In this short performative lecture, BFI Flare programmer and writer Jay Bernard will present on the work of Marlon Riggs and the poetics of black queer politics. Using photos, film stills and audio, the piece will look closely at a world that is heavily influenced by language and ask: in the age of hashtags, memes, online activism, multi-issue protests confronting state violence in all its forms, and a renewed call for genuine structural change, how does language operate? How does it shift and change? And what is its world-making potential? From protest chants, to the poetic power of #blacklivesmatter UK, and from the black British arts movement to the work of Riggs himself, The Sound and the State will be an incisive appreciation of black queer language and culture.