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EXILE – A Mind In Winter (current)

“We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world, it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.”
Albert Camus

Painting, Photography and Film

Cedoux Kadima, Ricky Romain and Robert Golden have created an exhibition of painting, photography and film, accompanied by a sound scape.
It is concerned with the social and personal impact of alienation,
torture and physical exile.

Exile

All three artist’s lives have been affected by exile. They are intimate with its consequences, manifested in differing ways within their work. The Exhibition and Events are supported by Bridport Town Council,
Dorset Council, Dorset Music Hub,
Awards for All through The National Lottery and Bridport Arts Centre.

Threatened Deportation

The exhibition consists of 12 montages by Cedoux Kadima.
They reveal the journey he has taken from being a working artist in London for 6 years to receiving a Home Office letter. It threatened deportation back to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which he fled for helping street children
learn drawing and painting.

                  painting: Cedoux Kadima

Aspects of Alienation

From Robert Golden there are 12 panels of photographs and texts.
They expose aspects of alienation.

photograph: Robert Golden

These lead to the key painting by Ricky Romain, divided into 72 frames.
They tell the story of 36 good people and their 36 substitutes
who exist in the world to balance evil.
The frames are filled with magic, excitement, joyous cultural fusions
and our shared and flawed humanity.

painting: Ricky Romain

Exclusion, Exile and Evil

Robert’s 30 minute film is about alienation, exclusion, exile and evil.
It is an articulation and a mystery exposing the viewer to the fate of others.

Workshops and Conversations

The artists with others are offering a series of workshops,
conversations and talks for all ages.
Please check this and BAC’s websites for updates.

Cedoux’s biography is here.   Ricky’s is here.    Robert’s go here.

IMPORTANT DATES

EXHIBITION OPEN
Wednesday 2 December – Tuesday 22 December 2020
Tuesday to Saturday (see exceptions below) 10am – 4pm
The Allsop Gallery
Bridport Arts Centrer
South Street
Bridport Dorset DT6 3NR

Preview
Wednesday 2nd December,  5pm – 8pm
(see guidelines for a safe visit to the gallery.
30 people at any one time with masks)

A conversation in the gallery
6.30 – 7.15 pm
a free ticketed event for 24 people 
with Robert Golden, Cedoux Kadima and Ricky Romain
hosted by Neil Oliver
Neil Oliver works with Initiatives for Change, Switzerland and lives in Frome. Neil is part of the core team of Tools for Changemakers and work with the Hauser and Wirth Art Gallery in Bruton, Somerset.
https://www.iofc.ch/neil-oliver


“Modern Slavery” a talk by Samantha Knights QC
 Saturday Dec 5.   2pm – 3pm
a free ticketed event

Modern slavery and trafficking are prevalent across the globe. The UK has a significant number of victims and survivors within its borders. Many of these people are in fact British citizens and EU nationals. This talk will look at the legal and policy framework applicable in the UK to slavery and trafficking.

Samantha will also discuss current issues including
identification of victims and survivors,
criminal prosecutions of gang members,
the system designed to provide support and assistance,
and the importance of durable solutions to prevent re-trafficking.

Samantha Knights QC is a practising barrister at Matrix specialising in public law and civil liberties, with a focus on modern slavery,
trafficking and refugee law.

She has been involved in a number of recent challenges
to policy, law and practice relating to the immigration status,
support and accommodation for victims of slavery
and trafficking as well as numerous other strategic human rights cases before the courts in the UK and Strasbourg.

Samantha is the chair of the Advisory Board
of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC),
and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami
where she teaches international human rights law.

Her new book Law, Rights, and Religion
will be published by OUP in December 2020.


 A CONCERT
by Ricky Romain, Sitar and Udit Pankhania,Tabla
Tuesday December 8, 5.30pm

Concert at 6.00pm  – 7.00 pm
a free ticketed event


Gallery open
Thursday December 10,
 
 10am – 6pm
 
World Music Concert (no interval)
(A ticketed event for an audience of 30 people)
at 7.30pm – 9.00pm
a free ticketed event


Robert Golden talking about
Storytelling and Finding a Voice in Film and Photography
Saturday December 12, 2pm – 4pm
In the gallery
a free ticketed event


ARTIST AS CITIZEN
Robert Golden and Ricky Romain
in conversation about creative collaboration and social responsibility
Tuesday Dec 15, 6pm – 7.30 pm
In the gallery
a free ticketed event


