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Queer Identity in Fashion and Film as a Subversive Art


“This is a book about the subversion of existing values, institutions, mores, and taboos - East and West, Left and Right - by the potentially most powerful art of the century” wrote Amos Vogel in 1974 in the book “Film as a Subversive Art”.

Robert Mapplethorpe (photographer), Alexander McQueen (designer), David Bowie or Freddie Mercury (musicians)… these are just some examples of queer and non-binary avant-garde artists who reached global recognition and acceptance after breaking all the molds of what was socially acceptable at their time, and sometimes themselves in the process of doing so.

Almost half-a-century later most of the taboos Amos identified in his book - sex, violence, birth, death... -seem to have been overcome or at least exposed, sometimes in brutally raw ways primarily online whether through porn… or explicit violence on Facebook, not necessarily in artistic ways.

So is film still as relevant in the advent of the digital age and social media content? And what about the queer counterculture movements of the 70s and the 80s? Did their message and leadership fizzle out now that we can get married? What do the new generations have to say and how are they saying it? Are Youtube and Instagram the new window displays where to break those molds the way New York or London art galleries were in the 80s?

We’ll explore our role as artists, performers, designers and storytellers in a world that seems to have become the chaotic, amoral and violent place that many also find ways to blame us for. Do we highlight and contribute to the perception of chaos or do we shift the spotlight to the harmony that art carries in all of its forms no matter what our message is?

  • Ramon J. Goni - Filmmaker and founder of Swoon (Moderator)

  • Rain Valdez - Actress and Writer

  • Damien Navarro - Executive Director of Outfest LA

  • George Bamber - Film and theater director

  • Chandra Feltus - Talent Agent