Tate Modern Talk

AfroQueer: visibility and invisibility of black LGBT identities and voices Hosted by Southwark LGBT Network and Tate Modern

Thomas Kilpper, ‘The Ring: Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat Boxing’ 2000
Thomas Kilpper, The Ring: Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat Boxing 2000. Tate. © Thomas Kilpper

As part of the celebration of Black History Month, join Southwark’s Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual and Trans Network for a night of discussion and performance to celebrate and explore the Afro-Caribbean LGBT diaspora

The evening is chaired by Linda Bellos, an iconic black lesbian activist and politician, and includes a performance by bisexual black poetess Jacqueline Applebee and a screening of Under Your Nose. The panel discussion explores the role of LGBT and BME community organisations in recognising and supporting LGBT people of African and Caribbean descent. Speakers include Sola Afupe, Dennis Watson, Jocelyn Watson and Daniela Hermann.


Welcome from Southwark LGBT Network chair - Dr Justin Varney
Welcome from event chair - Linda Bellos

Introduction to the LGBT in the Tate Collection: Marcus Dickey-Horley – Curator, Tate Modern

Panel discussion – Black, LGBT, Invisible again?

Linda Bellos – Chair

Sola Afupe – Afia Trust

Dennis Carney – Community activist

Jocelyn Watson – Writer, Feminist and Activist

Daniela Hermann – Kaleidoscope Trust

Screening of Under Your Nose 
Documentary of the struggle to establish the first Black Lesbian and Gay Centre in London during the turbulent 80's of Thatcherism, AIDS and Section 28.
Produced by Veronica Mckenzie

Closing comments from the chair 
Refreshments and networking in the Starr Auditorium Foyer 

Event closes


Sola Afupe, MBE – Chair, The Afiya Trust

Sola Afuape is an equality specialist and strategic advisor with experience across a range of public sectors, particularly Health and Social care. She has held and sits on a number of public sector boards and advisory committees, which includes, the Department of Health Ministerial Advisory Group on Mental Health Strategy, cross government Standing Commission on Carers. Sola is currently chairperson of The Afiya Trust, a national charity that works to address inequalities in health and social care for the black and ethnic population of England. She is also finds time to work within her local community through her local Health Watch and as the Lay member advising the London Borough of Brent Standards Committee. In June 2013 she was awarded an MBE for services to black and minority ethnic health.

Linda Bellos, OBE – event chair

Linda Bellos has a long track record of championing equality and human rights across the four nations of the UK. She worked in the public sector for many years. She has held positions as chair of many voluntary sector bodies. Now she runs her own company, which specialises in equality, diversity and human rights training and online learning, consultancy, conflict resolution and much more. Clients include government departments, police services, HM Inspectorates, NHS bodies, local authorities and social landlords. In 1986, Linda was elected Leader of Lambeth Council, one of the first Black women to gain such a position. In the mid 1980s, she introduced Black History Month during her tenure as chair of the London Strategic Policy Unit. In 1981, Linda was the first Black woman to join the Spare Rib feminist collective. She was vice-chair of the 1980s campaign to select Black candidates within the Labour Party. She has been out as a lesbian since 1980. 

Dennis Carney – Community Activist

Dennis has worked with a wide range of LGBT voluntary organisations, which include NAZ Project, Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and Centered among others, concerned about further engagement with Black LGBTQ communities. Dennis also facilitates workshops on the popular Gay Men’s Workshop programme at PACE that explore themes around identity, self-esteem, relationships and sexual health and leads the development of initiatives aimed at Black Gay, Bi men. Dennis has received Black LGBT Community Awards recognising his contribution in raising the profile of Black LGBTQ communities in theUK.  Dennis also appeared in the Channel 4 documentary ‘Reggae, Trainers & Olympics’ and was a founding member of the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group.

Daniella Herrman – Director of Policy and Research, Kaleidoscope Trust

Daniela Hermann is an international anti-corruption specialist with the NHS. She has an academic background in International Relations and has worked on human rights and equality issues with the UN Development Fund for Women inBeijing and with leading parliamentarians inWestminster andBrussels.  

Veronica McKenzie – Producer, Reel Brit Productions

Veronica McKenzie has worked in TV and film for over 18 years. From producing at infamous UK cable station L!ve TV, to writing comedy sketches for Blouse ‘n’ skirt, (BBC 2 comedy panel show), Comedy dot net (BBC Music Live), and 11 o’clock show (Channel 4 with Ricky Gervais), her wide experience also takes in soaps (Coronation Street), theatre (A Woman on Fire – her tribute to Nina Simone) and film (Nine Nights BBC). In LA she co-produced The Last Supper (short 2011) and was script analyst for clients including Granada TV Drama, The Creative Collective (UK), Gold Circle Films, Magnet Media, Essential Entertainment and Shoreline Entertainment (US). She worked on the 2012 Olympics Stories of the World Youth Communications Project, and now develops projects through Reel Brit.

Dr Justin Varney – Chair of Southwark LGBT Network

Justin has been involved in LGBT issues for over ten years in a range of different guises, from chairing the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists, to collaborating on the Pride Legacy Project research into queer experience in the arts sector and now chairing the Southwark LGBT Network. Justin's day job is as a consultant in public health medicine for Public Health England where he leads work on a range of portfolios related to adult and older people's health and wellbeing. 

Jocelyn Watson – Writer, Feminist, Activist

Jocelyn Watson grew up in Hong Kong of mixed Indian and English heritage.  In 2012 she was one of the winners of the Asian Writers Short Story Prize for Sweet and Sour Masala and read at the South Asian Literature Festival in London. She is a qualified solicitor and has worked in legal aid practices and was the Black Lesbian Legal Adviser at Lesbian and Gay Employment Rights and was Co-Chair of UNISON’S National Lesbian and Gay Committee.  She has also worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Voluntary and Community Organisations. In 2011, she was one of the winners of the Jane Austen Short Story award, in 2012, a winner of the International Tagore Short Story Competition, and the winner of the Freedom from Torture Short Story Competition.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

23 October 2013 at 18.30–20.00