job Jakarta principles, but the activist guide is also in it. It's has a silver color. And there are about 29 examples, I believe there is also one example from New Zealand in it. And it makes it actually very easy to understand what those principles really are about. Because in one country, people use the principle of the right to education and showed an example there in another country, it was something completely different again, so all of a sudden, when you see the wealth of possibilities, you understand how broad and how encompassing the job Jakarta principles are. So that's the activist guide. And maybe it's also good to say that a job Jakarta principles, it's not a fixed document, no, it was compiled and codified at the end of 2006. But through international jurisprudence, new international recognized human rights are emerging. So it might very well be that in a few years times, we can add to the 29 principles, Principle number 3031. And especially in the field of transgender rights, there is a lot of developments going on. So hopefully, those will be included also in the Georgia Carter principles. [00:24:01] Yeah, maybe that's what I can say now. [00:24:05] Thanks. [00:24:06] And on the website, on the website, along with the screening guide, and the tips sheet, we will link to the activist guide, so that you can download it if you you know, if you want an electronic copy of it. The hope is that we are going to have an interactive map so that when each country or city does launch and activities, they will be able to input that information, maybe with like a like a 32nd or a 62nd video that will go onto a map. Meaning like you can hover your cursor over a city or a country, and then it will take you to that country. And then you can see what people are doing. But I will see if we can pull that off. But thank you. [00:25:05] Thank you so much grace, that's been terrific. And you can see from the interest and I think there are a lot of signatures on that bit of paper, which will get by the end of the evening. So we should have a lot of chance to see the whole thing here afterwards. I don't know whether there's anyone else outside trying to come in? Do you need to check just we'll just have a look while I'm introducing exciting movie that we're about to see. This is of course assume nothing and we're lucky enough to have four people associated with it, but particularly the two major filmmakers and photographer of and we're that of course is Rebecca Swan and Kirsty MacDonald. Assume nothing focuses on the art photography and performances of New Zealand Rebecca Swan and for other alternative agenda artists of Mari Smith, Japanese and podcaster European descent, which includes, as I said earlier, Manny Mitchell and jack Byrne who are both here as well. Directed by Kirsty MacDonald it poses the questions What if male and female are not the only options? How do other genders express themselves through art and a lot of New Zealanders here and maybe some from overseas will already know a great deal and have seen probably earlier versions and maybe even this version and want to say it again which you reasonably would some of you will have been to hopefully to Rebecca swans exhibition here at out at the Asia Pacific out gains of sweat some of you may have been in the kissing booth yesterday I don't know I unfortunately it's something else on and Rebecca is of course a visual artists working with photography and mixed media and the the original photographic exhibition and book assume nothing, or a journey into the intimacies nuances and complexities of generating entity. Cursed is an independent filmmaker and completed eight short films around assume nothing to start with in the feature length, documentary. And of course, the photos and films toward between two and eight and 2010. five major New Zealand art galleries and museums seen by over now the commerce in the wrong place, would it be 20,000 or 200,000 people to 200,000 people that's absolutely fantastic. The Human Rights Commission works in partnership with the artists and local trans people to run workshops alongside the exhibition and to profile the conditions 2008 transgender inquiry report, even just recently, the number of places that this is being screened is just fantastic. Recently in Delhi at the queer fest there, Belgrade, Serbia, Hastings, England, Kingston, Canada, I think Navarro Spain might have been black and white, rather than, than this one. But you know, it's going everywhere. And as one a load of awards. So we're we're really privileged tonight. I'm Kirsty Rebecca, going to say a little bit before the screening and then again, do a q&a afterwards. Please welcome person Rebecca. [00:28:27] I think we should [00:28:29] push it saying [00:28:32] Chris is a beautiful singer. [00:28:34] I will thank you Pro, it leaves very difficult for us to have to say that was a very thorough introduction. But just wanted to thank you pro and the team you have around you at the app games, it's a great opportunity to be able to showcase the phone to a local again and an international audience. So yeah, thank you for choosing to come to this session, sort of the dinner. [00:29:01] Hopefully, you'll enjoy it. [00:29:05] So [00:29:07] well, just just a couple of things. [00:29:09] First of all, you thank you very much for coming to the screening. We've been very many people who were at the panel earlier today are fabulous. And well in that case mostly will be sticking around obviously afterwards for q amp a Jake burn and mining Mitchell with us and sugar. You could Kihara was going to be with us. But she's been snapped up by the dinner and won't be here. But we're really looking forward to seeing this version