Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Filming in a supermarket

This is me filming shoppers occupying Waitrose supermarket in London in protest over the support for illegal settlements in Israel. Much of the produce sold as 'Israel' actually comes from stolen lands in Palestine.
more info on

Corporate media found telling porkies over YouTube videos

In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site.

Turns out that for years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing Youtube over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

You can read some amazing internal emails showing the deceit and how corporate media works-

Police free to assault again

No surprises here then- Police get away with assaulting members of the public again.
A Metropolitan Police officer accused of striking a woman with a metal baton at a G20 protest has been cleared.Sgt Delroy Smellie denied common assault on Nicola Fisher, 36, of Brighton, during the protest in Exchange Square, London, in April 2009.

Index on Censorship films wanted

I am writing on behalf of Index on Censorship one of Britain's leading organisations promoting freedom of expression and protection of human rights. We are currently in the process of curating a series of monthly film nights with a focus on freedom of
expression and censorship, in conjunction with English PEN( at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon.

Currently we are calling for submissions from student or independent filmmakers for short films and documentaries, with a focus on censorship and freedom of expression, dealing with political issues or events from a unique perspective that is not often acknowledged.

For more information on how to submit your work and the project in
general you can visit our website at

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Who -as you never heard them before

It is called shredding apparently

The peoples manifesto

Just read Mark Thomas latest book The peoples manifesto
Here are my 5 top proposals

Party manifestos should be legally binding- If they lie to us then they pay the penalties

Renationalise the railways
I like train travel but the system is so screwed by corporates

Legalize all drugs- as prohibition isn't working

There should be an age of consent for religion
- height restrictions at church doors

Introduce 'none of the above' on ballot papers
- get some real choice in this democracy- who ever voted in Gordon Brown (or John Major)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Take music videos literally and havea laugh

Ever wish songs just sang what was happening in the music video? Well now they do.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Judge Dredd artist dies at suicide clinic

I saw the movie Here's Johnny at Sheffield film festival and met John Hicklenton, the
Judge Dredd artist who died at a suicide clinic.John Hinklenton finished his last book the day before he travelled to Zurich

His ending was an expected one and he saw it as a triumph over his illness MS. Amongst his final words to me were “MS – you have a week to live, you’ve met someone you shouldn’t have fucked with”. A great artist and a true hero.”

A respected graphic artist known for characters such as Judge Dredd has died at the Swiss-based assisted suicide clinic Dignitas, it has been revealed.

John Hicklenton, 42, who lived in Brighton, died at the clinic on 19 March following a 10-year fight with Multiple Sclerosis.He was best known for his work in cult British comic 2000AD. He was an inspiration to me in the way he battled his illness. RIP

Airport no go

In 2005 I produced reach for the skies, a film about campaigning against airports and the links between aviation and climate chaos. Then we stopped an airport being built in the UKs first area of outstanding beauty (Gower in Wales). Today the Government’s Heathrow Expansion Plans In Tatters As Judge Slams Runway Policy

The legal challenge was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in February 2010 and was brought by a wide coalition of green groups, London councils and local residents. Judgment was given on 26 March 2010.

The coalition’s lawyers had claimed in court that the consultation process was fundamentally flawed and that the decision to expand Heathrow is at odds with the UK’s overall climate change targets. If they win, the Government’s decision to proceed with the runway will be overturned. During the hearing the Government made important concessions in a last minute bid to bolster its case.

Proceeding with the third runway would destroy not just a village and a large swathe of Green Belt but also tranquillity over a much wider area. Countryside, parks and gardens in and beyond north and west London would fall under the shadow of new flight paths and the din of thousands of extra flights.

Film entries wanted from women film directors.

The FD4W International Film Festival is calling for entries from women
film directors.
The FD4W International Film Festival (FD4WIFF) will take place at a
central London venue from 9th-12th September 2010.
Submissions will be accepted from women film directors in the following
four categories:
Documentary shorts
Documentary features

Prizes will be awarded for:
Best Student
Most Promising New Director
Best Feature
Best Short
Audience Award
Best Documentary

The deadlines for entries are:
Early bird deadline Friday 30th April 2010
Regular deadline Friday 28th May 2010
Late deadline Friday 25th June 2010

FD4WIFF will accept films made between June 2005 and May 2010.

Highlights from the festival programme will be announced at a press launch
in July.

Further information
Fd4w founder Ruth Torjussen began teaching confidence building, women-only
film directing courses in September 2009 with the aim of contributing to
the worldwide movement that will see a huge rise in the number of films
being directed by women. (Currently only 6% of film directors are women.
Source: BEV 2009). Such was the success of the courses that in just a
short time Filmdirecting4women has become a grassroots community of women
film directors with many more courses, monthly networking/screening events,
an ever-growing online members support network and now their own
international festival.

The inaugural FD4W International Film Festival will be a creative space
where women directors will be inspired and encouraged.

All enquiries to:
Pauline Walker
Festival Manager, FD4W International Film Festival
Mobile: 07896 413575 / Email:
Website: and

Civil Society Responsive Grant

deadline - 31 March 2010
The Commonwealth Foundation awards the Civil Society Responsive Grant to
promote co-operation and the sharing of skills, knowledge and ideas
between developing Commonwealth countries. The programme is aimed
primarily at projects that incorporate activities that involve the
participation of people and organisations from more than one
Commonwealth country.

Grants are awarded to projects falling under three main areas:
• Governance and Democracy;
• Sustainable Development; and
• Culture and Diversity.

Grants are awarded to applicant organisations that are able to
contribute to the priorities of one of the Foundation's main programme
areas. For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chocolate slave tastes sweet freedom

This Easter, Britons will eat their way through 80 million chocolate eggs but would we have such a sweet tooth if we knew how it was harvested?

Sixty per cent of cocoa beans found in chocolate on UK shop shelves are sourced in Ghana and Ivory Coast.Fatao is a 12-year-old boy from Burkina Faso who Panorama discovers working on a cocoa farm in Ghana.

He is just one of thousands of trafficked children helping to feed the world's appetite for chocolate.

Panorama - Chocolate: The Bitter Truth is on BBC One, Wednesday 24 March at 2100GMT.

Vintage mobile cinema to launch May 15

The Vintage Mobile Cinema company brings you a unique slice of cinema and automotive history, combined together to give the audience an exciting film viewing experience unavailable anywhere else.

On May 15, 2010 The Vintage Mobile Cinema will be outside the Museum of North Devon & Barnstaple all day screening ‘A Tale of Two Rivers’, a 20 minute archive film about the Taw & Torridge Estuary. There is no charge for watching the films, and there will be plenty of celebrations going on as the Cinema takes to the streets for the first time in about 35 years!

The 22 seat movie theatre is in the sound treated, fully upholstered and climate controlled rear of the vehicle, with carefully tiered seating to ensure everyone gets maximum viewing pleasure. All films are shown on the high quality digital projection unit, complete with surround sound for the full cinema experience.

Money for thinking big

O2 is offering grants of up to £300 through its Think Big programme.Individual or groups of young people aged 13-25 can apply for funding and other support to run projects in their local communities or tackle a problem in society.

Successful applicants for the £300 grant may then go on to be invited to apply for a further £2,500 plus additional support. See the O2 website for further information:

A comedians view of the election - Mark Thomas

The Manifesto – Election Special
Mark Thomas, comedian, activist and Guinness World Record-Holder for Most Number of Political Demonstrations in 24 Hours, has been trawling a nation that is economically, politically and socially drifting up a certain well-known creek – and with the audience’s help, creating The People’s Manifesto.

With a general election looming, join him to create a strictly five-policy-only People’s Election Manifesto which will then be handed to a special independent parliamentary candidate. Somewhere between Jim’ll Fix It for anarchists and a white collar Crimewatch.

Stop the Government using your photos

You'll have heard of the Digital Economy Bill: it introduces powers to cut your Internet connection if you're caught illegally downloading films, music or software. It does more than that. It takes your photographs from you, too.

Until now, if someone found one of your photographs and wanted to use it commercially, they couldn't without first asking you. Clause 43 changes all that by allowing the use of “Orphan Works” - photographs, illustrations and other artworks whose owners cannot be found.

Clause 43 says that if someone finds your photograph, wants to use it and decides that they can’t trace you, they can do whatever they like with it after paying an arbitrary fee to a UK Government-appointed “licensing body”. You’ll never know unless you happen to find it being used in this way, in which case you might be able to claim some money.

The UK Government wants to introduce a law to allow anyone to use your photographs commercially, or in ways you might not like, without asking you first.

Palestine -Supermarket Action on Tuesday 30 March!

I will be filming protests against supermarkets next week. War on Want state:

High street supermarkets are profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestine by
selling produce from Israeli settlements.Under international law, Israel's settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal. By selling settlement produce, supermarkets are complicit in their illegal activity and profiting from Palestinian suffering.

Join us on Tuesday 30 March 2010 for a supermarket action to stop the sale of
settlement goods.

* When? 6pm sharp! Tuesday 30 March 2010
* Where? Meet at War on Want's offices for a full briefing. Then head to a nearby
supermarket. 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube Old Street
* What? Be inspired by watching these previous actions

Palestinian civil society has declared 30 March 2010 to be the international day for
boycott, divestment and sanctions action against Israel. Be part of the global
movement. Join our supermarket action and support the Palestinian call for a boycott
of all Israeli goods until Israel complies with international law.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Funding to help young people realise short film projects.

IdeasTap is £40,000-worth of funding to help young people realise
short film projects.

Recognising the wealth of talented young filmmakers in the UK,
IdeasTap is offering eight awards of £5,000 each for the most
original, engaging ideas. Entries must be for films no longer than
five minutes and can include documentaries, conceptual pieces,
trailers for features, music videos, fashion films and animated

Aiming to make the funding process easier for young people, the Ideas
Fund is dedicated to providing opportunities for up-and-coming talent.

Deadline: 29th March 2010

Ideas Fund Shorts is part of IdeasTap’s annual £150,000 Ideas Fund
that first launched in June 2009. The awards are open to
16-25-year-old UK filmmakers.

The latest round of Ideas Fund Innovators will make ten awards of
£1,000 each for ideas from any creative discipline. This fund is now
open year-round, with four deadlines for submissions. Innovators is
open to 16-25s and aims to help those at the beginning of their
creative careers to take their projects to the next stage.

Deadline: 29th March 2010 (at which point the next round of Innovators
will open)

About IdeasTap

IdeasTap is a creative network and funding body for emerging arts
talent. A not-for-profit organisation, IdeasTap brings creative people
together and offers cash funding, exclusive opportunities and a
platform to showcase new work.

The website first launched in December 2008, but a new, improved
version of the site will launch later this year. The membership
currently stands at more than 19,000 young practitioners from a
diverse range of creative disciplines. IdeasTap is the brainchild of
philanthropist Peter De Haan.

For details and to apply please visit

Money for disadvantaged film makers

The John Brabourne Awards are a stepping stone for up and coming
talent driven to further their experiences and careers in all aspects
of film and television. The awards also seek to help those
disadvantaged in some way, either through lack of funds or set-backs
due to illness or accident.

The CTBF Awards provide cash sums of between £1,000 and £5,000 to
assist with training, rental of equipment, or the costs of travel,
rent, bills or childcare.

The Sponsored Awards offer new talent direct access to essential
industry experience, through paid work experience at leading companies
and/or access to training, equipment or materials, and in some cases a
mentor. Additionally the CTBF and UK Film Council are offering a
substantial cash prize of up to £10,000 to a talented individual to
achieve their goal in film. The award can be used for an education
programme, relevant scheme or a significant opportunity for work

Since the May 2007 launch of the awards the CTBF has been able to
secure substantial support from the film and television industry, with
companies such as Kodak, Arri Media, UK Film Council, Endemol UK and
Turner Classic Movies all contributing to the awards.

Please visit the website for more information:

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

When a Thai kibbutz worker was killed in Israel by a rocket launched from Gaza last
week, BBC News online gave the incident headline coverage flagged up on its home
page. (BBC news online, ‘Rocket fire from Gaza kills man in southern Israel’, 23:42
GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

By contrast, the killing of two Palestinian teenagers, Mohammad Qadus and Osaid
Qadus, by Israeli soldiers on Saturday was buried at the end of a short news report
on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's Middle East visit. Even worse, the BBC’s
footnote simply echoed Israeli propaganda that “no live bullets were fired, only
tear gas and rubber bullets”, despite ample evidence to the contrary. (BBC news
online, ‘UN chief says Gaza suffering under Israeli blockade’, 11:26 GMT, Sunday, 21
March 2010,

The London Palestine Film Festival 2010

The London Palestine Film Festival 2010
30 April to 6 May
Box Office:0845 120 7527

The London Palestine Film Festival returns with another selection of vital documentary, fiction, art, and animation by, about and from Palestinians and their country, opening with Elia Suleiman¹s latest film The Time That Remains, with the director in attendance. Highlights include the first Palestinian animated feature, the UK premieres of Eyal Sivans groundbreaking documentary Jaffa: The Orange¹s Clockwork and Kamal Aljafari¹s astonishing Port of Memory.

Cops force to payout £6k for abusing protesters

The Metropolitan Police has paid damages to protesters it unlawfully arrested during the G20 protests.The force paid £6,000 in damages to Hannah McClure and Andrew Rubens who were held during a raid on a squat.
When will the Met ever learn?

Despite years of seeing cops hide the numbers, on March 18 2010 the Metropolitan Police Authority in a report into policing at the G20 said 'disciplinary action should be taken against officers who do not display their identification numbers.' I doubt if this will ever happen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swansea film makers nights beginning

Networking & Open Screen
for keen & budding
Somerset Place SA1 1RR
Contact: livewireproductions@

Official lies during War

How the Government use their own lies and deceit to 'win' a war.

During the Troubles in N.Irlenad, the British Government set up what was known as the Information Policy Unit, or IPU, at the Army's headquarters in Lisburn.

Its job was to discredit the IRA wherever possible, often by holding special briefings with journalists.A British Army patrol arrives in the aftermath of a bomb blast in Belfast, Northern Ireland The Provisional IRA launched a series of horrifying bomb attacks in Belfast

This was joined soon after by another group, the Information Research Department or IRD, a behind-the-scenes branch of the Foreign Office created in 1948 to counter communism.

Both groups were now to engage in a full-blown propaganda war against the IRA and some other paramilitaries.

In December 1971, a month before Bloody Sunday, an explosion ripped apart McGurk's Bar, a Catholic pub in Belfast - killing 15 people and wounding 17 more.

The Army and police claimed to have found evidence that the bomb that caused the blast had gone off inside the bar. Given that McGurk's was a Catholic bar, this implied that it must have been an IRA device that went off accidentally.

Forensic evidence later proved that the bomb had clearly been placed outside the pub. Finally, seven years later, the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force was convicted of the attack.

Lots more examples here
Listen on the radio

Bastards of Utopia, 54 minutes, - new movie

Film makers friends have just release their latest movie-

As children, they lived through the collapse of Yugoslavia. But now,
amid the aftershocks of socialism’s failure, they fight in their own
way for a new leftism. Whether clashing with police or squatting in
an old factory, these activists risk everything to live their
politics. In the middle of it all, an American who came to observe the
movement finds himself participating and even goes to jail with them.
As the setbacks mount, will they all give up the fight?

The film, shot during years of fieldwork with a Croatian anarchist
collective, applies EnMasseFilm‘s unique blend of observation, direct
participation and critical reflection to this misunderstood political
movement. Its portrayal of activism is both empathetic and unflinching
—an engaged, elegant meditation on the struggle to re-imagine leftist
politics and the power of a country’s youth.

Press coverage from ZagrebDox:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Guerrilla Cinema seeks films

Guerrilla Cinema is a mobile cinema force fighting to bring good
documentaries and shorts anywhere, to anyone, for free.

The project is designed to give a platform to independent documentaries
and shorts without distributors, and to bring audiences inspiring, engaging
and imaginative work they might not otherwise come across and wouldn't know
where to look for.

We particularly want to hear from you if you've made a film on lo-to-no
budget, or you've told a story you think needs to be heard. We don't pay
and we don't charge, but we do make sure all film makers are fully credited
on screen, and will always display or distribute contact details and
website addresses when you film is playing, if you want us to.

Guerrilla Cinema is travelling to a few festivals and cultural events this
Spring and Summer, so if you have a film you think we should screen, get in
touch with us at, or check

Film Makers wanted

Purple Field Productions - registered charity number 1127076 - are looking for EXPERIENCED PRODUCERS interested in making films documentary or drama for use in the developing world in order to communicate much needed information on health, welfare and the environment. Films are made in the country in which they
are to be used. Expenses are paid and a small honorarium is
available. If you have an idea for a project of this nature which you would like to
develop, or would like to be put on our special mailing list for future producer opportunities - please contact

Police force Strawberry Fair 2010 to be cancelled

In view of the continuing hostility of the police towards Strawberry Fair and their decision to ignore the decision of elected councilors to grant it a license to run in 2010, the organisers have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel this year's event.

