Earlier this year I was mentored by Roger Graef to develop a documentary project (still progressing) which was a pretty condensed and rigorous experience. His 50-year career includes a number of ground-breaking achievements, directly influenced policing, criminal justice and social policy, and which earned him a BAFTA fellowship in 2004 and a lifetime achievement award at Sheffield DocFest in 2014.
I was pleased to see two critical items in it, items 2 and 3 in his list:
2 we need more foreign stories.
Not just about countries in extremis. In the past, there were many programme strands that specialised in foreign coverage, like europa, Under the Sun, Granada’s Disappearing World and Correspondent. Its successor The BBC’s This World was a foavirte for me to make films for and to watch, but it had many more slots. Channel 4’s excellent Unreported World is only a commercial half hour. BBC4 used to have lots of foreign docs but no longer has the money for them.
Today’s resistance to stories even from Northern Ireland and Europe as well as further afield leaves huge holes in our knowledge of the world. It feeds the ignorance of diplomats and politicians about countries like Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan – with disastrous consequences.
Currently the radically different versions of news on US, Russian and Ukrainian television and websites reflect the bias i referred to above. Closer to home is the so-called debate about Europe in the runup to the elections. If you don’t have alternative reliable sources like documentaries, you believe the fragments of what you see from politicians with an agenda. And you fill in the gaps with your own prejudices. Continue reading →
A lively documentary profile of the inspiring national apprenticeship and training programme in carnival arts has just been released: Future Leaders – a new film by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. Anyone interested in arts, young people, communities, carnival, music, dance, visual arts, multi-cultural development and so on should find this interesting.
Full information about this fantastic arts programme which is run by Global Grooves is at www.futureleaders.org.uk . Video created by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. [This video is also published on the Global Grooves YouTube channel where a lot more people have seen it – at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7uaoWYpcc ]
Includes an interview with Steve White – who was the drummer with the Style Council (Paul Weller) and other worthwhile bands. Continue reading →
Connecting with environmental activism and climate justice, to be created by artist Kooj Chuhan, ‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ will be driven by an open call for contributions of video, images, poetry, sounds, and anything that could work with the theme.
To view the OPEN CALL – please click HERE .DEADLINE EXTENDED: Please contact us by October 31st 2014 to express your interest.
The artist Kooj Chuhan (UK / India) is creating an interactive digital carnival installation connecting Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes with environmental justice issues across the world. It will be made from audio and visual material from many people and it will use interactive objects and projections that visitors can actually ‘play’ like percussion.
The digital art exhibition will take place February 28th – March 21st 2015 at a new Carnival Arts Centre in Manchester (UK), run by Global Grooves. We then intend to tour this installation to different galleries, exhibition venues and also public places including at carnival events.
What is the installation about?
The exhibition’s starting point is the powerful story of Chico Mendes, who was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist committed to protecting the Amazon’s ecosystem. He had opposition from industrialists and corrupt government officials, was jailed, fined and threatened, and just over 25 years ago he was eventually murdered but has now become a national hero in Brazil. Continue reading →