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as british as a watermelon is a messy sensory experience. A film commissioned by Contact.

This stream will start at 6pm. If you have booked a ticket, you can access the event page here.

My name is mandla.
It means power.
I gave it to myself.

mandla rae has a selective memory and they are scrambling to piece together their life. as british as a watermelon questions what it means to belong through exploring mandla’s fragmented asylum and migration memories.

Told through an unflinching autofiction narrative, weaving poetry and storytelling with destruction and colourful chaos, you are invited to join mandla as they rise from the dead and reclaim their misplaced power.

This is one of several films premiering at Queer Contact, featuring different experiences of queer identity. The event will feature a live Q+A session with the creators.

mandla rae was one of our featured artists at LINK UP in November 2020, discussing their research for this film. You can find out more about their work in their LINK UP blog here.

This performance is part of Queer Contact Festival 2021. For the first time this year, we are offering a membership deal for Queer Contact. For just £10 you can get free entry to this event and and others, plus 25% off a range of shows! To find out more, click here. For this digital film commission Mandla has collaborated with artist film maker Graham Clayton-Chance.

This event will be captioned.

If you have booked a ticket, you can access the event page here.

About mandla rae

Artist mandla rae films their performances of 'As british as a watermelon'

📸Graham Clayton-Chance

mandla rae is a queer Zimbabwean writer, performer and curator. They are agender and their pronouns are they/them. Their work typically explores their intersectional existence and their response to the world around them. They have been commissioned by many organisations across the country including the BFI, Journeys Festival International and Hope Mill Theatre to make written works. mandla has be part of Re:con and Young Identity.

Content Warning

Discussion of trauma, reference to sexual assault, child abuse, suicide, reference to border police and discussion of asylum, racism.

The event will be supported by a trauma-informed specialist who will be present in the Zoom meeting and will be available to signpost sources of mental health support via the private chat function and a confidential phone line. You can watch an introductory video from our specialist Precious, explaining the support provided, here.


  • Produced by Switchflicker Productions/Jayne Compton
  • Director/Editor/Sound Design Graham Clayton-Chance
  • Costume John Krausa
  • Creative Advisors Sonia Hughes and Jo Fong
  • Director of Photography Benjamin Liddell
  • Set Designer Michael Hankin
  • Outside Eye Dan Watson
  • Production Manager Phil Buckley
  • Conceived with support and encouragement of rage from Mother’s Bloomers (Mothers Ruin Artist Development Scheme).
  • Supported by Contact, Arts Council England, GM LGBTQ Arts and Culture Network Bursary, The Lowry’s Untitled Residency 2020.-
  • Commissioned by Contact and Hope Mill Theatre’s Turn on Fest 2020.


  • Price
    £6 (Free with Queer Contact Membership)
  • Venue


  • Ages
    Recommended for ages 14+
  • Running
    60 minutes including Q+A
  • Booking info

    You will receive a link to the show via email. Please check your inboxes, including junk/spam email, for this.

Date Time & Place
  • 📸Graham Clayton-Chance
  • 📸Graham Clayton-Chance
  • 📸Graham Clayton-Chance