They are but one of a number events that are bearing the brunt of an overzealous
police force, and last summer proved that even established, gated events (Big Green,
Thimbleberry), with almost non-existent crime rates are not immune from this.

An organiser said today'S.F. has been running for about 37 years. We are pretty much the last remaining free, ungated and open-to-all festivals in the country and we are now facing the very real risk of only being able to run if we're gated, with security searches for everyone entering the site. As part of their legal team the police have one of the top licensing lawyers in the country and the chief officer from Somerset and Avon,the man reponsible for all the trouble Big Green had last year. In a 78 page
document presented to the licensing board they claimed that music and dancing led to
drug taking, and so consequently we we're encouraging anti-social behaviour. Also
note that these issues have only arisen since we've refused to pay them.

Justin Argent, Chair of Strawberry Fair said “Gaining a secure license that will allow the Fair to continue for many years to come has to be the top priority for the Strawberry Fair committee. The police appeal of the decision made by Cambridge City Council means that we now have to put all our efforts into fighting that appeal, rather than into the detailed preparations for the 2010 Fair which should now be taking place, and we are not prepared to compromise either the appeal or the Fair itself.

"The timetable for the appeal means that we will not know whether the Fair can go ahead as planned until far too late in the day. We do not want to pass this risk on to the many supportive suppliers, traders, and artists whose livelihoods would be severely damaged by a last minute cancellation. By taking this decision now, people will be able to find alternative activities for 2010 safe in the knowledge that we are doing all we can to make sure Strawberry Fair returns in 2011 and beyond.

Cambridgeshire Police have made it absolutely clear they do not want the event to go ahead and have put an incredible amount of time and resource into preventing it. We feel the police action shows just how far out of step they are with the people of Cambridge, who have shown overwhelming support for the event; and had the same enthusiasm been spent on working with us rather than fighting us, many of the key concerns would have been dealt with.

We sincerely hope that the police will make use of the extra time before the 2011 event to develop a more sympathetic and realistic policing strategy - and we look forward to entering into detailed discussions with them, the Council and local communities to ensure that there is a secure future for this well-attended and popular cultural event."

The programming committee will be working on plans for alternative, venue-based activities across the city through out the year to provide an outlet for the fantastic local talent showcased every year at the Fair. Keep your eye on and the local press over the coming weeks for details.


Notes to editors

• Strawberry Fair is a not-for-profit event run entirely by unpaid volunteers.
• External funding is not accepted making the event truly independent.
• Local artists and traders are prioritised when bookings are made.
• Over 1000 volunteers help make Strawberry Fair happen each year.

For further information please contact

Martin Twiss,
Committee Member,
Strawberry Fair

Justin Argent
Strawberry Fair
m: 07881 930998

Newbury Bypass walk

The postponed annual Newbury Bypass walk is up and running again...

Meet at 11am on Sunday the 11th of April 2010 in the car park opposite
the Northcroft Leisure Centre, Northcroft Lane, Newbury, Berkshire,
RG14 1RS.

The relaxed walk will go via Speen, Middle oak, Bagnor & Donnington
Castle and a few pubs.
All Welcome...more details from

Thursday, March 18, 2010

£2500 for artist film maker- could be you!

As part of the Greenwich Film Festival, Stream is running an open
submission, home movie/archive project that will result in a new
artist's commission to be premièred at the Vue Cinema, O2, Greenwich.

We are seeking an artist who can create an innovative short film of
between 5-10 minutes that utilises new media to transform and re-think
material submitted by the public. We are looking for an imaginative
approach to the material and narrative, and will give preference to
proposals that will take a visually radical approach to the material.
The film should use footage submitted by the public as well as archive
materials that are copyright cleared through the Greenwich Heritage

We are looking for a poetic vision of the borough of Greenwich,
viewed through the prism of past, present and future. The selected
filmmaker should be able to think creatively about how the borough and
its residents can be represented positively through this film. There
will be a call out to the public to submit their home movie footage and
this should be used alongside any new material to create an exciting new
film. The artist must have a rough edit of the film ready by 21 June
and be prepared to make any changes to the film if deemed necessary.
The artist will also be expected to run a workshop/Q&A session at
which they will talk about how they approached the commission and their
use of archive footage and new media to create the work.

The fee for this commission is £2,500

If you are interested in applying please send a brief outline (no
more than 1 side of A4) detailing how you would approach the commission
and any initial concepts you may have. You should also send an example
of your previous work with your expression of interest no later than 4pm
Thursday 1 April to:Paul Green Stream, Rothbury Hall, Azof Street, London SE10 0EF
For further information and a full commission brief:

Ice Ice Baby- in the human juke box

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The British Documentary Awards

On-line entry form for Grierson 2010 : The British Documentary Awards
will be available from 12th April from the new Grierson website

Closing Date for Entries – Tuesday 1st June 2010.

Digital skills to take control of local press coverage

A research project is giving people the digital skills to take control
of local press coverage

High-definition cameras and web-enabled mobile handsets wielded by
ordinary people have become crucial elements of news coverage in
places such as Tehran and Rangoon, where what once was unreported is
now recorded and rapidly shared with the world. But as shown by the
mobile phone film that a passer-by took of Ian Tomlinson – who died of
internal bleeding after being attacked by a police officer – at last
year's G20 demonstrations in London, those digital technologies have a
part to play in news coverage closer to home.

Until recently, local press coverage of the Fishwick and Callon area
of Preston perpetuated its image – established a decade earlier on
ITV's Neighbours From Hell – as a crime-ridden, socially deprived
neighbourhood. But local activists, who are trying to steer the area
in another direction, are now learning how to tell their own stories
through Bespoke, a collaborative research project between five British
universities, including the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan)
in Preston, led by David Frohlich, professor of interaction design at
the University of Surrey.