Bridport Welcomes Refugees – A Conversation
The Bridport Refugee Support Campaign,
Bridport’s Rights Respecting Town,
Place of Sanctuary, Bridport
with HOME in Bridport
Thursday December 17, 6pm – 7.30pm
in the
The Allsop Gallery
(open 5.30pm)
a free ticketed event


Last day of Exhibition
Tuesday December 22, 10am-2pm


For further enquires:
info.homeinbridport@gmail.com
or
BAC Box Office 01308 424204

with thanks to:

                

     

 

 

OSMAN AND HIS SNAILS – a lockdown opera

I was asked by Nigel Osborne, composer and aid worker, and Tina Ellen Lee, Artistic Director of Opera Circus to join them in making a film of a locked-down opera with 5 singers on different continents thousands of miles apart. Nigel told me the moving story of Osman Kavala, a Turkish human rights worker, imprisoned in Istanbul with ridiculous charges made against him. 

Recently a story appeared about Osman and his pet snails.

https://www.duvarenglish.com/human-rights/2020/02/20/osman-kavala-looked-after-snails-in-prison-had-to-abandon-them-after-rearrest/

A work of (unpaid) true collaboration began when numbers of the team helped to write the libretto; with Nigel composing the music across two days and nights; Anthony Ingle transcribing the music to piano and providing the 10 minute track for the rest of us to be guided by; followed by Tina asking the five wonderful singers, with whom she has worked for many years, if they would give their time; and a young Danish musician, Mikael Hegelund Martin of Beats across Borders, offering to clean up and balance the sound recorded on mobile phones; and Andy Morton, a singer and director in Australia, helping his fellow singers into their roles. 

I worked via Skype across the globe under our lock-down, coaching the singers to remember to frame themselves against a solid colour, central to the horizontally propped-up mobile phone; and as if in some comedy skit, asking them to bring the one or two movable lamps in their own locked-down flats around to the front so the light was on their faces, to hang grease proof paper or a thin white linen shirt or skirt in front of the lamp to soften the highlights, to tape a newspaper page onto a broom handle, with it in turn tapped to an chair’s upright so that light could reflect back into the darker side of their faces. I asked them to remember, while singing, where their eyelines should be in particular shots, and so on. They were very patient. 

Everyone worked as volunteers with the sole purpose to help Osman, a man most of us had never met. When I had conversations with the singers before they recorded in their darkened rooms on their own, listening to the piano track in one ear and concentrating as best they could on their roles with neither a camera operator, sound tech nor a director to help them, one of the singers told me she found a picture of Osman and put it next to her phone, to sing to him. 

I believe we were all conscious that perhaps the fate of a good man was to some degree in our hands and that every delay perhaps meant Osman would be held another day or month or year away from his books and loved ones. 

The opera will be shared and distributed through Amnesty International, PEN, Open Democracy and by everyone who loves and believes in justice and freedom. Music and song have a powerful part to play at the heart of our humanity and care and respect for each other.

The film goes live on 22 June 2020. I will post whatever call to action may develop. Please pass this to your friends.

The film can be seen here in English, and here in Turkish.

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THIS GOOD EARTH a feature documentary

 

THIS GOOD EARTH  is a documentary Robert has been filming since June 2018. It is now in post-production.  The film is about the state of the UK’s food and farming system at this critical time in Britain’s history. These two combined sectors of food production are financially larger than the aerospace and the car industries.

It is divided into three parts: Soil, The Land and Biodiversity and Farming, Food and Disease. It links farming and food system to the state of the countryside’s flora, fauna and soil, to regulations, to health and wellbeing of people and to the state of the earth and to excessive loss of species. It concentrates in Dorset but has far broader relevance.

Farmers, bakers, cooks, scientists, health professionals and professors tell these stories.

The central themes are:

  • How the food system can avoid further adding to greenhouse gasses and ecological degradation while producing healthy availably priced food able to feed nine billion people by 2050.
  • How people can be helped educationally, financially and culturally both by government policy and on the ground to willingly develop diets to increase their health and wellbeing.
  • How the financial, institutional, corporate, policy-makers and the political class continue to be impediments to rapid progressive change.
  • What the relationship is between agriculture, the overall food system, global warming, hunger and non-communicative degenerative diseases, and how they are an unnecessary consequence of individual and corporate desire for wealth and power.

