Next year is the 65th anniversary of the introduction of the X certificate in British cinema.
In 1951 the X certificate replaced an earlier H certificate (H for Horrific) and was a reaction to the increasing number of film releases (many from Europe) which featured nudity, sexual activity, or bad language.
In 1971, the age at which you could attend an X certificate movie was raised from 16 to 18 years, and the X was replaced in turn by the 18 certificate in 1982. It’s pretty much where things stand until now.
To celebrate the introduction of the X Cert back in 1951, I’ll be working with a group of sex-positive pornographers, feminist thinkers, queer activists and film makers to explore what censorship has meant to us over that period.
We’ll be exploring issues that relate to freedom of both what we say and what we watch. How we use our bodies, and how our bodies are used by others. How our bodies are depicted on screen for public consumption, and how governments, big business and organised religion and politics decide what we can and can’t do, show and say.
We’re starting in January with a screening and discussion of the work of Swedish feminist porn director, screenwriter and producer Erika Lust (see photo above), and will continue throughout the year; talking to film makers, actors and directors, lawyers, politicians and activists.
And we’ll be watching a lot of interesting work, exchanging ideas, and … probably … arguing and debating.
If you’d like to be involved in any way, please get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org