bioskop at UWE occupation

The Bioskop went to Frenchay Campus last night to show our support for students of the University of West of England who have set up a Camp for Education in protest against the proposed raising of university fees by the Con-Lib government. On the day of Bioskop’s visit (7/12/10) the occupation had been going for two weeks and the mood was of anticipation for the big vote on cuts, to be announced on Thursday 9th December. There were about 20-30 people at the camp coming and going during the evening.

The Films included David Harvey‘s internet distributed RSA Animate lecture, Despite TV’s analysis of the Police Riot at the 1990 Poll Tax demonstration,  Santiago Alvarez’s classic film on the US civil rights struggle Now!, a Miners Campaign Tape about women in the Miners Strike, and artist and theorist Hito Steyerl‘s video essay In Freefall .

All the films (you can see them here) were produced outside  mainstream broadcast media channels – at the times they were made the mainstream media were uncritically reporting an establishment line.

Likewise in the UK in late 2010 the mainstream print and broadcast media has been reporting the government line – that  their cuts to services are an “inevitable”, “common sense” response to current economic problems …  when in fact they are part of a highly ideological programme of free market neo-liberal economic policies aimed at marketizing Education, Health and public services – some of the central things that make living in the UK less inequal, worthwhile, decent and interesting.

Why aren’t the mainstream media pointing out that 1. The cuts are not the only possible and”inevitable” solution to the economic situation?  2. It was the free market that caused the crash and economic problems in the first place, so why are the government telling us that free market neo-liberal policies will solve the problems they caused?

These are points made with good humour by Professor Greg Philo here, and by David Harvey  below

Many Thanks to all the members of the Camp For Education occupation for their hospitality and the post-film discussions -  Special thanks to Steve Presence for contributing great film choices and introducing us on the night. You can find more information on the films shown and a resource list  of other relevant films recommended by friends of the Bioskop here.

Postscript:  London – two days later.

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