Sun/Mon 10/11 July 10.30am
Discover 1960s British Caribbean heritage on the big screen. Join festival hosts Geff Francis, star of Ashes to Ashes and Charles Thompson MBE, founder of the Screen Nation Awards.£20 for one day pass, £30 for two day pass. To book call 020 7942 1122
Sunday 10 July Earl Cameron CBE - view rare footage of his life in films – he recently starred alongside Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter and Helen Mirren in The Queen.Jemima & Johnny – 1966, in a West London community divided by racism,a white English boy befriends the daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean. Plus audience with Jim Pines, Earl Cameron and guests.
Monday 11 July Generation to Generation: Carnival History Followed by an audience with Clarence Thompson MBE and guests.Looking for Claudia Jones She arrived in Britain in 1955. She produced Britain’s first black newspaper in 1958 and the Notting Hill Carnival in 1959.
Reggae : This film tells the story of ‘The People’s Club’ and the 1970 Caribbean Music Festival. Featuring John Holt, Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, Black Faith, Millie Small, The Maytals, Desmond Dekker and more. Followed by a discussion with Joel Karamath and Horace Ove.
Second UK screening. Directed by Clairemont Chung the film takes a straightforward approach to Rodneys life in Guyana, Jamaica, Tanzania and England. Interviews with Horace Campbell, Robert Hill,Rex Nettleford, Rupert Roopnaraine,Issa Shivji,Haroub Outhman,Amiri Baraka, Manning Marable,Asha Rodney and Donald Rodney among others.It covers Rodney’s political activities in Guyana in the final few years of his life in which he formed the Working People’s Alliance. Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980, when a bomb disguised as a walkie talkie, given to him by Sergeant Gregory Smith of the Guyana Defence Force, exploded.
The ‘Black History Walks’ site advertises a wide range of events and activities that are open to all and include (of course!) walking tours, films, exhibitions, debates and discussions. Contact them at their site for more information!
From July 4 – 24, various venues across London are hosting ‘Shubbak,’ a festival of Arab culture. As the program for the festival says, ‘the Arab community has long been a major part of what makes the city exciting,’ and this festival – inititated by London’s Mayor, and the first of its kind in Europe, shows that the creative achievements of London’s Arabic community stretch far beyond the Edgware Road (the vibrant part of London where you can drop in at a shisha bar, grab a kebab and glass of delicious mint tean and otherwise indulge in a taste of Arab life in London 24/7).
Many events are free or extremely reasonably priced, and include Rania Matar’s ‘A Girl and her Room,’ – candid portraits of teenage girls from USA, Palestine and Lebanon (until July 22) and next Wednesday, July 13, you can catch two more free events: ‘The Arabs: A history,’ explores Arab identity from Ottomanism to Islamism with Eugene Rogan, the author of the book of the same name. It’s at Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road at 6.30pm, and at the same
time at the Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Roadd, is ‘Sex and Power: Seeds of Change in the Arab World’ – a discussion between Britan Whitaker, author of ‘Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East’ and Nesrine Malik. This promises to be a lively affair, centring as it does on how the gay community fares in and amongst the calls for freedom in the Arab world. To find out more about Shubbak, visit www.london.gov.uk/shubbak
Our friends at West London Synagogue have written to remind us that the main Erev Shabbat service is on Fridays at 6pm, with the main Shabbat morning service taking place on Saturdays at 11am.
I hope you will be interested to learn that WLS is also launching a drop-in centre for asylum seekers. Refugees have historically claimed a special place in Jewish philanthropic life and I for one am extremely heartened to know that our friends at WLS are going to be doing such valuable work. To find out more about West London Synagogue, visit www.wls.org.uk
Just down the road from Faraday House at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, you will find the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving human and animal health. The Wellcome Trust houses the Wellcome Collection, home to many weird and wonderful exhibits that the general public can wander in and admire free of charge. It often stages guided tours and other activities/exhibitions, most of which are free or reasonably priced. There is also a lovely little cafe and a Blackwells (bookstore) concession, and as it is so conveniently situated just down the road from Faraday House, right opposite Euston Station, it’s really easy just to pop in if you happen to have a few minutes to spare. There you’ll find their exhibition and related activities on the intriguing subject of dirt. That’s the thing I like about the Wellcome Collection: it takes a subject we generally avoid thinking about and challenges our preconceived ideas about them. Result – a slightly more open mind! If you’d like to know more, check out their site here.
The Usa.gov website describes today as ‘a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks, and a reason to fly the American flag.’ In London however, not so much! I’ve been looking for Independence Day celebrations, and whereas the Canadians occupied all of Trafalgar Square on Friday so tons of happy folk could meet Mounties, drop pucks and generally celebrate Canada Day, down at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square today the biggest thing that is happening is an unveiling of a statue of Ronald Reagan. Hmmmmm…. Even the British sites like timeout.com are being berrated by readers for not having celebrations to advertise! Ah well, the sun is out, our skins are glowing, there are no strikes AND there is still lots to do in London today! Stuck for ideas? Check out www.alllinlondon.co.uk and you’re bound to find something fun to do. (If I had the day off work I’d get down to the South Bank and enjoy the Thames beach!). Have fun, and Happy 4th July!