Few social spaces

Research emphasises the role that libraries can play in digital
inclusion, but Callon and Fishwick has no library, and few social
spaces . As one local put it: "The only time this community gets
together is at Lidl."

Bespoke's citizen-journalists decided on the stories they wanted to
tell – and how they wanted to tell them – through workshops in schools
and church halls, as well as Uclan's Sandbox digital media lab.

Using small film cameras and mobile phones, members of the Ablaze
youth group canvassed opinion on the regeneration of countryside
between the estate and the Ribble river. They are now involved in the
ongoing consultation process for the multimillion-pound Remade scheme,
which is managed by Lancashire county council and aims to reclaim a
quarter of the region's derelict land by 2011.

"It's refreshing to see the kids coming up with ideas and being taken
seriously," says Lorraine May, one of Ablaze's volunteer youth
leaders. "They're definitely more at home with the phones and the
cameras than adults. And I think they appreciate that the ideas coming
out of the project are a bit different to the norm."

Three schoolgirls, calling themselves the Callon Young Reporters,
interviewed residents and community workers about methods of
disseminating information locally. "You never know what you're going
to come across when you talk to people," says reporter Kirsty
Worthington, 14. "We asked loads of people about the best way for them
to hear about things".

Other assignments document local life. For example, the Ablaze group
is recording the memories of patrons of the parish hall attached to St
Teresa's Catholic church, which faces possible closure. Farrah
Barbarakram has filmed a profile of Ruqia Saddiq, who pioneered
translation services for Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants in Preston
in the late 1960s, while local music producer Ste "Dub P" Robinson is
making a documentary about the hip-hop and grime scene in the area.

The work of the citizen-journalists will be loaded into a searchable
map of the area on a central, online news portal.

One of Bespoke's key objectives is "to allow those who are digitally
excluded to benefit from the economic, social and cultural advantages
that access to digital tools and content can provide". However, six
months after it began, the project is ready to engage with the wider
local community, who felt the most appropriate method of communication
in an area with so few common social spaces was via an old-fashioned,
hand-delivered newsletter.

Paul Egglestone, project developer at Uclan's digital media lab,
explains: "Communication is happening in the digital space, but we're
also giving people this information in analogue format."

Project co-ordinator John Mills says dummies for the newsletter were
evaluated within the community with the aid of Anoto pens, which look
and write like normal pens but when used on specially printed paper
send residents comments to a nearby laptop.

"It's good for people who can't use a computer for whatever reason,
who feel more comfortable with a pen and paper," Mills says. "Any
interface we create – online, newsletter or mobile – needs to be
accessible and usable for everybody. That's a real challenge."

Fifteen formerly unemployed young adults learning general work and
media skills will soon swell the Bespoke ranks in a joint initiative
by social housing landlord Contour Housing and community media
specialists People's Voice Media, with money from the Future Jobs

Responding to residents' desire to access footage from the
surveillance cameras around the area, academics from Newcastle
University and Dundee University are exploring the use of CCTV as a
tool for the community, and plan to set up a prototype system over the
football pitches opposite St Teresa's. "It will consist of two
cameras, each one filming a side of the pitch," says John Rogers,
product designer at Dundee. "If players do something interesting, such
as a goal or a tackle, a button can be pressed and the previous 30
seconds of footage will automatically upload on to YouTube."

Justin Marshall, a research fellow at University College Falmouth, is
looking at mapping extended family relationships in Callon and
Fishwick with what he calls a "family hedge". He says: "It provides a
tangible and engaging means of digitally recording and linking stories
and experiences with family photos and treasured objects. The
traditional family tree tends to represent families in
highly-structured and simplified bloodlines, which situate individuals
in a historical context, emphasising traditional notions of the
family. T he family hedge encourages inclusivity and the charting of
existing extended family connections in all their complexity."

Hyperlocal experiment

The two-year Bespoke project, funded by the Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council, is being closely monitored by Martin Hamer,
digital editor of the Lancashire Evening Post, which often takes Uclan
media students on placements. The newspaper is looking into the
feasibility of its own hyperlocal experiment, dividing its sales area
into 22 online communities, with content provided by local
citizen-stringers (correspondents).

Egglestone emphasises that sustainability is at the heart of the
project. He says: "The intention is to build relationships, train
enough content-providers, develop a community editorial board, and
identify revenue streams through partnerships to sustain the project
way beyond that. It's not just about laptops and cameras. It's about a
whole infrastructure."

Sean A Smith
The Guardian, Wednesday 17 March 2010
• Sean A Smith co-ordinated the launch of the Bespoke project in
Callon and Fishwick.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brilliant response to our Solar powered Cinema

We have just returned today after a fantastic response to our Sol cinema in Dublin for St Patricks festival. A superb time was had by all and already a growing number of Irish events are booking us so we are planning a tour of Ireland during the Summer.

Our companion attraction is The Dukes Box- a human sized juke box. Their website is

Sol Cinema
Solar Powered Cinema

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Climate Gathering Wales – March 20th and 21st*

*Pembrokeshire Gathering – March 20th and 21st*
Climate Camp Cymru gathering in Pembrokeshire 20th - 21st March put it in your
diaries and come along, loads of space to camp in a very nice setting - very
important meet up for all across Wales to plan for the Spring
Equinox that weekend too so plenty excuse for celebration!

Aberystwyth Minutes available here:

The Gathering will be near Newport (the one in Pembrokeshire).
Here’s the Google map link:,-4.733734&spn=0.400773,0.899506&z=10


Food will be provided, but it would help if you can bring a plate, clutlery and
a mug. £15 for the weekend is a suggested donation to cover costs.

