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Thursday Scratch Nights

Film Screening and Talk


Film Screening and Talk

Thursday 26 April / 6.30pm / Free


Film Screening

Life in the Woods by Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff, introduced by Patrick Staff



Paganism: not a spiritual path but a sitting among the trees by Dr. Graham Harvey


In the spring of 2011 artists Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff invited a small group of participants to live together for a week in John’s Lee Wood, Leicestershire, in a critical exploration of folk revivalism, communal living and collaborative film-making.


Borrowing a format from radical outdoor educational programmes started in the early twentieth century, such as the Kibbo Kift, Woodcraft Folk and Forest School Camps, this temporary intentional community explored how group identities are constructed in relation to histories, traditions and ideologies. Through workshops, discussion and the collaborative film-making process the participants address the history of the counter culture in relation to queer politics in the British context.


The resulting film, rather than telling the story of their experience in the woods, reflects on whether living experiments such as this have the potential to produce new forms of collectivity.


Life in the Woods (2011) a film by Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff, in collaboration with Daniel Bower, Red Chidgey, Ade Clarke, William Clarke, Jesse Darling, Richard Dowling, Zia Dowling-Haigh, June Gillert, Amy James, Michael Mertens, Jamie Partridge, Natalie Raven, Hester Reeve, Yerang Seong, Sofia Törnblad.


The screening will be followed by a talk on Paganism by Dr. Graham Harvey, a Reader in Religious Studies at the Open University. He has researched among Jews, Pagans and indigenous peoples. His publications include Listening People, Speaking Earth: Contemporary Paganism (Hurst 2008, 2nd edition) and Animism: Respecting the Living World (Hurst 2005). Brought up near Stonehenge, he really got to understand Paganism in a wood in Northumberland.



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April 2012


What are Scratch Nights?

Happening every Thursday evening at the Gallery, Scratch Nights are a series of events by emerging local and national practitioners working in music/sound, film, expanded cinema, performance and spoken word.


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