of the film. Just by way of explanation, the full length version is just over 80 minutes long. But this is a version that was made for broadcast. It's been broadcast in Israel, Finland and Russia. And this is the version of the film that they get to see. So it's a delightful sort of romp through assume nothing planned. I hope you enjoy it. And we'd look forward to talking with you afterwards. [00:30:12] Well, I'll just I'll just briefly say a [00:30:13] little thing for those of you who weren't at the panel discussion that we did this morning, the context of the film, very briefly is that I saw Rebecca swans but consume nothing in a in a short window in Auckland, and was sort of drawn inside the shop and in so blown away by these incredible images that I went to certain links to find for Baker and propose that we collaborate on a film together. So that's how the project began. And then it's gone through many manifestations as some of you will know, Rebecca and I've had an exhibition of stills and photographs and stills and films that have toured New Zealand and and now in Barcelona and in the film itself has a life as a as a documentary and traveling around, festivals, and so on. So that's just a, you know, a very tiny part of the story. But probably main way more interesting to you is, is the people in the film, so it's just I just really like to say how wonderful it is to be here with Marnie and Rebecca and jack, because their stories and their courage, and they're amazing. Craft is what made the film, I think resonate with so many different kinds of audiences. So, you know, fire away with questions, and and perhaps they want to say a little something to first. Let's see, Jay. [00:31:37] Oh, just one other thing is I think it must have been fantastic for those of you who witness Jake's extraordinary facilitating skills. And Jake, you know, I'm sure he's helped a number of you make it here from other countries, and it must have been quite delightful to see another side. [00:31:57] You know, it wasn't coming for. [00:32:03] Yeah. [00:32:04] Just think this is quite funny to look at it because [00:32:10] Christy and the wonderful what what he called cameraman Chris, for tuning up my house. And when it was when I was still, like, my life was extremely busy. So I'd which is a really long hours, and I think I got home half an hour before they got there. And I didn't really have much of an idea about what we might do. And I just started doing three subs. So which isn't particularly political, but you know, that was what we ended up doing in the cut. No, she didn't do they Christmas with the camera and the doorway of the of that room. And as a really great place. I had that huge wardrobe with lots of costumes and other clothes in it. But the whole floor was covered in clothes, including my Kermit the Frog. So [00:33:06] but you made something beautiful out of a? Yeah. [00:33:17] It's not really know what to add. It's the so many things to say it's probably more important to know what you've got to know about because that's such a huge project that spanned for so many years. So yeah. And over to [00:33:36] No, I don't and nothing in particular, other than to say, any question that you've got sitting there is certainly welcome on my part. And if the others don't want to answer I'm sure that's a say. So [00:33:48] please ask. [00:33:51] This film uses very simple technique. [00:33:54] It was just, it was distilled over a long period of time, which I think is one of the, you know, great gifts that the people in the film gave to me as a filmmaker was allowing me to keep showing up and so on. So they weren't, you know, massive budgets or high tech crews, like you know, not that I'm saying you would want to do animations. But for example, the level one of money, the super eight animation, I bought those toys from the $2 shop, I picked a bag full of chameleons from my garden. You know, we made this on a super eight camera that my camera person had, everything was done very simply, I produced, directed and edited it in my you know, next to my kitchen. It was just the extraordinary goodwill. So I would say more, you know, the place that you're coming from, and the place that the people in your film are coming from, that will shine through. It's not about trying to trick people. I personally think the beauty is incredibly potent. And so it was something that I really wanted to sort of distill and distill a well crafted and really beautiful film. But that's just one way. And one approach. And I think, you know, it was the honesty and openness and vulnerability of the people. And that wasn't through high tech or, you know, any trickery that just came from people being really open and coming. You know, Rebecca talked about this a little bit in the panel. But she had a very, very ethical approach that included allowing people absolute right to withdraw either the images or parts of these stories. And that in turn allowed people to make themselves very vulnerable, vulnerable, knowing that they could, could pull it back if they needed to. So I think it's much more about the working relationships, and the kind of processes that in that you use that will make your film I'm sure a really, really wonderful one. [00:36:00] Thanks. I think my questions to Rebecca, but it's not really well, it is one question. arlan brands my name, and I feel actually part of a journey and that I remember going to the book launch at the Unity books, and then buying the book and and then going out to the Dallas. And now coming tonight, it feels like it just gets richer and deeper. [00:36:26] So I guess [00:36:30] one question, it's not really a question. But you know, I saw what comes next. [00:36:37] But