If you can help out with cooking, facilitation etc or just want more
information contact: process [at]

*Merthyr to Rossport by bicycle! (21st May – 5th June)*

As the spring approaches, why not consider joining the cycle caravan “Climate
Chains” travelling from the anti opencast community campaign in Merthyr,
Wales to the community led campaign against Shell’s gas development in
Rossport, Ireland.

On route between the two communities, the caravan will stop in other towns and
villages raising awareness about these campaigns, drawing the links between
them and particularly highlighting their relevance to the wider issue of
climate change and its impacts.

Film festival seeks films

Call for entries
Submissions to the International Competition
are now open.

Deadline - April 30, 2010

- Fiction and animation short-films;
- Fiction and animation feature films;
- Documentaries;
- Videos;

Only films made after 1st of January 2008 and which have not competed in
any previous Portuguese festival are eligible to enter the competition.

More than a decade bringing together in the summer of Avanca some of the
most significant films and authors of the audiovisuals and international
cinema production. - rules and entry form.

Assasins in the supermarket

Imagine if Tesco made an advert showing undercover Police prowling the supermarket aisles waiting to kill a Brazilian electrician?

In Israel, that is effectively what they have done-an Israeli supermarket chain is using a spoof of surveillance footage showing the alleged assassins of a Hamas commander in a television advert.

Next generation of CCTV cameras to spy on us

CCTV cameras that can pick out abandoned luggage, 'suspicious' behaviour and lock onto potential suspects are being developed. What would George Orwell think?

Add that to the new Mobile phones that allows bosses to snoop on staff. Japanese phone giant KDDI Corporation has developed technology that tracks even the tiniest movement of the user and beams the information back to HQ.It works by analysing the movement of accelerometers, found in many handsets.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview about role of video activism

Here are some questions i was asked for an educational media book coming out later this year

What issues do you think are most important for young people to address

Climate change is the obvious answer, as this is going to have the most
dramatic impacts on all our lives.However I think the corporate control of
the internet is an issue which needs campaigning on. The net is the ideal
method for coming together to solve the challenge of halting future
climate chaos. Corporations meanwhile are relying upon bullying and
harassment to stop people from illegal filesharing. The internet belongs to us all so
what message do we want to give back to the corporations?

What was the main mission of Undercurrents?
When we launched undercurrents in 1994, we wanted to create an outlet for
stories of people taking inspiring actions to bring about positive change.
We wanted to put camcorders into the hands of people who were on the
frontline of environmental activism- to give the views which rarely if
ever made it to TV screens of the general public.

In the early days of video activism and & being the media what impact did that have on campaigning?

Video Activism as we know it began in the 1980's when the camcorder was
introduced from Japan. Suddenly anyone could make a film, copy it and
share it with friends, supporters and beyond. In the 1990's as camcorders
got smaller and less expensive, we trained activists to use video in
various ways.

-for producing short videos to inspire others to join a direct action
campaign. These videos would use music and dramatic images to show the
fun, the techniques, the issues and who else was involved.

-for legal support. Filming police actions on protests has proved vital in
many cases, showing very different stories to police accounts in court.
Camcorder footage has prevented many cases of injustice.

-practicing talking in front of friends camcorders has helped many
activists to go in front of mainstream TV cameras. This has produced more
coherent and confident speakers.

- activists filming their own actions has allowed them to share their
techniques with other groups across the world. In Australia campaigners
sent videos to London of themselves blockading rainforest logging trucks
by erecting bamboo tripods and sitting on top. In London the videos were
watched by anti-car campaigners Reclaim the Streets who then used similar
tripods made from scaffold poles to blockade motorways and city streets.

- providing different accounts for news reports. Activists footage has
made a story possible. When the mainstream reporters won't arrive in time
or refuse to trespass, it has been the activists footage which has enabled
the story to be told.

Can you give a few examples of campaigns that benefited from your
involvement and say how this improved their success?

Climate Camp- we have established a live TV studio during the recent
Climate Camps at Kent, London and Nottingham. Producing dozens of daily
chat show from inside the camp (many times surrounded by riot police and
helicopters) showed people at home just what was occurring. We had first
hand experience of people joining the camp after watching our shows. Many
stated that it demistified what the Climate Camp actually was all about.
Many of our images of Climate Camp direct actions have been used in News
broadcasts and current affairs programs such as Dispatches (Channel 4) and
Panorama (BBC). Our footage has also been successfully used in legal
investigations into illegal Policing of the protests.

How does 21st-century technology impact on campaigning today?

The internet and digital media such as camcorders and cameras has given us
all the opportunity to tell and share our own stories like never before in
history. However the skills to portray a campaign are still areas which
need work if we expect to reach a wide audience.

What tips can you give young people who want to be the media today?

Young people have been demonised by politicians and the media for years,
so turn off your TV sets and beg, buy or borrow a camcorder and make a
film about how you see the world. Contact a local campaign which interest
you and help them out by making a film about their concerns.

What key three pieces of advice would you to young people today who want
to campaign for change?

Work out what you want to achieve and when. We have all set out to change
the world over night but became overwhelmed. By choosing and writing down
our targets, you will get a better sense of achievement. Build upon them.

The key issue for individuals who want to change the world is to realize
that the problem is not different political parties, it is the structure
of governance, not who is governing that matters most. Focus on changing
the rules. Be bold and seek truth; be humble, but also confident in what
you know and don't lose your curiosity in trying to figure things out; and
based on your search for truth and discovery of truth, speak that truth
loudly and clearly to power if given that chance.

Don't try to do it alone. Search for other activists in your local area.
Use the net, read local newspapers for stories of people taking action and
go and meet them- volunteer with local nature or social action groups. Get
active within your own community. It will change your life.

Can you give a brief outline of the Newbury Bypass campaign?

