Derek Jarman’s Domestic Politics

  • Matt Cook
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


Derek Jarman was, his biographer Tony Peake suggests, ‘acutely sensitive to changes in the fabric of society’:

On many levels, his life is a litmus paper which reflects the major stages of Britain’s social history in the second half of the twentieth century, from post-war austerity to the dying days of Thatcherism. The despairing and angry mood of the mid seventies, of a country facing economic recession, virtual war with the IRA and an uncertain post-imperial future — a mood epitomized by punk — awakened Jarman’s passion and instinct for keeping abreast of the times.1

Jarman was himself cited in and drawn into the bigger debates and controversies about (homo)sexuality, and his obituaries clearly suggested his status as both pariah and saint by the time of his death in 1994.2 In published diaries, interviews and some of his films he laid out his domestic life for public consumption and gave a vivid sense of how art, London counterculture, sexual radicalism, love, and friendship were woven through it.


Home Life Domestic Life Modern Nature Film Festival Litmus Paper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Matt Cook 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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