We believe this film will be interesting to educational institutions from primary schools through higher education, to those interested in and care about global warming, agriculture, the production of food via the international food industry, flora and fauna species preservation, land use, and good food as well as those interested in food poverty and human rights.

At each stage of post production, we have shown the film to those who have been interviewed or participated in some way, to be certain they believe they have been fairly represented and if they have any comments or criticisms to make. We have been pleased by the responses.

“The film is fabulous; really defends nature from agrochemical farming.” S. Wilberforce – climate change campaigner

“Superb Robert! I loved it, as I knew I would. Lovely tone and feel, a sense of place and permanence, and wise people. The key messages come over well. The title is great: This Good Earth.” Professor Jules Pretty

“This is great – beautiful and thought-provoking and certainly whets the appetite for the rest.”      Tom Monroe, Dorset AONB

The sheer beauty of the film and its clear and carefully crafted mixture of personal experiences with expert science strike me as exceptionally powerful.  It sends a strong message while avoiding being preachy.  And it’s really informative, triggering all kinds of associations in my mind as I suspect it will for others.”  Richard Harvey, Human Rights lawyer

There is an early stage prom for it here.

We are aiming for a release in autumn 2020 and looking forward to creating partnerships with appropriate charities and other organizations who will accept the film as part of the progressive discussions to change our world for the better, in particular in regard to global warming and the human right to good, sufficient and culturally appropriate food for all.

Please contact us at ThisGoodEarth@gmail.com  

CURIOSITY FIRST

Life’s problems almost never offer ‘either/or’. Nothing is truly clear, little is completely understood and even less is fully right or wrong.

Making photographs begins with curiosity and with an itch. Without curiosity you have no need nor desire to enter what is often a time consuming exercise. Without the itch – an inexplicable desire to regard the light reflecting from the ever moving, ever changing and unpredictable three-dimensional flesh and blood world, and to coax it through a lens. This transforms life into a frozen two-dimensional artefact that becomes a representation rather than actual life. Without that itch, this task is too arduous.

It’s the curiosity of a child when she asks, “what is this” and “what is that?” It’s not ‘childish’ but filled with the innocence of ‘child-like’ curiosity, of making sense of her world.

For me, I keep asking ‘why’ until there is no ‘why’ left. At that moment – given the limitations of my knowledge and personality – I’ve reached as far down into the essence of the thing as I can. It’s like cooking ingredients of a sauce until only the essential syrup is left.

There are the curiosities of the external world with its wild, unknown but tantalizing hills and valleys beyond our horizons. Then there are the curiosities of one’s inner life of the psyche, often surrounded by restricted freedom and social immobility. But there we can discover unlimited dreams and desires. These two worlds describe a fusion between the inner and outer dimensions of our lives. Both are real and valid, both hold adventures for the soul and the mind. Both can be investigated through ones work.

When I am more concerned with my ‘self’ rather than the world around my ‘self’, my work becomes narrower, less generous and too preoccupied with a private dialogue. It’s particularly difficult for those under the age of 35 in the European and Anglo-American worlds to realise that the individual, without community, is of less interest and less value in this period when a unity of the well-meaning is so vital and when now, we must use our intellectual and creative tools to show in detail, what this world is. 

When we think otherwise, we enter the ideologues or worse, the fundamentalist’s world of fixed ideas and exclusivity which condemns all who dare to imagine or to disagree as ‘heretics’, ‘the damned’, ‘the other’ and as such, not worthy of life.

This child, wrapped in netting, rushing through an allotment, is a curious picture – an image about innocence, a delight with one’s own imaginings and phantoms. photo: Robert Golden

Art deals with the ambiguities of life. Fundamentalists, like bureaucrats, politicians and the security services only comprehend ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Bureaucracy, for instance, is characterized by its box-ticking methodology. That is because it only functions in black and white, in the tidy world of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to maintain their version of order.

Creativity by necessity of its processes let alone its inclination to embrace the unknowable,
is the enemy of order, the bête noir of defined options and of closed totalities demanded by those who control bureaucracies, rule politics and make war.

This is why, before anything else, we need to know that we can and must ask questions, that we must be endlessly curious. It is this curiosity through which creativity and freedom is discovered.