A new piece reflects on the enduring importance of the landmark documentary about Harlem’s ’80s drag ball scene.
Many props to Dazed for its fantastic, long-form piece commemorating 25 years since the release of seminal documentary, Paris Is Burning. Released in 1990-1991, the film follows some of the communities that comprised the Harlem drag ball scene of the late 80s, which in the words of the article’s author Shon Faye, was “a subculture located at a unique crossroads of urban poverty, marginalised black and Latin communities and queer identity.”
Beyond its cinematic accomplishments, the film was a spectacular insight into how alternative community structures, gender practices and kinship relations can develop alongside those of traditional society. Definitely worth reading and reflecting on during a time when LGBTQ communities still remain exposed to a whole set of violences.
Watch some of our favorite scenes above and below: