It’s over 30 years since Hanif Kureshi’s My Beautiful Laundrette broke ground on UK cinema screens. A cultural landmark and a political love story set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain, it offers a subversive and joyous glimpse of Britain in 1985. Omar (Gordon Warnecke) is a British Pakistani living in Battersea with his socially responsible father in London. Determined to make a success out of a run-down laundrette owned by his successful entrepreneurial uncle, Omar enlists his (former fascist) childhood friend Jonny (Daniel Day-Lewis) to help kick the business into shape. Together they transform the laundrette into a gaudy, neon-lit palace complete with muzac and video screens. Against a background of racial tension and poverty in the London suburbs their own relationship, portrayed with tenderness and passion, blossoms to love. Still powerful, provocative and exhilarating, My Beautiful Laundrette is a watershed in British culture not to be missed.
We are delighted to announce that this screening will feature a special introduction by Dr Humaira Saeed & Dr Alberto Fernández Carbajal.
Humaira Saeed is a Lecturer in English Literature at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on Contemporary fiction and film from Pakistan, with a focus on women’s cultural production; Postcolonial and transnational feminist / queer theories and practices; Literature and sexual dissidence; Queer (South Asian) diasporas; Post 9-11 British culture; Gendered nationhood, affects of national belonging, and national geographies; Trauma, cultural memory and the politics of emotions. Dr Saeed is currently working on a monograph entitled Persisting Partition: Affect, Memory and Trauma in Women’s Narratives of Pakistan, an article on post-9/11 representations of LGBT Muslims, and a book chapter on postcolonial sexualities. Future research plans include a project on representations of Pakistan’s borderlands in contemporary culture, and collaborative work on Queer Diasporas.
Alberto Fernández Carbajal is a university researcher and lecturer. He is currently Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Arts, University of Leicester. He is the author of Compromise and Resistance in Postcolonial Writing: E. M. Forster’s Legacy, a monograph published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. His current Leverhulme-funded research project is entitled Queer Diasporas: Islam, Homosexuality and a Micropolitics of Dissent, and it explores depictions of Muslim same-sex desire in international fiction and film. His essay on My Beauty Laundrette will soon be published by Palgrave Macmillan in a book entitled Muslims, Trust and Multiculturalism, co-edited by Asmaa Soliman, Peter Morey and Amina Yaqin. He is the current Postgraduate and Early Career Representative for the Postcolonial Studies Association (UK).