The New Cross Fire was a major tragedy in 1981 that claimed the lives of 13 young black people and was initially met with state, media and police indifference.
Haunted by that history, and in the context of the recent rise of the far-right and the tragedy of Grenfell, Something Said is an imaginative, gestural letter to Yvonne Ruddock, the 16 year-old whose birthday was being celebrated the night of the fire.
Writer, performer and director Jay Bernard undertakes a queer exploration of black British history, starting with this particular moment in time and examining its ramifications at two scales: the larger social and political rupture that followed the fire, and the smaller, individual attempt to reconcile one's queer present and the black radical past.
Something Said takes its inspiration directly from Black British cinema, particularly Reece Auguiste's Twilight City (1989) from which it borrows its structure. The film was created as part of Philomela's Chorus, a suite of four films examining black British woman/non-binary identities and the text emerged from a residency undertaken at the George Padmore Institute in 2016 with the support of Speaking Volumes. This element of the project was covered in a separate film shot with the Tate, linking to the Stan Firm Inna Inglan exhibition.
Something Said has screened at Encounters Festival (2017), CinemAfrica (2018), BFI Flare (2018).