Embodying Counter-Public Space and Performing Queer Culture: The Inaugural Scottish Queer International Film Festival 2015

in Screen Bodies

As I enter the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow for the opening night of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF), two giant pink poodles (actually festival volunteers dressed as characters from the festival’s opening film, Dyke Hard [Bitte Andersson, 2014]), greet me enthusiastically. They gesture me toward the CCA Theatre where a sold-out crowd has assembled for the festival’s opening screening of the Swedish lesbian fiction film Dyke Hard. The plastic chairs we sit on are closely packed together to maximize audience space, and yet even as I bang elbows with those on either side of me and feel my knees pressed up against the seat in front of me, the excited and jovial mood of the surrounding crowd overcomes immediate feelings of physical discomfort.