Saintmaking: the canonisation of Derek Jarman by queer ‘nuns’

“A new Guardian documentary, Saintmaking, tells the tale of a group of queer “nuns” in 90s London who decided to canonise Derek Jarman – film-maker, artist, gardener and more – as an act of political protest.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are the London house of an international order of gay male nuns who, by 1991, had become radical left-wing activists and vicious critics of the UK government’s lack of care in confronting the Aids crisis. Frustrated that “exactly £0 had been spent on research” and seeing their community suffering and dying as a result, they decided they wanted to make a stand and make someone a saint – but who? Diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and a master of many forms of activism, Jarman was openly gay and open about his illness – he was the perfect candidate. So on 22 September 30 years ago, the Sisters took a trip down to Prospect Cottage garden in Dungeness to lay hands on their beloved Dessie.”

Full story –>


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?