The FAG tapes 4: An Audience of Enablers Cannot Fail

Enablers engendered space to activate the audience through a mix of autobiography, anecdote, political history, and participatory exchange. But the audience were also the enablers. Sessions consistently dismantled teacher/student or presenter/audience paradigms and set up dynamic interchange. Akin to the structure of Chait’s Veronica 4 Rose, where the filmmaker invited the documentary subjects to view footage and respond, FAG became an engaging space for reflection and exchange both written and spoken. These weren’t presentations–they were enabled conversations that were allowed to breath and move into entirely new directions, exposing peripheries, margins, and contradictions that could be entered and negotiated.


I’m not sure that participatory filmmaking makes for particularly interesting viewing. While I find the process by which the film was made to be interesting I didn’t feel compelled to watch it.


Dear Sister,

I think I love the cinema so much because of its capacity to act as a catalyst. To generate a dynamic relationship between creators/participants and audiences, a feedback loop between fantasy + reality, the way things are, and the way we desire things to be. What would the world look like if all media addressed and acknowledged specific audiences actively invested in the work-rather than an imagined general audience of detached spectators?


So I woke up this morning with an idea of how I expected my day to go based on the dream I had last night. Standing in between a narrow hallway surrounded by estranged family members; half of them dressed in tuxedos as cameras, flashes & moments of silent resolution struck me as I crossed paths w/ myself, as my younger self. So I woke up and put on my best tuxedo (sans cumberbund) & I walked through the windy, frigid streets of Toronto to go meet a FAG about a film.

“Laughter in the face of serious categories is indispensable for feminism.”

—Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity (New York: Routledge, 1990), p 28.

FAG sessions were seriously funny—that is, even during the most sobering and sensitive conversations someone burst the bubble and made us pee a little. That said we walked away with more than just a wet spot, but another FAGtactic. Enablers routinely used comedy while introducing films and in discussions.

Listen to the laugh track

Michèle Pearson Clarke’s presentation on lesbian fashion was a great moment, presenting a queer and present danger to our collective bladders.

Click below for some of her top lesbian fashion blogs.

Dapper Q , Dapper and Dandy, Dyke Duds, Androstyle, Tomboy Style, Tomboy Femme Flare, Queer Fat Femme, Top 10 Lesbian Fashion Style Icons

Listen to Michèle Pearson Clarke
on Lesbian Chic. 1 minute 18 seconds. 2012/02/25

Listen to Michèle Pearson Clarke
on Lesbian Fashion: No longer an Oxy Moron. 12 minutes. 2012/02/25