FKA Twigs has released a new short film, “We Are the Womxn,” which was filmed last year at AfroPunk Atlanta and the city’s historic black club, Blue Flame.
Directed by Ivar Wigan, the film boasts a grainy feel — as if it was shot on slightly older camera equipment — although the aesthetic adds a home movie-style intimacy to the project. It opens with a sequence filmed after Twigs’ AfroPunk set where she was joined by the spiritual leader Queen Afua, who led the crowd in a sacred moon dance.
“These movements are based on the first movements from the first healers, who were at the beginning of civilization,” Queen Afuo says in the clip. “Whatever movement you make is perfect because it’s your language.”
The clip goes on to incorporate snippets of FKA Twigs’ actual AfroPunk set, where her pole dancing on stage is juxtaposed with scenes from the Blue Flame, where the moon dance continued after the concert with an all-female and femme crowd.
In a Rolling Stone profile last year, Twigs spoke about how pole dancing was part of a reclamation of the “Madonna-whore” dichotomy that was central to her acclaimed second album, Magdalene. She used the Biblical story of Mary Magdalene as a framework to delve into her own sexuality and celebrity, which became tabloid fodder during her relationship with Robert Pattinson.
“Throughout my twenties, I learned a lot [from] what my partners projected on to me,” FKA Twigs said. “In spending some time alone, I started to realize how confusing and how problematic that is for a young woman discovering her sexuality. I don’t have to be one thing or the other thing to sustain a partner in love.”