DAY 2: CINEMA DESPITE Festival - Reviewing artists’ film and video in Scotland

DAY 2: CINEMA DESPITE Festival - Reviewing artists’ film and video in Scotland
Date 2nd Sep 2023 1.00pm - 5.30pm Price Day tickets cost £1.50 (Friday), £3 (Saturday and Sunday) Location Tramway Book tickets 0845 330 3501 0845 330 3501 Bookings subject to a transaction fee, £1.50 online, £1.75 by phone

Day 2 of CINEMA DESPITE, a 3 Day Festival

Part 1 (1pm - 3pm)
Family Secrets: reckoning with imperialism

Maureen Blackwood, Graham Fagen, Pratibha Parmar, Camara Taylor, and Maud Sulter

As histories of violence and exploitation are exposed and accountability is demanded, Scotland’s imperial legacy has become the subject of increasing cultural enquiry. This programme brings together works which consider the omissions, effigies and exhaustion produced by Scotland’s past and ongoing involvement in empire. From the court of James IV to the port of Leith in the early twentieth century, they record diverse diasporic experience in Scotland. As systemic racism echoes in the present, they consider how resistance and refusal might be enacted or embodied.

Maud Sulter, The Alba Sonnets I-V, 1995. 3 minutes 30 seconds. (Audio recording, interspersed throughout)
Pratibha Parmar, Bhangra Jig, 1990. 4 minutes 20 seconds.
Graham Fagen, The Slave’s Lament, 2015. 14 minutes 30 seconds.
Maureen Blackwood, A Family Called Abrew, 1992. 41 minutes 30 seconds.
Camara Taylor, suspiration!, 2021. 23 minutes 43 seconds.

Running time: 88 minutes
+ contextualising introduction

ACCESS: All works include descriptive captions. 

Audience note: Programme includes nudity, discussion of historic and ongoing racial discrimination in Scotland and the UK, including descriptions of dehumanising behaviour, discussion of trauma, and the quotation of outdated terminology in non-pejorative usage.
Suggested age restriction 16+

Part 2 
No Mean City: film and video as protest (3.45pm to 5.30pm)

Anne-Marie Copestake, Malcolm Dickson, Tamara Krikorian, Pictorial Heroes (Doug Aubrey and Alan Robertson), Jon Schorstein, and Alia Syed

The moving image has been instrumentalised by political organisers for over a century. In Scotland, artists’ film and video have long offered a means to advocate and organise politically. Ranging in approach, from the parodic to poetic, the works in this programme emerge in response to deindustrialisation, the experience of migrant workers, the ennui of late Thatcherism and the managed decline of the neoliberal present. Reactive to a changing political environment, they stand in protest and remembrance, interlinked as diverse exercises in consciousness raising.

Jon Schorstein, KH-4, 1969. 12 minutes 41 seconds
Pictorial Heroes, The Cover Up, 1986. 10 minutes 45 seconds.
Tamara Krikorian, Vanitas, 1977. 7 minutes 57 seconds.
Malcolm Dickson, The Burning, 1988. 8 minutes 53 seconds.
Alia Syed, Clippy, 2016. 3 minutes.
Anne-Marie Copestake, A love, 2019. 16 minutes 30 seconds.

Running time: 60 minutes
+ Q&A

ACCESS: All works include descriptive captions except for 'Clippy'

Audience note: discussion of political violence and war.

Featuring the contribution of twenty-nine artists, filmmakers and collectives working across a seventy year period, CINEMA DESPITE (1-3 September) attempts to expand and trouble an underexposed history of artists' moving image practice in Scotland. 

Including examples of contemporary work alongside rarely seen historic material drawn from archives and newly scanned for digital presentation, this one-off festival imagines an intergenerational dialogue between artists.

The programme is organised into five episodes screened over 3 days: the documentary; imperial legacies; protest; cultural identity; and sexuality. Each screening will be followed by a conversation with participating artists and a free publication of newly commissioned writing accompanies the programme.

Curated by Marcus Jack and presented in partnership with Tramway, CINEMA DESPITE follows a five-year research project and is supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the School of Fine Art, The Glasgow School of Art.

Image: Still from Alia Syed, Clippy, 2016. Courtesy of the artist