AT YOUR OWN RISK
Derek Jarman: The Activist
‘Just 25 years after its partial decriminalisation, amidst the emergence of a terrifying new disease that predominantly, in the West, affected gay men, with religious, political and social damnation swirling, to write about being a gay man, let alone one who was HIV positive, was truly groundbreaking. It is hard to quantify how radical this book was and not just as a defence of gayness, but as an angry and unapologetic celebration of it.’ Matthew Todd
Derek Jarman was one of the first public figures to be openly HIV positive in Britain. He had always been openly queer in his work but, after being diagnosed, he took on a leading role as a campaigner against the prejudice that proliferated in Britain as HIV/AIDS, along with huge amounts of misinformation, began to spread.
In At Your Own Risk, Jarman pulls no punches – this is a furious, unforgiving attack on the insidious and often explicit homophobia that permeated British society, from the government to the media to ordinary people on the street. He exposes unpalatable truths about how LGBT people were targeted during these years, as well as offering an unrepentant affirmation of gay mens’ right to life, love and sex. It’s a short, sharp shock of a book.