Thirty years after Ellen Spiro made DiAna’s Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front, the AIDS crisis is still raging in the deep South where the film was shot. Director Cheryl Dunye, after reading about the ongoing AIDS crisis in the South, visits DiAna DiAna and Dr. Bambi Gaddist in the hair salon in Columbia, South Carolina where they first began their innovative safe sex education work. DiAna’s Hair Ego REMIX is the beginning of a new story and new hope in the face of an ongoing tragedy.
Commissioned in 2017 as part of ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS, a program of seven videos prioritizing Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett for Visual AIDS.
About the artists
Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers. Dunye has made over 15 films including HBO’s Stranger Inside and her debut film, The Watermelon Woman, recently restored by Outfest’s UCLA Legacy Project for the films’ 20th anniversary. In 2016, Dunye received a Guggenheim Fellowship and became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presently, Dunye is an assistant professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University, is at work on her next feature film Black Is Blue, and recently joined the directing team of the TV series Queen Sugar, created by Ava DuVernay for OWN. Dunye lives and works in Oakland, CA.
Ellen Spiro is an Emmy-award winning indie filmmaker whose work champions mavericks and renegades with wit, inventiveness, and emotional depth. Her critically acclaimed documentaries include Diana's Hair Ego, Greetings From Out Here, Roam Sweet Home, Atomic Ed & the Black Hole, Are the Kids Alright?, Troop 15OO, Fixing the Future and Body of War, shortlisted for an Academy Award. Spiro received fellowships from Guggenheim, Fulbright, Rockefeller and National Endowment for the Arts. Spiro’s films are housed in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Peabody Collection of The Paley Center for Media and the New York Public Library. Spiro is currently a Fulbright Fellow and Professor of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas in Austin.
︎ Artist Statement
︎ Darius Bost on DiAna's Hair Ego REMIX
︎ Watch a conversation with Cheryl Dunye, Ellen Spiro and Thomas Allen Harris at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultur