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Bona Polari - A Workshop with Lee Campbell in memory of Tony Morvay
Bona Polari - A Workshop with Lee Campbell in memory of Tony Morvay

Mon, 25 Sept


The Hastings Library

Bona Polari - A Workshop with Lee Campbell in memory of Tony Morvay

Celebrate and write your own Polari (slang language used when homosexually was illegal) in this 90 minute workshop with Lee Campbell.

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Time & Location

25 Sept 2023, 16:44 – 16:45

The Hastings Library , Brassey Institute, 13 Claremont, Hastings TN34 1HE, UK

About The Event

‘Bona Polari’ is gay slang, meaning ‘good chat’. At this workshop participants will be invited to learn about and write their own Polari.

Come and join Lee in this joyous workshop celebrating the language many had to use to hide who they were. 

We sadly lost our wonderful Tony Morvay this year who was such a strong advocate of LGBT culture and its history, and it’s with his husband Jonathan’s blessing, that we can dedicate this fun workshop to his memory! Bonaroo Tony!

At the start of the workshop, participants will watch a short poetry film by Lee called The Tale of Benny Harris (2022) a film written entirely in Polari (gay slang). Lee interest in Polari was triggered when he attended a Polari-writing workshop in Manchester several years ago where he was encouraged to write his own Polari phrases and how this led to the eventual development of a poem he wrote called The Tale of Benny Harris (in Polari, a ‘bene aris’, means a ‘nice bum’).  Participants will then be given copies of a Polari dictionary, which Lee uses as a basis for discussion, including identifying Polari words that they may already be using. Lee will then invites participants to write their own rhyming Polari phrases and then invites participants to speak their phrases out aloud for everyone to enjoy.

More about Lee:

 Dr Lee Campbell is an artist, Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London and curator/founder of Homo Humour, the first of its kind project on contemporary queer male film and moving image practices that explore humour and LGBTQ+ storytelling and has screened all over the world since 2020.


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