The Newbury bypass, officially known as The Winchester-Preston Trunk Road
(A34) (Newbury Bypass), is a 9-mile (14 km) stretch of dual carriageway
road which bypasses the town of Newbury in Berkshire, England. It is
located to the west of the town and forms part of the A34 road.

Between January 1996 and April 1996 the clearance of approximately 360
acres (1.5 km2) of land, including 120 acres (0.49 km2) of woodland and
the felling of nearly 10,000 mature trees including Oak, Ash, & Beech, to
make way for the building of the road, led to some of the largest
anti-road protests in European history, with around 7000 people having
directly demonstrated on the site of the bypass route in some way and over
800 arrests being made. The cost of policing the protest, known as
'Operation Prospect' and run jointly by Thames Valley Police and Hampshire
Constabulary, had reached approximately £5 million by December 1996.In
addition to this, the total cost of hiring private security guards to
protect the contractors clearing the land (including security fencing and
lighting) and building the road was approximately £23.7 million.
The protest was popularly known as the Third Battle of Newbury, a name
which was also adopted by one of the main protest groups.

In what way did it become a symbolic campaign and how did this effect
what happened there?

The road became symbolic for many reasons. The vast number of young people
living in the trees, in camps and even in tunnels to stop the felling of
the forests was a potent symbol of resistance to the Tory Governments
The campaign exposed how the road building corporations and Government
were in league together to build a trans- european road scheme rather than
just a series of 'local' bypasses. The Newbury bypass sparked off similar
resistance all over the UK, Ireland and the EU. Many road building schemes
across the UK were shelved because of the protests.

How did the local community react to the protesters?

The local reaction was varied, many joined in the protests, while many
others supported the bypass and disliked the protesters.

How were you involved?
Undercurrents trained Newbury activists to use camcorders for legal
support, make campaign videos and to supply images to TV broadcasters.

What impact did video activism have on the campaign?
I think video activism probably played a much larger part in other road
campaigns than Newbury. By 1996 every media outlet descended upon the
protest camps at Newbury putting most issues in the spotlight. Video
activism's main role was legal support. With so may people being arrested
for defending the trees, it was vital to have video evidence to counteract
false Police statements. Video activists also highlighted the secretive
role which undercover agents were playing. Video activists exposed entire
agencies hired by road companies to spy and build files on innocent

Written by
Paul O'Connor
co-founder Undercurrents

How to recycle a plane

After decades of transporting thousands of people around the globe, aircraft that are too old or too expensive come to an airfield in Gloucestershire to be scrapped.
There are several such specialist breakers around the world, but Air Salvage International (ASI), based at Cotswold Airport in Kemble, is the largest in Britain and claims to be the busiest of them all.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Free Speech TV seeks films

Want your film shown across the USA? FSTV have a short window to license additional titles. We have started previews, and would love to see any titles you feel would be a good match for Free Speech TV’s unique mission (see below), and that are also available for US television.
Please send preview DVDs to our Denver offices at your earliest convenience:

Free Speech TV
Acquisitions Manager
2900 Welton St., Ste 300
Denver, CO 80205

Thanks for continuing to support progressive, independent media. Looking
forward to working with you.

All the best,
Eric Berthelette

MISSION: Working with activists and artists, Free Speech TV (FSTV) uses
television to cultivate an informed and active citizenry in order to advance
progressive social change.

DISTRIBUTION: FSTV broadcasts 24 hours a day via DISH Network Channel 9415.
Many programs are also distributed via public, educational, and government
access cable affiliates nationwide. Today, FSTV’s total potential audience
is estimated at 30 million U.S. homes.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: FSTV is a project of Public Communicators, Inc.
(PCI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. PCI also operates Free Speech
Internet Television (FSITV), which is available on-line at

PROGRAMMING PHILOSOPHY: FSTV promotes participatory democracy, grassroots
organizing, and cross-community dialogue. It advocates for social justice,
respect for the environment, peaceful conflict resolution, and the
protection of human rights. Most importantly, it honors diversity and
provides a platform for voices and points of view traditionally excluded
from television, including those of women, people of color, indigenous
people, gay men and lesbians, and the poor at home and abroad.

Piracy by Adam Buxton

Sums up neatly how the fear is being created over people sharing files on their computers

Film fund for young people

Young Film Fund (UK)
First Light Movies provides grants to projects that enable young people
to participate in all aspects of film productions. Since launching in
2001, First Light Movies have enabled over 12,000 young filmmakers to
write, act, shoot, light, direct and produce over 800 films. The funding
is available to organisations such as schools, youth services, community
and voluntary groups that work with young people aged between 5 and 18.
Every year approximately £700,000 of grants is available through three
funding streams. The Studio Awards provides grants of up to £30, 000 for
between two and four films of up to 10 minutes. The Script Awards
provides grants of up to £3,000 for script writing projects that team
young people with script professionals. The Pilot Awards provides grants
of up to £5,000 for one short film of up to five minutes in duration.

The Script and Pilot elements of the fund will re-open for applications
on the 2nd March and closes for applications on the 27th April 2010. For
more information, visit:

Friday, March 05, 2010

Soldier sent to Jail for refusing to fight War on 'Terror'

On the day that Gordon Brown tried to justify to the Chilcot Inquiry his role in the illegal Iraq war -- which is widely condemned as a war crime Lance Corporal Joe Glenton has been sent to jail for his refusal to fight the war in Afghanistan which he believes is unjustified and a sensless loss of life for Afghans and British soldiers alike.

Joe Glenton was sentenced today to nine months imprisonment.This extremely harsh sentence ignored many of the facts of the case; that Joe had post-traumatic stress disorder, that he had raised concerns about the war with his superiors and been bullied as a result, and that he had voluntarily returned to barracks after going absent without leave.

