Kino Club: My Beautiful Laundrette on August 13

Date and time
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kino Club: My Beautiful Laundrette on August 13

Yinka Shonibare MBE often cites an early formative experience with a professor that sparked a series of pivotal questions that have shaped his practice for the last 30 years. As a young art student in mid-1980s London, he was confronted with the following question as he was working on a project about perestroika in Russia: “You are African, aren’t you? Why don’t you make authentic African art?” Thus emerged his ongoing examination of identity, stereotypes, representation and the very notion of authenticity. So when the time came to choose a film in keeping with the exhibition Pièces de résistance, I got to thinking about the wider social, cultural, and political contexts in which this professor would ask such a question, and in which his student’s response would emerge and evolve. I searched for a film that portrayed an experience of youth in an increasingly diverse city during a new era of conservatism, capitalism, clashing ideologies, flourishing sub cultures, and emerging identity politics.

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), directed by Stephen Frears and written by Hanif Kureishi, is such a film. Straddling comedy and drama, the film is at once an intimate, dream-like portrait of two young men and a candid snapshot of life under Thatcherism. It the story of a young Londoner named Omar, who takes on a small business venture under the supervision of his entrepreneurial uncle, whose perspective on life and the future in England is a far cry from that of Omar’s disillusioned father. Situated at the intersections of race, class, culture and sexuality, My Beautiful Laundrette depicts the tensions surrounding identity formation, relationships, and life choices, shedding light on the protagonist’s ambivalence towards the options, demands, and opportunities that lie before him.

My Beautiful Laundrette will be screened on Thursday, August 13 at 6 PM followed by a short discussion facilitated by DHC/ART Education.

Emily Keenlyside
DHC/ART Education

Photo: Orion Classics

Related Articles

La mémoire de l’eau: la poésie visuelle d’Un chemin escarpé

Cet écrit poétique est le fruit d’un projet de co-création entre Méshama Rose Eyob-Austin et Marie-Hélène Lemaire qui porte sur l’œuvre Un chemin escarpé de l’artiste Jamilah Sabur. Il prend la forme d’une introduction et d’un «poème sur l’eau»
Read More

Workshop Materials: Drawn to Fire: Charcoal Rubbings and Sowing Seeds

Drawn to Fire: Charcoal Rubbings and Sowing Seeds is an online art workshop created and hosted by artist Alana Bartol and artist, botanist, educator Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed—both based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary)—in collaboration with the PHI Foundation’s
Read More

Our Selection of Illustrated Books for Children — On Diaspora

Written by Marie-Hélène Lemaire Head of Education, PHI Foundation This article contains our selection of English titles only. To view French titles, please click here. Throughout the fall, the team of educators at the PHI Foundation has offered online presentations to
Read More

The Passage of the Conquered: Between Sculpture and Anthropomorphism

By Victoria Carrasco Movements: RELATIONS is a tool designed by the PHI Foundation’s Department of Education to encourage visitors to develop and elaborate on some key concepts of the exhibition RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting. This article is complementary to the
Read More
Related Exhibitions

Subscribe to our newsletter

* Required Fields