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Practices of belonging, practices of place:Conversations in film & research

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Goldsmiths

8 Lewisham Way

London

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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This two-part event explores the use of film to tell sociological stories about place and belonging. It marks the final stage of the ESRC project funded project 'The Choreography of Everyday Multiculture: bowling together?' .

The first part of the event is an afternoon workshop aimed at those interested in video and film methods. It brings together three teams of researchers and film-makers to discuss the process of collaboration and the potential of using film in social research. Registration is required.

Venue: Media Research Building 5 screen 1 (12.30-5.30) Speakers: Emma Jackson (Goldsmiths), Esther Johnson (Sheffield Hallam University), Andy Lee (London College of Fashion), Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths), Ben Rogaly (University of Sussex).

The second part of the event is a website launch and screening of the film 'Bowling Together: Portrait of a League' by Andy Lee and Emma Jackson. This is open to all and will be accompanied by a wine reception.

Venue: Goldsmiths tba (6pm-8.30pm)

The event is free. When booking please choose between Part 1 Part 2 ,or both.

Twitter @bowltogether

Speakers and Films

Emma Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology department at Goldsmiths. Her research and writing explore the relationship between everyday practices of belonging and the production of spaces and places in cities. She is author of ‘Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility’(2015), co-author of 'Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies' (2017), ‘The Middle Classes and the City: a Study of Paris and London’ (2015) and co-editor of ‘Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location’ (2014). She is an editor of The Sociological Review.

Esther Johnson (MA Royal College of Art, London) is an artist and filmmaker working at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary. Her poetic portraits focus on marginal worlds, to reveal resonant stories that may otherwise remain hidden or ignored. Her film works have exhibited in 40 countries and have been shown on BBC and Channel 4. Her audio works have been broadcast on ABC Australia, BBC Radio 4, Resonance FM and RTÉ radio. She is Professor of Film and Media Arts within the Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, and was awarded the UK Philip Leverhulme Prize in Performing and Visual Arts for young scholars from 2012-2015. http://blanchepictures.com

Andy Lee is a Senior Lecturer at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and the course leader for MA Fashion Media Production which offers cross-disciplinary practice in film and digital media. As an independent filmmaker Andy has produced, directed and edited a host of documentary based work for The History Channel to Barclays Bank and is currently co-authoring a book on Fashion Film for Bloomsbury Visual Arts. An agitator and advocate for mobile-first academic and creative practice, Andy has presented on technology and next generation storytelling at fashion film festivals from Buenos Aires to Berlin.

Nirmal Puwar is a Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths. She is the author of 'Space Invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place' (2004) and editor of 'Live Methods' (2012). Her work explores themes of post-colonialism, race and gender, and critical methodologies.

Ben Rogaly teaches geography at the University of Sussex. In his recent research in England on the geographies of urban space and of agricultural, food factory and warehouse work-places, he has collaborated with film-makers, photographers, theatre practitioners and other artists, as well as with oral history narrators, and with academics from various different disciplines. He is currently Co-Investigator on an AHRC-funded project, Creative Interruptions.

Alone Together, the Social Life of Benches (Johnson, 2015) illuminates the thoughts and memories of frequent users of two public spaces in London: General Gordon Square, Woolwich and St Helier Open Space, Sutton. Revolving around the micro-space of the humble bench, the experiential capacity of film is used to highlight themes such as the feeling of being in a space, the rhythm and flow of visitors to a place, and the importance of design for everyday street furniture. The film acts like a stranger who joins you on a bench to ‘watch the world go by’, and to break the ice by starting a conversation with their fellow bench user. the film is part of collaborative research The Bench Project that explores how individuals and groups use public space in contemporary urban Britain.

Bowling Together? Portait of a League (Lee and Jackson, 2016): In the middle of Finsbury Park, a busy and fast-changing area of North London, sits the local institution of Rowans ten pin bowling alley. This short documentary about Rowans' bowling league is the product of a collaboration between a sociologist, Emma Jackson, and a film-maker, Andy Lee. Through focusing on the world of the league and introducing its diverse cast of characters – including ‘The Legend’ – the film explores themes of bowling as a practice of belonging in the city, that is both highly performative and social. It explores bowling’s rich material cultures and the process of becoming a bowler. Through presenting the stories of the bowlers in the environment they are describing, the film aims to create a sense of place, to take the viewer into the sensory realm of the bowling alley with its distinctive sights and sounds, while also introducing the particular group of people that cluster here. Recognising these modes of community and practices of belonging becomes socially and politically important in a context where the social worlds of accessible leisure spaces are disappearing in a gentrifying city. The film aims to makes a subtle intervention through presenting the social richness of this extraordinary-ordinary place in a fast-changing urban environment. The film is part of a larger ethnographic project, 'The Choreography of Everyday Multiculture: Bowling Together'.

Cinema III (Puwar and Sharma, 2009)

Menace and melancholia as layered textures explore complex histories. Space, sound, colour, stone and paper mutate. Differing intimacies to a cinema which has sat as a ruin for over twenty years, is due for demolition and was once a thriving cinema scene are evoked by the voices of three characters.

Kabhi Ritz, Kabhie Paladium (Puwar and Powar, 2003)

Through interviews with local people, Kabhi Ritz Kabhie Palladium explores the history of Coventry's Asian cinema scene from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Before permanent theatres were established there were roving Indian cinema events. They took place in different halls and cinemas across the city. These included The Roxy in Foleshill Road (now a Gurdwara) and The Savoy in Radford (now a bingo hall. The Savoy hosted the film star Vyjayanthimala in 1959 and continued to be hired for screenings such as Mother India that played to full houses even after the establishment of permanent Indian cinemas at The Ritz and The Palladium. The organisers, mostly members of the Indian Welfare and Cultural Society, ingeniously provided free buses that went from specific stops to The Savoy in order to circumvent the competition from the other two cinemas. In spite of this the Indian Welfare and Cultural Society and the shareholders of The Ritz did sometimes agree to minimise competition by showing the same film on alternate weekends.

The social organisation that went into hiring and buying cinemas, or halls where films could be screened, involved a complex chain of relations. All of this, along with negotiations with film companies and the advertising and selling of tickets, generated new social collectivities and friendships. And as Coventry was one of the first places in the Midlands to screen Indian films, Asian people who lived in neighbouring locales like Leamington, Leicester and Birmingham would travel long distances, at a time when transport was not easily available, to see the movies.

From the 1940s to the 1960s, film screenings were especially crucial for fostering companionship and camaraderie amongst the small number of Asian peopte that sought each other out across different cities and towns. The tales they have to tell us are just as fascinating as any coming out of contemporary Bollywood.




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Goldsmiths

8 Lewisham Way

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SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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