just a kind [00:36:38] of a technical question was the music was wonderful. And I wondered whose music it was. So my conclusion here thanks for the journey, so many things. And it's it's something that's just been deepened tonight and hear the music was useful to [00:36:59] speak to the music. [00:37:01] Maybe you'd like to speak first about this project that just won't go away and won't stop because it is [00:37:08] I think it is. I experienced that. Similarly in this you know, every time it has an outing, be as an exhibition of film screening, a discussion. It does keep getting richer. And the other lovely thing is our relationships keep getting richer because I didn't know man it before I saw a newspaper clipping Kirsty didn't know me until she saw my book, you know, I didn't know jack until I saw him on stage. So we've all kind of grown and got richer through the journey, his friends and his artistic creative people, which has been, you know, wonderful. And I think that's kind of we give each other that energy to kind of keep it rolling because it has been really challenging many many times. But I think it's a it's also got such a spirit and a force of itself. In us we were talking over dinner, that it's it's almost like it's strange to refer to it as something inanimate because it feels like a being you know, as we speak here, there are people in Barcelona who are reading the text panels, they're watching the film, translated in Spanish, you know, it's the reach of it as testimony to the to the power of it and it's almost like you know, use it's kind of born of us but it's it's also kind of its own little entity as well. So we have enjoyed and been challenged by the journey along the way and and it's been you know, that it's been international encounters as well jack and I were in New York launching the American edition of the book in October you know, we did the book launch in Australia as well man is taking it, you know, been on the ground in the States when the Spain film screenings, there's so many, you know, occurrences of when it's been out in the world and each time kind of feels Yeah, that it does definitely enrich and deepen the, the journey. [00:39:18] There's also that [00:39:21] like, for any of us that have been to the exhibition spaces, I think I I particularly remember the opening at the daoists where to find a foreigner called us up from down below after we'd had a night of performances and then we had it was with kitty kitty doing the car and we all went up into the the exhibition room or in Christchurch. And there's some people here who the Christchurch one, where we had Commissioner Richard Tanksley, who's Qatar who leased the space along with one of the fucker why he knew from down there because the exhibition was in the space with the mummy had been so you know, we had to cleanse the Space Center was like all of those people there on the wall. And normally whenever we go there big stands and tells you about all the people on the wall. And there's amazing, you know, sister girl, Rusty from Australia, there's, you know, you go around and name them all there's, there's the queer from trans community, like Carmen repay on the wall, you know. And so all of them are there, there's a story with it, and then it's created its own history, and it's sort of like past, present and future. You know, it's, it's got all of that. And it's, you know, it's really powerful. Whenever we travel down any of us to what we know was there like, you felt like you're going back to see old friends. [00:40:52] I always cried, did you [00:41:01] one of the things I want to add as in terms of the duty and the evolution, when closely started doing the filming, the thing that I was really excited was that Rebecca was exposed and and i mean that and a beautiful things not in a negative sense, because, and the book is this who photographs but you have no sense of this extraordinary human, which is the Genesis. So when we're talking about the evolution, I look forward to the film about Kirsty because Tuesday mirrors Rebecca in a very different way. But the what tasty, bought to the project. And what is captured in the exhibition is that the one dimension of photography became this multi dimension of the process. And and I think that that's something quite extraordinary that the two artists working together captured, which, as far as I know, is quite unique. [00:42:05] Christian music, [00:42:09] music, [00:42:11] there are two main composers one is James Webster, who created the instruments and played all of the traditional Mahdi, music and it happens through a very fortuitous accident. The sequence that you see of Emma being dressed in the 21st century cyber sister costume at two pepper almost didn't happen, because that day Wellington airport was closed with fog. And she was supposed to be arriving at 10 in the morning, and planes were cancelled an hour after hour, she'd call and say, should I just go home? Because you know, they're not leasing planes come and I said, Oh, no, please, if you don't mind, just hang out and keep trying, she made it there an hour before at about five o'clock, just before we were going to have to shut down. And I'd been filming with American up until that point, in case that was all we could do. And while I was waiting her friend, the artist, Suzanne Tamaki, who'd come down from old tacky to dress her, I'd say to her look, I really want to find some music, something that has a really deep kind of very grounded if you like masculine, this the kind of equality and I'd like the to be some other kind of spirit kind of a high kind of filling with a lot of space and interested I've just done this fabulous fashion show and Nelson this