We are very pleased to confirm that we will be presenting insights on
the Film and Video Workshop Movement from this acclaimed 2009 project for the Channel 4 and Film Culture 30th Anniversary
conference. The conference and events take place at the BFI Southbank, London
The presentation draws upon research and presentations developed for
‘Participation’ exhibition that ran at VIVID in 2009 as well as the
involvement of Roger Shannon as the original
coordinator of BFTVW.
In 2009 VIVID received one of the first Digital
Film Archive Fund Awards from Screen WM for the Participation exhibition and archive project
centred on the emergence of new film forms, radical politics and
practices, led by the British workshop movement in the 1980s. The works presented in the exhibition centred on the rise of
Thatcherism and the social turmoil of the period, and featured seminal early pieces from Isaac Julien/Sankofa, Black Audio Film Collective and Amber alongside long unseen and groundbreaking video work from the Birmingham Film and Video Workshop made for Channel 4.
The work of the Birmingham Film and Video Workshop plays a central
part in the project and the exhibition reminded us that the group produced
the UK's first feature shot on video and brought work made in
collaboration with young people to the mainstream through Channel 4.
Vivid director Yasmeen Baig-Clifford said: "The Birmingham workshop scene of the 80s operated in a time of creative ferment and challenges to the mainstream, and was a scene that embraced black film
makers, feminist film makers, the documentary tradition, the alternative
scene and early participatory work with young people.
Companies like Vivid grew out of this ferment, and we are passionate about
the need to finally uncover the people and the work of this period".
November 2012 signals the 30th Anniversary of Channel 4; a time to look back on what has been achieved.
The C4 conference presentation will be developed by Vivid
Projects Director Yasmeen Baig-Clifford
with Dr. Paul Long (BCU) and Professor Roger Shannon (Edge Hill). As Dr.
Paul Long notes, "Amidst the celebrations of 25 years of Channel 4 in
2007, there was
little acknowledgement of the existence of the workshop movement, let
alone an appreciation of its cultural value or assessment of its legacy.
What was a film and video workshop, what kinds of work did they do and
why were they significant? Indeed, were they significant at all?"
We welcome the opportunity to consider the contribution of BFTVW to
film culture and its overlooked legacy in a wider creative ecology; in
addition to reflecting on aspects of a pre-digital moment of
participatory film production, distribution and consumption. We
look forward to unlocking some treasures from the digital archive and
bringing some ground breaking work from Birmingham to national
Further details to be announced in September 2012.
All enquiries to email@example.com.
Image: Birmingham Film and Video Workshop archive.