Throughout the year we curate selections from our moving image archive (Birmingham Media Archive Project) and share these at our Digbeth space plus online in the ‘videotheque’ – part of our Vimeo channel.
Currently on loan and touring:
PARADISE CIRCUS, Heather Powell/ Birmingham Film and Video Workshop (1988).
We are delighted to share news that Heather Powell’s 1988 film Paradise Circus continues to tour in the UK and internationally.
The film is included in the Arts Council Collection touring exhibition ‘Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City‘. Curated by Lubaina Himid, the exhibition opened at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 14 May – 4 September 2022. Here, the work sat in dialogue with Cathy Wade’s ‘For the Car, for the Body’ (digital video, field recordings, photo documentation, re-narration of Paradise Circus and internet searches) 2017, revealing a continuum from the past to the present in how the city is experienced and designed that still refutes womxn’s experiences.
Read a review of the Matrix show, Barbican London by Oliver Wainwright for the Guardian here
A viewing copy of Paradise Circus is held in our video archive, and is free to view through Vimeo on request.
… and over on our Vimeo channel:
WEST MIDLANDS ANTI-DEPORTATION CAMPAIGN (23:52 mins, colour, sound)
TURC Video produced by Trevor Boden, Harry McNichol, David Pritchard, Dave Rushton, Norman Staples, Ian Waldie, Ann Yap.
MUHAMMAD IDRISH MUST STAY! (8:46, colour, sound)
TURC Video produced by Ranbir K Bains, Joanne Brookman, Marian Hall.
Films made for the NALGO led Anti-Deportation Campaign in the West Midlands, produced by TURC Video with Muhammad Idrish. The selection of this work from the archive was initiated by artist Adam Lewis Jacob, who from 2018-20 worked with Vivid Projects as part of a national artist film project, WORK which explored the realities of what ‘work’ means for the ways we live today, engaging directly with the experiences of contemporary working lives.
During his residency, Lewis Jacob looked at materials and narratives within the TURC Video and VIVID archives (courtesy of Vivid Projects, Yasmeen Baig-Clifford and Marian Hall) and discovered the vital work of veteran Birmingham activist and campaigner Muhammad Idrish during the 1980s West Midlands Anti-Deportation Campaigns. The film includes footage of a protest march when 2500 people marched with Idrish through Handsworth to Birmingham City Centre on the 8 October 1983 with the slogan Muhammad Idrish Must Stay – Stop the Deportation!
The films invite reflection on the history and ethos of workers’ activism, and the ongoing fight to retain the right to stay when confronted with a ‘hostile environment’.
Muhammad Idrish was born in 1950, Faridpur, central Bangladesh. After studying Physics at Dhaka university he came to the UK in 1976 for postgraduate training in optical technology at Bristol Polytechnic. He later married and applied to remain in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen, which was granted. Refused permanent residency following the break up of his marriage, Muhammad was threatened with deportation. He fought back. A campaign to stop Muhammad’s deportation received widespread support and his trade union NALGO (now UNISON ) took up the fight nationally. After three years of public campaigning a London court ruled in his favour and the Government was forced to reverse its decision. After winning his campaign Muhammad was actively involved in setting up of West Midlands Anti Deportation Campaign and the National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns. These two organisations successfully campaigned for scores of individuals and families.
PUT PEOPLE FIRST / TURC & BFVW (1983)
Put People First was produced with funding from the trade union NALGO, to campaign against the privatisation of council services and nationalised industries. TURC worked in partnership with the recently established local Channel 4 workshop BFVW (in 1983, still called the Birmingham Film Workshop) to produce the film. It is part of one of the first major campaigns that TURC became involved in against the privatisation of the public sector. NALGO (National Association of Local Government Officers) was running a campaign under the banner ‘Put People First’ and contracted TURC to make a campaign video for them.
‘We edited the material in different ways to make three videos: a longer one aimed at trade union members giving them the arguments to state their case, one at employers showing the pitfalls of privatisation and a shorter 20 minute version aimed at the general public. Production was on the lo-band U-matic format – cheaper than broadcast quality but still of sufficient quality to allow decent VHS copies to be made for distribution’. Marian Hall, former video worker at TURC Video, Birmingham Centre for Media Arts and VIVID.
Sophie Huckfield’s ‘Factories Leaving The Worker’ (2022, Vivid Projects x BMAG commission) was screened at Barbican Centre for the Chronic Youth Film Festival (April 2023). Sophie was shortlisted for the 2024 FLAMIN Fellowship with her proposal to build upon research into the Birmingham Film and Video Workshop (BFVW) and Trade Union Resource Centre’s (TURC) archives antecedent to Vivid Projects, considering intersectional feminist framings of women’s relationship to trade unionism and deindustrialisation from the 1970’s to the present day.
Keep in touch with future screenings and subscribe to the Videotheque at https://vimeo.com/vividprojects