weekend. And it's really great guy James weaves he did the music. And so I've never met him, but he kindly agreed for the music to be used in the other music from a fabulous composer called clear Cohen, who's a young New Zealand woman who's just wonderful and is a funny story to do with it as well, but probably less relevant to our conversation. [00:43:56] Thank you for staying, by the way. [00:44:01] Sorry, I would just like to acknowledge your guys work and how artistically talented you all are winners the stage play or musical coming out? [00:44:16] Yes, that makes just said he's gonna play me You [00:44:22] can hear pretty well. [00:44:27] Your parallels between those images? [00:44:40] Yeah, you're referring to sweet, I'm just doing a plug here. Sweet that's on at Mac and scalar a tube and six a illustrate. [00:44:51] Yeah, parallels, it feels quite different work to me. [00:44:58] However, I think there is what I would say is the parallels with it is probably the intention of the book. Which is around breaking down perceptions of sexual intimacy. And and but just to explain, for people who haven't seen the work, there's there's a wall of 100 nights images of intimacy, intimate exchanges between people, and they're quite close ups, and the interactive so people can move the images around, which means you might have an image of two gay men with here, which is next to total is beyond kissing each other's necks next to a trans couple. Next to so it was sort of about kind of distilling it back I think, you know, sexuality can kind of be very liberal and, and I, and for me, but through my experience of you know, identifying as a lesbian now being with jack who's trans guy, I've, I've come across people who sort of can't quite fit me in a box anymore. So it's really wanting to kind of break down those boxes and really making it about you know, these little moments of intimacy. And it's about that intimacy, rather than a boy and a girl or a girl and a girl and a boy and a boy and a girl and a trans person or, you know, so that's how the my analysis of where the parallels are, aesthetically, it's very different work its color. It's small, it's kind of, you know, montage together. But, yeah, I think the intention comes from a similar pace, which is kind of an acceptance of diversity and, you know, distilling back to what, to our humanity. [00:47:00] Thank you for the question. And my ability to plug my show. [00:47:26] Well, no one dropped out of the photographs, Krista can reply and related to the film. [00:47:35] So [00:47:38] it was it was kind of throw my approaches, it wasn't, I didn't kind of advertise. I did advertise for the slideshow. But I didn't advertise for people, I kind of found people and had had a conversation with them around it. And as I was saying, before, no one no one said, No, everyone went through with us. And I think Christy mentioned before, because I had a process that allowed people to pull out if they weren't happy with the results, it was quite a safe, a safe way to say yes to something knowing that they had control over it. [00:48:18] Sorry, what was the second part of your Christian [00:48:22] mini mini mini Mini, [00:48:26] it's hard to sustain its from the first photograph to the book publication was eight years. So that's a long time to sustain energy of a project. [00:48:38] And I thought that was [00:48:38] the end of it, and then kids came along. So it's, it's like 15 years now. And it's never generated any money. So that and it's, it's cost me a lot of money. And I sold my house in order to publish the book. So it's, that's been a challenge to be able to sustain something that are completely passionate about, and I really want to get it out there. But at the same time have to, you know, make a living and get by so. But I think kind of the positives of it was that I did Self Publish. So I had no external parameters of a publisher saying, Yes, nice, but I don't want that to go next to there. Yeah, I had complete editorial control. And given that I had honored, you know, given everyone editorial rights, that would have been very difficult to manage within a commercial publishing, you know, contract, because they're, they're fronting up with the money, they're going to want editorial control over it. So there's kind of been pros and cons around all that. I think, despite all the sort of small challenges along the way, I've never considered that with the book, I've never considered that it wasn't going to happen. It was sort of this stupid belief that, you know, it hit to get out there in the world. And I was, you know, people were saying, just just move on, you know, if you're not, if approached 100 publishers, just, you know, start something else. And, but I never, I never doubted that somehow it was going to happen. And you know, and I never kind of dreamed that it would grow into the thing that it does now. Yeah. [00:50:25] And that's exactly how I felt about the film, too. When I saw Rebecca's book, I was just absolutely assertion that under all circumstances, we would create this film, and it would go out. And I even believed, from the very first moment that I saw Rebecca's book that she would get a publishing deal in New York. So when that did actually happen, years later, I was just like, Yeah, yep. It because I knew that it was so beautiful and so strong. And even if every single person in the world isn't interested in in gender identity, and identity, politics, queer issues, it's just such an unusually potent book. And the people in it were so vivid, and, you know, compelling, that we just needed to keep going because it would find an audience because that's the other thing, you know, we've done all this stuff, but