Cinemas of Sisterhood

Lana Lin and Mania Akbari

  • mania akbari 10+4 - 3

    10 + 4 film still © Mania Akbari

  • mania akbari 10+4 - 1

    ’10 + 4′ film still © Mania Akbari

  • lana lin 1

    ‘The Cancer Journals Revisited’ film still © Lana Lin

  • lana lin 4

    ‘The Cancer Journals Revisited’ film still © Lana Lin

Past Event

This event was on Sat 27 April, 11.30am-6pm


Focusing on the feminist body as a site of trauma and resistance, this extended presentation of films is curated by Andrea Luka Zimmerman and features conversations with the makers.

The day includes a special preview screening of The Cancer Journals Revisited, Lana Lin’s new feature portrait of the great writer Audre Lorde, and Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari’s remarkable essay 10 + 4, alongside key new short films.

Books by Audre Lorde will be on sale in the gallery bookshop.

Part of Not Just Me but You Too: Cinemas of Sisterhood, April 2019 – March 2020.

This year-long season of films, entirely by women and gender non-binary filmmakers, covers artists’ and experimental film, documentary and essay film, alongside filmmaker appearances, readings, discussion and guest speakers. Expect programmes dedicated to particular makers, themed programmes with contemporary artists, celebrations of key feminist thinkers and the first complete retrospective of award winning film-maker and writer Xiaolu Guo in May.


11.30 Welcome

11.40 Screening:10 + 4

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Screening: Short film programme, followed by conversation

15.10 Break

15.30 Screening:The Cancer Journals Revisited

17.10 In conversation with Maria Akbari, Lana Lin and Andrea Luka Zimmerman

18.00 End


10 + 4 / Mania Akbari / 2007 / 77 mins

In this sequel to Abbas Kiarostami`s internationally acclaimed Ten, Akbari – the leading actress in the film, again drives a car and talks to her son, her sister and other people. However her situation in this sequel differs because Akbari is now suffering from breast cancer. As the disease progresses she’s unable to drive. So she sits in the back of the car and the conversation continues. She becomes weaker through her illness and, unlike in Ten, the camera has to follow her wherever she goes. This is a new experience in which the director is being directed by her cancer in the process of making the film.

The Cancer Journals Revisited / Lana Lin / 2019 / 100 mins / Special Preview

“I am overwhelmed by the complexity that you allow to unfold with all the innuendos of breathing, waiting, stopping, and clear speaking… The particular strengths of women of colour side by side with Audre speak in a way that should be available and seen by all women.” – Barbara Hammer

The Cancer Journals Revisited is prompted by the question of what it means to re-visit and re-vision black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde’s classic 1980 memoir of her breast cancer experience today. At the invitation of the filmmaker, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, twenty-seven writers, artists, activists, health care advocates, and current and former patients recite Lorde’s manifesto aloud on camera, collectively dramatizing it and producing an oration for the screen. The film is both a critical commentary and a poetic reflection upon the precarious conditions of survival within the intimate and politicized public sphere of illness.

Short Film Programme

#Familia #Touch #Lost #Figures / Katy Jalili / 2017 / 12 mins

There’s a long line of queer ancestry in your bloodline. To touch a brown body like yours is a radical act, it’s healing and painful.

Private Theatre / Liberty Antonia Sadler / 2015 / 4 mins

Exploring female stereotypes through character and humour, featuring three personas: The Feminazi, The Tampon Tiara Princess & The Little Girl Dom.

Gynophobia / Rachel Steele / 2019 / 10 mins

A collection of short films inspired by the objectification of Anatomical Venuses of Italy and the artist’s own experiences of female trauma and revenge fantasies.

Anti Zweena / Laura E. Fischer / 2017 / 13 mins

Anti Zweena: you are beautiful. Anti Zweena: anti-beautiful. This film is a journey, a journey of closure. It is a journey of the one and a journey for us all, an open dialogue.

About Mania Akbari

Mania Akbari is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, artist. Her provocative, revolutionary and radical films were recently the subject of retrospectives at the British Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute, Oldenburg International Film Festival and Cyprus Film Festival. Akbari was exiled from Iran and currently lives and works in London, a theme addressed in her film, Life May Be, co-directed with Mark Cousins, which was premiered at Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at Edinburgh International Film Festival and Asia Pacific Film Festival. Akbari has recently completed her new project A Moon for My Father in collaboration with British artist Douglas White.

About Laura E. Fischer

Laura E. Fischer is an interdisciplinary artist, mental health activist, and researcher whose work blends scientific methods with creative approaches and focuses on trauma and the socio-cultural context of violence.

About Katy Jalili

Katy Jalili is a gender-queer Iranian multidisciplinary artist and performer based in London. They often use their own body as the subject of their work, through digital mediums such as gifs, video and Polaroid photography.

About Lana Lin

Lana Lin’s art and films have been shown at international venues including the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, NY; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Oberhausen Film Festival; Images Festival, Toronto; the Taiwan International Documentary Festival; and Gasworks, London. Her work has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and The Film/Video Studio Program at the Wexner Center for the Arts. She is the author of Freud’s Jaw and Other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer (2017) and teaches at The New School, New York.

About Liberty Antonia Sadler

Liberty Antonia Sadler is an artist and filmmaker, working with drawing, text and moving image within a personal political context; her work uses character and playfulness to discuss themes of food, body dysmorphia, vulnerability, sexuality, femme identity and queerness.

About Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele is a Northern Irish performer/writer with a passion for intersectional feminism, particularly reproductive and sex workers’ rights.

About Andrea Luka Zimmerman

Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist filmmaker, writer and cultural activist. Andrea’s work is concerned with marginalisation, social justice and structural violence and has been nominated for the Grierson and Jarman awards. Films include Erase and Forget (2017), which had its World Premiere at the Berlin Film Festival (nominated for the Original Documentary Award), Estate, a Reverie (2015) and Taskafa, Stories of the Street (2013), written and voiced by the late John Berger. Selected exhibitions include Civil Rites, the London Open, Whitechapel Gallery and Common Ground, Spike Island, Bristol. She co-founded the cultural collectives Fugitive Images and Vision Machine (collaborators on Academy Award® nominated feature documentary The Look of Silence)