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Protest Stuff

 

When I am working on a project I often feel like I do when entering a shopping mall, or when I walk around foreign cities or even just stand in a supermarket – I feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice offering itself to me, I am inundated with impressions. I don´t know what to take in or what to ignore. Similarly, when filming, I ask myself where to start, what to focus on. When have I filmed enough, and whilst editing, what do I need to leave out even though I might consider it essential? These are all relevant issues, and there is no easy solution. In the end it comes down to subjective selection processes that enable us to make decisions, but there will never be any certainty you made the right choice. Yet often I feel that by focusing on one preliminary question, a lot of these dilemmas could be simplified. What makes us grasp an issue to a fuller extent is the choice of our research tools and the familiarity with our subject. Just like writing a shopping list before doing groceries, asking ourselves before we start work on a project if it makes sense to use film, or if a mix of mediums or the choice of another medium suits the topic better, helps getting a better feel for the research. This again helps us decide when to start, when to stop, what to include or what to leave out.

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We will be down with Occupy! Manchester this sunday the 2nd of October, following the Education bloc in the march against the Tory conference. Occupy! Manchester aim to occupy Albert square after the March has finished. The day promises to be interesting, and anyone currently frustrated with those who ‘Govern’ us should join the protest.

Look back here a few days after for a report!

Information can be found at: http://www.occupymanchester.org

This is a short film on the Uncuts protest on the 18th December 2010 in Manchester. The film focuses on the actions of the UK Uncuts group (the protesters) and the role of media, the police and the general public. It shows how protests become more and more some kind of media spectacle. Furthermore it questions the police’s evidence gathering methods, as they weren´t able to provide information on what the material is being used for, nor how it is being used.

The UK Uncuts group was protesting nationwide on that day, trying to shut down certain shops or at least infer with their business. They argue that in a time of cuts on the general public, big companies such as Topshop, Vodafone and BHS shouldn´t be allowed to dodge tax or avoid paying tax by using loopholes and thus increasing the amount of cuts a normal citizen has to face as the companies’ tax money is lacking in the government’s funds. The group targeted about 6 shops that day, moving from one to the other and voicing their disapproval outside the shops’ doors.

UK Uncuts – The Big Society Tax and Revenue Customs is a mostly spontaneously organised group trying to raise people´s awareness of big companies’ tax evasion, especially those belonging to Philip Green´s Arcadia Group.

See http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/ for more information about the group.

Cuts on Education – A Student Perspective

It is common to hear that young people in Britain are not engaged or interested in politics. It is obvious however, from the current protest movement, that college students are probably the most active and political when it comes to organisation and demonstration. They are also it seems, the most passionate and enthusiastic about radical change.

In this ten minute film, A 16 year old student from Xaverian College in Rusholme (Manchester), speaks about the cutting of EMA (Educational Maintenance Allowance) and the rise in tuition fee’s. We hear how protests are organised and what links them to the wider issues of cuts and job losses.

Photos: Huw Wahl    Editing: Insa Langhorst    Sound: Huw Wahl and Insa Langhorst