people have come and watched it and engaged with it and supported it. And people in positions of authority have said, Yes, we will have this exhibition at our museum. And, yes, we will screen this in our festival. And so other people have taken it, they offer offering and gone Yes, we we hear you, you know, it's I don't think I mean, certainly the photographs, very potent, but they're not detected. And hopefully the film's not bullying people either. But it's got a very strong point of view. And I think that there's enough space in the air for people to engage, you know, that was always my number one priority was creating a space that people wouldn't go over, let's do something I don't really know about. And I'll get weird and sort of turn away, but actually feel invited to come and you know, just be present. So, yeah. And that began with the images. And that kind of certainty, I think, sustained the unreasonable patient that we had. [00:52:27] How much do you think that Sue nothing has helped to achieve public knowledge of the human rights, inquiry into transgender rights. And also it was that kind of purpose like seeing that they came out at the same time, and also was a purposeful for it to be kind of formed activism. What was the [00:52:49] purpose for for it to be a kind of activism. [00:52:53] And the impact of this project, like the quantum is enormous. Is has already been to 200,000 people attended this exhibition and a country that has a population between like five and 6 million people, [00:53:13] four and a half, [00:53:15] four and a half million, sorry. So the percentage is enormous. The other thing about this exhibition was, it had a general classification. This was an exhibition that children came to see with parents. And one of the most moving narratives in this mini is the feast day that the exhibition was opened to this public day. And Deccan bakes went out. And followed by chance, a man and his two children up the steps and they paused at the sign in those appearing to caution. And the kids excited Lisa Dead Can we go in there. So they run into the gallery, and they confronted by the images, and they turn around, and they say to the dead, you know, these boys or girls and dad, not realizing that the artists are behind his I don't know, let's go and read. This exhibition transformed people's lives. It for many gender variant, transgender, queer people was the first time in the lives that had a reflection of the reality. I'm going to finish there and make get carry on. I don't know how you start to say it, it was the size or the size, it was enormous. [00:54:42] I think it's also that [00:54:46] every place we went, we worked with trends, people locally. So what happened there was different in different places. But we also when we had our public workshops, we did a train when I was a young and trains and creative one transphobic call that we brought in people from other places to bring in more diversity, we took female down to a couple in the actually down to Christ Church, we took young people around the country that when we did the destruction, we brought in a whole lot of young people for the first youth panel, because there was when dead mini and Wellington at their time, and there were people there doing stuff, but I think, you know, it was a good time that it has had a nerve and, you know, transformed started very soon after there that might have started anyway. But it gave a bit more of a focus to it forward started quite soon after it was in Christ Church or or some I can't remember the order, but it was around the same time that supported each other. So it had supported people's activism anyway, it wasn't the only thing that supported it. And it was good for us as a community. Because of that sharing of those diverse stories. It was a, you know, I particularly loved the ones where we were creative together. And we you know, had fun together and it brought different parts of our community because our community like in a community is quite diverse. And it brought different people together. Was it purposeful? [00:56:15] It was it was it was hard for me, I'm actually doing [00:56:19] parts of the inquiry because I started it in probably late 2005 over my summer break, I am move to doing it, you may summer break, scoping it. And you know, because I couldn't be jack bird, I had to be someone working at the Human Rights Commission. That's plenty of us when you're doing something under another head, it can be quite difficult. And and of course, you know, I can we that we those boundaries are and then there's this other boundary between you know, I was a bit nervous about saying to the commission, I think we should support assume nothing You know, when I knew that was happening and in fact so so really a came from beaks approaching the commission. Really, and the Commission's been hugely supportive. And and I actually think, you know, the commission, Human Rights Commission got a lot out of, you know, got a huge amount out of it. It was a huge act of generosity, from beaks to, you know, getting a public art gallery tour in New Zealand and sharing it with all of us. It's just kind of how we do things I do you think? Yeah, no, she's probably got some Yeah, [00:57:30] I think it was, it was intentional, it was purposeful. I mentioned on the panel today, it's I didn't want people to go into a gallery, read a few stories, look at a few pictures, watch films and go away and not do anything about it. So forming the partnership with the Human Rights Commission gave a vehicle and a platform to enable people to engage on a much deeper level, they could take a copy of the inquiry Porter walk away with that could give it to the school's their