Going up at Hendrix College’s Windgate Museum of Art is a free screening of “The Legend of the Underground,” a portrait of the lives of several LGBTQIA+ young men living in Lagos, Nigeria, where homophobia is deeply embedded into culture and policy. The screening is followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director of photography and co-producer Stephen Bailey, who is a graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service and whose career has included working closely with fellow Arkansas filmmakers Craig and Brent Renaud.
“We are very excited to partner with the Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College to screen The Legend of the Underground,” ACS Executive Director Kathryn Tucker said. “Our Dreamland Film Series celebrates black voices in cinema and shines a light on communities of color, not only in the United States, but worldwide. This documentary spotlights the struggles of the Black LGBTQ+ community in a powerful and intimate way. ACS is proud to have a filmmaker like Stephen Bailey return to Arkansas after his time at the Clinton School of Public Service to discuss his current work.”
More about the film, and about Bailey:
Premiering last year on HBO to overwhelmingly positive reviews, The Legend of the Underground (Giselle Bailey, Nneka Onuorah, 2021) captures the violent discrimination of LGTBIQ+ individuals in Nigeria. Directors Bailey and Onuorah follow the lives of several young men who must choose to either live a life of fear and secrecy in Lagos, Nigeria, where homosexuality is still condemned, or flee to the U.S., where they can more freely express their sexual identity. Even as the documentary portrays heartbreaking moments of police brutality, there are also scenes of lighthearted humor, joy, and communal bonding. The Legend of the Underground foregrounds an underrepresented community and subculture in a beautifully authentic and heartfelt way. In their fight to live out loud in Nigeria, the subjects of this evocative documentary represent the youth taking a stand for change in a way that both celebrates Blackness and Queerness.
About Stephen Bailey
Bailey is an award-winning Jamaican-American Director of Photography and Producer. His work has taken him to over 20 countries across the world to cover the battle for Mosul in Iraq, humanity’s fight to save a species in Kenya, the effects of addiction in America’s heartland and the resilience of Nigeria’s underground nonconformist community. Whether branded, docu-series or feature format, Bailey has been fortunate to work with clients like HBO, Netflix, NatGeo, VICE and The New York Times in order to share and produce stories that highlight the power of the human spirit, give a voice to those who are underrepresented or misunderstood and generate empathy for ourselves and each other. Bailey is a graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service.