In Does Your House Have Lions (2021), a film by Delhi-based poet vqueeram and LA-based artist Vishal Jugdeo, a queer household of activists and academics in New Delhi lives under the shadow of increasing authoritarianism. Shot in a cinéma vérité style, the film dwells among the friends and lovers vqueeram lived with in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in the pandemic’s early months. The film documents moments of queer intimacy and togetherness, proposing possibilities for resistance against the immense power of the state.
Artist Vishal Jugdeo and poet vqueeram joined moderator Cathy Thomas (English, UCSB) via Zoom for a post-screening discussion.
Filmmaker and artist Vishal Jugdeo
Vishal Jugdeo is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who works around fiction and documentary to approaches narrative in experimental ways. His work examines how nuances of power, intimacy, and meaning-making are expressed between people. Jugdeo is a 2015 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, and has screened and exhibited widely including at MoMA and Performa 13 in New York, and at MOCA and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CCA Berlin and Kunstinstitut Melly in Rotterdam.
Jugdeo received an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2007 and a BFA from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, in 2003. He is assistant professor and New Genres area head in the Department of Art at UCLA.
vqueeram is a writer, researcher, and teacher. They are interested in sex, feeling, and living/dying in their relations with forms of sociality, law, and politics. In their writing, vqueeram pays attention to the practices of imagination and freedom of queer/trans persons; whether building a life in a cemetery in Delhi, or in life writing—cinematic, authorial, and political.
vqueeram completed bachelors and masters degrees in political science at Delhi University. They have taught, given talks, seminars, and workshops extensively, and their writing has been featured in The Shortline Review, The White Review, Frieze, Huffington Post India, Akademi Magazine, and The Wire among other publications and contexts. They live and love in Delhi.
Moderator Cathy Thomas (English, UCSB)
Cathy Thomas teaches English and Creative Writing at University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a creative critical scholar working on Black, American, and Caribbean literature and comic arts scholarship. Her current projects are: a monograph, a novel, a collection of stories, two comics, and a visual art installation. Prior to academia, she worked in development and production at NBC, CBS, and Warner Bros and in a genetics lab at UCLA.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Department of Art, and the IHC’s Caribbean Studies Research Focus Group.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to screening documentaries from across the world that engage with contemporary and historical issues, especially regarding social justice and environmental concerns. Documentaries allow filmmakers to address pressing issues and frame the critical debates of our time.
Media are global by nature; they express culture just as much as they transcend borders. The CWC Global series is dedicated to showcasing media from around the world. This series features screenings and events that place UCSB in conversation with international media makers and global contexts across our deeply connected world.