workplace, it just became a very sanctioned environment for I mean, we had, we had many, many stories of people, for the first time, they would invite a work colleague, if they had gender identity issues themselves, it was kind of a respectable, respectful place to say, look, can you come and look at this exhibition, I'd like you to see it, and then that kind of facilitate a dialogue, because, you know, you can kind of leave there without having conversations about it. But yes, it was, it was differently purposefully. [00:58:44] That partnership was purposefully designed to [00:58:51] consolidate any action that people would want to take gave people opportunities to take action to take terminology straightaway, to attend workshop. So it's, it means it could operate on many levels, whatever was most comfortable for people, it was sort of, you know, we kind of laid a smorgasbord out for them. And people could come and pick what they were comfortable with at that point in time. [00:59:19] One funny thing I was thinking of that as you're saying it was about. So during the time of when I was working on the inquiry from 2005, through to you know, it's two and a half years later when it when it comes out or but over two years. And so I'm having meetings with, you know, senior government officials and staff around each of the issues there because we clicked it all the stories of trans people, but then we showed those to the government agencies. So trans people could find out what the what, what the government agencies responses, which were in a show. And then the commission then said, okay, based on what are the trends, people have seen what the government agencies have said, these were recommendations. So are you quite, you know, serious conversations with people. And I remember, not long after assume nothing started being, you know, having another serious conversation with a senior official in a government agency, and he just dropped into the conversation halfway through. I saw the exhibition last week. And then it's kind of interesting, because yes, laugh because you know, this business senior in a new underpins. [01:00:26] There's one other thing I'd like to add to that, which kind of ties assume nothing to Grace's film show because historically, when I first wrote out what we call a treatment, which is kind of like the plot of the documentary that you write before you've actually shot the documentary. So you've got a bit of a map, even though reality will take you, you know, far, far away from your met. The first person I ever interviewed for this film was actually Georgina Baya when she was still an MP here. And for those of you who don't know, Georgina by was the world's first ever transsexual Member of Parliament. And she was proposing to, to put an amendment to the Human Rights Act here in New Zealand, where gender or the gender identity to to to protect that legally and in words and have that encapsulated within our written definition. And so initially, the assume nothing film, based on on Rebecca's work, and people in the book was going to explore the passage of that, that bill as it as it took place, as it turns out, the bill was never put in, Georgina. Not that long afterwards Lyft parliament and, and the film took what I think is a much more stronger and inviting path, which was to explore creativity, and gender identity and the whole idea of a kind of joyful celebration of gender identity throughout. But it did begin as a much more self consciously activist, sort of historical archiving missed with with with that, which hit was seems so long ago now. I just remembered it. [01:02:21] Hi, I'm one of the things that I've been thinking about, well, [01:02:27] because we have a copy of the book, we attended the who in Palmerston North, and we're now we've seen the film. And I remember first opening the book, [01:02:36] and just being sort of overwhelmed and challenged. And my question is really, to jack and Manny, is, how did you feel when you first open the book? Or when you first saw the film? So what emotions did you feel about seeing yourselves exposed in that way? [01:02:59] Alright, well start that the first public imaging of ever because photographs were an Auckland. And I had my genital surgery, and a lot of the medical interventions that occurred to me and an Oakland so those of you who know, the LM at school was on the side of the gully, and the hospital was literally on the other side. So the experience of mine, I've having my own naked body hanging in a public place, under my teams, and with my permission, was one of the wise transforming experiences of my life. And those of us who have been involved in the project, also, then, as Rebecca that had to wait a long time, before the book became a reality. And then the, the Facebook launch also took place in Auckland. And as Rebecca is an artist, and an extraordinary creative piece, and at a chance meeting meant that the opening, our images were projected onto the side of a six story building. So we went from these images inside an art gallery. And they were reasonably large, to having our images portrayed on the side of a six story building and an Auckland. almost beyond words, but definitely healing, transformative. And as you can see, I mean, these are so my most important friends and a transformative process. beyond anything that I could have imagined. I'm also a therapist. And I've often thought about what's occurred here and one of these days, so I will sit down and write it up because it's important, profound, and we need to look at what actually did happen. JACK [01:05:06] Lalanne I'm not in the book, cuz I didn't know, when she took those photos. And the first night we went home together, she