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Political Cinema for the 21st Century: conference, exhibition and launch event for the Radical Film Network, 7-8 February 2015
Sat, Feb 7 2015 9am
Venue: Birmingham City University Parkside Campus and Vivid Projects

Neoliberal capitalism and its disastrous social, political and ecological consequences are wreaking havoc around the globe. In Britain as elsewhere, governments are cutting wages for the employed and taxes for the wealthy, and are busy waging campaigns of privatisation and (en)closure that are rendering hard-won social gains – such as universal healthcare or access to higher education – beyond the reach of working people. Without the support of their allies in the media industries, governments would find it immeasurably harder to manufacture the consent this kind of class warfare requires.  

While the mainstream media remains overwhelmingly in the hands of the rich, artists and activists around the world are working hard to use the tools available to challenge that media power. In Britain as elsewhere, radical film culture has expanded significantly in recent years, and there is now a wealth of organisations and individuals dedicated to the production, distribution and exhibition of films broadly aligned with the politics of the radical left. In September 2013, representatives from a number of these organisations met to discuss ways in which those involved in radical film culture could work together to support its development, growth and sustainability, and formed the Radical Film Network (RFN) as a result. 

Political Cinema for the 21st Century is the inaugural event of the RFN. We invite all those active or interested in radical film culture to come and discuss their work and ideas, meet those involved in the RFN so far, and debate the past, present and future of radical film in Britain and around the world. Contributions can be up to 20 minutes in length, in any format you like, and cover any or more of the following topics:

• What is radical film/history/culture/practice?
• Your or your organisations’ practice (as filmmaker/s, exhibitors, artist/s, researcher/s etc.)
• The relationship/s between radical film culture and ‘the mainstream’
• The relationships and/or crossovers between professionals and amateurs, paid and unpaid, academics and activists etc.
• New technologies/formats/platforms: consequences and possibilities
• Historical and theoretical perspectives on radicalism and the moving image
• Funding and policy: opposition, intervention or assimilation?
• Pedagogy and radical film: practice, history, theory

Presentations can be in any format and up to 20 minutes in length. Proposals for panels of speakers are also very welcome. Please send all proposals for individual presentations, panels and other contributions to Steve Presence ( The deadline for proposals is October 1st 2014

For more info please email: Sarah Redman at 

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Political Cinema for the 21st Century: conference, exhibition and launch event for the Radical Film Network, 7-8 February 2015