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Swedish director Sara Jordenö’s collaboration with advocate and performer Twiggy Pucci Garçon is an exhilarating depiction of New York’s Kiki ball scene. However, KIKI is also a tender examination of its subjects’ lives outside the ballroom. The film draws attention to the poverty, discrimination, and homelessness that disproportionately impact queer youth of color. 2016, DCP, 93 minutes.

Cinema of Urgency is programmed in partnership with Full Frame Documentary Festival.

Post-Screening Events

A discussion between Sara Jordenö, Gia Marie Love, and Fatha Jazz Bordeaux, moderated by Elliot Powell of the University of Minnesota, follows the screening. Bringing together members of New York’s and Minneapolis’s ballroom communities, this conversation will address the history of ballroom and urgent political issues facing its participants.

Join us after the talk at 9:15 pm for a vogue performance production in the Garden Terrace Room.

About the Speakers

Sara Jordenö is a NYC-based Swedish visual artist, documentary filmmaker, and researcher, whose work resides in the crossing points of site-specific and public art, documentary cinema, and community-based participatory performative practice. Jordenö’s longitudinal projects often engage with hidden populations and communities facing marginalization, creating complex portraits of struggle and resilience. In the process of making these works, she has collaborated with (and at times shared authorship with) sociologists, activists, community organizers, and members of the communities that she investigates. Jordenö was awarded the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film and the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights for KIKI, which has screened in 15 countries.

Gia Marie Love is a trans woman of color from New York City. She is the Queen Mother of the House of Juicy, which is one of the many houses in the underground Kiki scene. Her work in the Kiki ballroom community has extended from community activism to providing HIV and STI prevention services for at-risk LGBTQ youth. Love lives her life as a courageous woman of trans experience who overcame adversity by living in her truth unapologetically and authentically.

Fatha Jazz Bordeaux is the founder of the House of Bordeaux, a primarily women, butch, and trans men–focused LGBTQ ballroom house that has operated since 2007. He moved to the Twin Cities in 2010 and was instrumental in cultivating the area’s ballroom scene. In July 2011, the Twin Cities chapter of the House of Bordeaux (which began in Chicago) became Minneapolis/St. Paul’s first competing ballroom house, following Fatha Jazz Bordeaux’s premiere event, “The Candyland Mini Ball,” in which he partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Tongues Untied group and MN Youth & AIDS Projects. He went on to host events throughout the area, partnering with agencies and organizations that serve LGBT youth and people of color, bringing awareness and helping build relationships that would better serve the community. Fatha Jazz Bordeaux’s background in education, youth advocacy, and social services is the driving force behind his mission to unite communities one beat at a time.

Elliott H. Powell is an assistant professor in the department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota. His teaching and research interests concern the intersections of race, sexuality, popular culture, and politics in the United States.