showed me some of them. [01:05:18] But I did get onto the you know, for Jake page. So sometimes I signed that page, if people ask, but I'm in the exhibition in the film. [01:05:33] I think my biggest feelings about the exhibition and more about all the people that are there, like it as the images of us going out with the final final open up to the, you know, that am I stronger images, but I do have an A memory, very strong memory of the first time, there's two photos of me and the exhibition ones, the color one that you see there, where I'm wearing the white jacket, and I'm sort of looking a little bit angelic or something, and it's totally, there was another equivalent of doing restarts, it's one of my favorite activities, and big said a couple of shots Lyft honor in a camera and, and so I, you know, was quite late at night, and I jumped on top of the beard and put the jacket on, and I just freak, you know, fluke shots, really, I shouldn't really give that away so and so. The other one is, you know, me looking lovingly at Biggs, you know, [01:06:34] they're, they're black and white one of [01:06:38] the day that we were signing off the final version of the transgender inquiry report. And so I was sitting with the commissioners, and we were going through it and I had a half an hour break, when we had a lunch break, and beaks was printing that off. And it's phone. So and it's on special paper that she doesn't how many copies of this, she can tell you that technical stuff, but um, and she was printing it off. And I did feel torn, because I knew she would really have loved me to be over the and I had to get this finished. And I dashed over the my lunch break. And it was the first time I'd seen a picture of it being done out there we stood together and, and watch that, you know, that was that was pretty, pretty special to see your image coming, you know, through the developer. So I've got that smile very strong. And it's all positive, that is all hugely positive and and affirming. And I think in a season on the phone, you know, because, you know, you say it told you that what you do is you make people feel you show beauty in all its forms. So you'll feel great when Biggs takes a photo, [01:07:53] obviously, but [01:07:56] in relation to sort of having having the camera position flips being part of the film. That was one of the gifts of as Christie said, it took it, you know, spanned over over many years. So as I felt more and more, I put certain parameters on what I was prepared to talk about on the film. But as as the project evolved, and as I kind of evolved, I felt more and more comfortable about revealing more about myself. So I sort of made a choice that I wasn't gonna tell my story, I was happy to talk about the creative process with everyone else in there. But over time, I felt like and Christy kind of encouraged that. It was kind of, you know, a little bit strange that I wasn't kind of vulnerable and revealing my stories as well as the other people so. So the last time that we could add some extra footage, and that was, you know, deca my civil union, and answering a few other questions that was more about my relationship and how I identify. And so there was a little bit of nervousness, which was kind of interesting for me to feel because I'm, you know, asking people to do that for me all the time. [01:09:18] But it was such a mess of gift. I [01:09:23] gave coffee to my parents who were they struggled with me being with jack. And I mean, they're incredible people. But they did take a while to kind of get their heads around it, they didn't have any awareness understanding experience of anyone who you know, was trained. [01:09:45] And [01:09:47] they watched. So I gave them a copy to watch because I knew it was going to be public, I didn't want them to see it for the first time in public, I wanted them to be able to process, ask any questions, whatever. So I kind of never sleep. I'm a copy quite soon before the exhibition opened maybe a couple of weeks or something. And I didn't know how they were going to respond to it. And my mom rang me up having watched it, and she was crying, which doesn't happen a lot with my mom. It was not with me and my family. But um, and she just said, Look, I'm really sorry that I've taken so long to understand, you know, I really proud of that she didn't get my relationship with Jay, having seen the film, she got my relationship and she got the absence of hair sitting there and the impact that that had on me without me saying any of this. So, you know, as I say to Christy, she kind of gave me my family back. And that's been, you know, a huge gift and the whole process so we've all kind of healed and grown and you know, it's all we've all kind of gone through it and measurable by [01:11:02] early and big says moms like one of the biggest promoters she takes the transgender inquiry to all the doctors she knows and and whenever we had exhibitions or anything, they'd be all these people who looked like they were engineers or accountants or something. We realized they were there because big said Mama, I'll tell them to go [01:11:29] away. [01:11:30] Well, it's obvious what an amazing experience. This has been for an awful lot of people. It was a great q&a as well. I just want quickly to thank Gavin and mark for doing the technical side and Carol the logistics. And very soon is gone, I think, but particularly to thank these for I mean, it's clearly been an amazing journey. And we've very privileged to share visit visits, employment and moving. I'd seen the film before but I saw it quite differently tonight and it was wonderful hearing the discussion. So thank you all so much.
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