The judge herself made it clear the sentence was not based on the facts of the case but on a desire to deter other members of the military from taking a stand of conscience.

Joe is a brave and defiant man. He left the court under guard with a clenched fist held high. His outspoken defiance and the national campaign to defend him had already forced the authorities to drop the much more serious charge of desertion.


An anthropological introduction to YouTube

The Machine is Us/ing Us

What is inside a Solar panels ?

Climate Change video competition

The Challenge
Create an original video that envisions how climate change will impact our lives over the next 20 to 30 years. Looking beyond the doom and gloom and the policy discussions that have dominated the debate, how would you envision a human-centered, sustainable future? Which behaviors will change? Which will be preserved?

Grand Prizes
One prize of US$3,000, plus a “Deep Dive” half-day workshop with IDEO in each age category (winner to be chosen by our judges).


You are invited to the following event -

Local news media are in crisis. The Newspaper Society notes that 101 local
newspapers closed down between January 2008 and August 2009 while ITV has
said it can no longer afford to provide a regional news service. Buffeted
by the recession and the impact of the internet, the current business
model for local news is facing collapse and, perhaps with it, the pursuit
of local news that is in the public interest. The government has responded
by setting up pilot Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) while the
Conservatives have promised to scrap the pilots and to relax local
cross-media ownership rules to safeguard the provision of local journalism.

A pre-election meeting in Parliament to highlight local journalism and
Wednesday 17 March, 2-4pm, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Westminster,
Bridge Street, London. SW1P 3JA.

Speakers include: Jeremy Dear (General Secretary of the NUJ); Steve Hewlett
(broadcaster, R4 The Media Show and Guardian columnist), Professor James
Curran, (Director of Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre), Natalie
Fenton (editor of New Media, Old News), Angela Phillips (founder, East
London Lines), Professor Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds).

This event aims to make the future of local news an election headline. It
will highlight the importance of robust news coverage for local democracy
and propose concrete steps to halt the decline in local news, such as those
contained in the NUJ's economic stimulus plan to reinvigorate local
journalism. , such as those contained in the NUJ's economic stimulus plan
that aims to reinvigorate local journalism. Speakers will address:

• why politicians and the public should care about local news
• the significance of local news for meaningful local democracy
• the viability of the Independently Funded News Consortia scheme
• the need for public policy action to ensure a future for local news
• possibilities for new initiatives in the provision of local news

Attendance is free but places are strictly limited. Please contact Joanna
Redden ( to reserve a place.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Green your home

Guide to Greening up your home
Greening your home can save you energy and money as well as making it healthier and lowering its carbon footprint

Eco retrofits
For inspiration, check out these pioneering examples of full eco-retrofits on the Ecovation website. You'll see super-insulated, energy efficient, energy generating houses around the UK that have been transformed by their owners. There are houses of all ages, shapes and sizes - from a church cottage to an 1890's Oxford semi.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Useful skills from Swansea

Here's our new website- a collection of videos filmed in Swansea of useful skills
The videos show skills which are useful for Swansea people to learn during the current economic climate.

Women say No to naked scanners

2 women refuse to take naked scanner test at airport. It is believed this is the first time passengers have refused to go through the scanners.A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "Two female passengers who were booked to fly out of Terminal 2 refused to be scanned for medical and religious reasons.
"Body scanning is a big change for customers who are selected under the new rules and we are aware that privacy concerns are on our customers' minds, which is why we have put strict procedures to reassure them that their privacy will be protected."
The women forfeited their flight and left the airport.

The Earth

This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.

Free ecohouse designs

Incorporating green design principles into new or existing homes is increasingly de rigueur among the growing masses of eco-minded consumers, but figuring out the logistics isn't always straightforward. Working on the belief that green design should be available to all, FreeGreen is a new site that offers free, downloadable green house plans.

With 49,460 house plans downloaded (and counting), FreeGreen is the world’s largest provider of home design.

Folding Solar Panels

PowerFilm, Inc. Foldable Solar Chargers are the lightest, most compact, and most portable solar solution for remote, expeditionary power needs.

* Performs even in low light – PowerFilm Solar chargers have been designed to absorb light even during light conditions. The panel is able to charge for more hours per day than competing technologies
* Originally designed for military use – PowerFilm Foldable Solar Chargers are highly durable. Foldable Solar Chargers resist point damage extremely well, resulting in a charger that still functions, with minimal loss of output, even after subjected to puncturing
* Accessories Included - Using the Foldable Solar Charger is made easy with the included 12 V female barrel adaptor. Plug in 12 V compatible devices to the solar charger directly
* Designed for reliability – Unlike crystalline solar cells that are prone to shattering, PowerFilm Solar modules are flexible. The Foldable series of PowerFilm Solar chargers also use a redundant design to help provide power in the event a section should become damaged

Buy them in the UK here

Monday, March 01, 2010

Subverting Richard and Judy

I laughed so hard I nearly burst!

Neighbourhood Destroyed by Gentrification

Barcelona, Catalonia Gentrification is accelerating all over the world Here in Barceloneta a once strong community is being transformed. We produced a map to show what used to be here. The erased geography is a door that reminds us of the despoiled spaces of la Barceloneta.

Immigration, Refuge and Displacement- films wanted

Refuge in Films is calling for films produced between January 2007 and
April 2010, on the subjects of Immigration, Refuge and Displacement. The
call is open to national and international filmmakers from all backgrounds.
The festival will run during Refugee Week 2009 in 18th to 20th June in
London at the BFI Southbank.

The deadline is 30th April, 2010.
Please send your film in DVD format, two stills in JPEG format and a
submission form that you can find in this link:

Refuge in Films 2009
357 Kennington Lane
SE11 5QY

For more information please contact Beatriz Villate at: or (+44) 07903494703.