May 22, 2020
Public tickets are £10/£8 and can be booked for NPG Members and the general public via npg.org.uk/events or 020 7306 0055.
Cecil Beaton’s early studio portraits of debutantes and celebrities helped define the image of the ‘Bright Young Thing’, with elaborate backdrops and dramatic costumery. But it was perhaps through his self-portraits that he most strikingly explored the power of dressing up to transform, liberate and play. Marking the National Portrait Gallery’s major ‘Bright Young Things’ exhibition of Beaton’s work, two contemporary writers and drag performers consider dressing up, self-portraiture and autobiographical writing, and the shifting grounds for queer expression over the last 100 years. Amrou Al-Kadhi is a writer for TV and film and in 2019 published their first book, UNICORN: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen, which reflects on queer intersectionality. Tom Rasmussen performs as Crystal Rasmussen, and their 2019 memoir, Diary of a Drag Queen, is a unique portrayal of the queer experience, presenting a world of possibility through drag. Shahidha Bari, Professor of Fashion Cultures at the London College of Fashion, chairs their discussion. Her book, Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes, was published in 2019.
National Portrait Gallery
2 St. Martin's Place
LONDON, WC2H 0HE
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