“What is the purpose of resisting corporate globalization if not to protect the obscure, the ineffable, the unmarketable, the unmanageable, the local, the poetic and the eccentric? So they need to be practiced, celebrated and studied too, right now.” Rebecca Solnit
I'm a UK-based writer, editor, educator and activist with a passionate commitment to arts and social justice. I publish with independent presses Arc, Lark Books, Salt, Shearsman, IB Tauris, and Wallflower. I am a member of queer feminist film curation collective Club des Femmes and feminist film activists Raising Films, a lecturer in film at LCC and Queen Mary University of London, and a film journalist for Sight & Sound and The F-Word, where I focus on independent, experimental, and feminist films and film culture.
In my critical work, I explore the political potential of experimental literature and cinema, with an emphasis on feminist artists like Sally Potter, who is the subject of my first critical book The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love. As well as teaching university courses on topics ranging from transgender cinema to Anne Carson, I've facilitated workshops for youth organisations like Leave Out Violence and taught creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University, King's College, London, and Middlesex University. I have worked with non-profit organisation English PEN and was the Poet in Residence at the Archive of the Now.
For workshops, creative consultancies, editorial or writing work, contact me at: sophie [at] sophiemayer [dot] net
I wish I'd been able to see Milk in San Francisco in Election Week this past November, but the tickets for the People's Premiere were snapped up instantly by San Franciscans who'd watch the film come to life in their streets. Instead, I got to see it the week of the Inauguration, layering the public spectacles dizzyingly. My review of the film is on the Chroma blog. Thanks to blog editor Eric Karl Anderson for posting it.
I spent yesterday at the Tate's excellent conference Infrastructure and Ideas: Contemporary Art in the Middle East. The highlight was a keynote by Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, analysing the continuing constrictions of Orientalism and the neo-con pollution and evacuation of language. Read my transcript on the PEN Atlas blog.
I blogged the LSFF for Little White Lies: my highlights were the Club des Femmes' Body of Work programme (especially Mona Hatoum's Measures of Distance) and Ben Crowe and Preti Taneja's Je Suis Ici (in the Leftfield and Luscious programme). I'll also be blogging from the Berlinale for LWLies from 5-11 Feb.
There's a sneak preview of my Vertigo interview with filmmaker Jenn Reeves up on the Red Carpet blog at re:frame, a fantastic archive + distribution site that "is bringing together and giving due love to rare independent and alternative films, helping many become commercially available for the very first time." It's free to read, and free to sign up and start curating lists of your favourite alternative movies.
Read my PEN Atlas blog post with links to alternative voices from the Arab world speaking out about the attack on Gaza. There are also links to lists of demonstrations, actions, NGOs accepting donations, and citizen-journalist news aggregator sites.
My mini-essay about the brilliant French director Agnès Varda has just gone online here at Little White Lies. You can also read about my incredible experience of having brunch chez Agnès at the Toronto International Film Festival in this LWLies blog post.