Forming a Residents Association – The Role of Video in Response to the UK Housing Crisis presented as part of Document Film Festival 2021
Sun 31 Jan 2021 / 12pm
LUX Scotland is delighted to present a screening of short films Forming a Residents Association (1974) by Sue Hall & John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins and Home and Dry? (1987) by Leeds Animation Workshop in partnership with Document Human Rights Film Festival.
Following a screening of short films, filmmaker and researcher Ed Webb-Ingall will be joined by Tamima Lerkins (Women Asylum Seekers Housing/WASH) and Joey Simons (Living Rent Glasgow) to discuss and reflect on the role of video in response to the housing crisis.
This event is part of an ongoing research project developed in partnership with Grand Union, Birmingham, Nottingham Contemporary, LUX Scotland and Rule of Threes, Liverpool. It takes the form of a series of meetings, screenings and workshops, connecting a national network of community and activist organisations with galleries and museums. The aim is to co-produce a ‘tool-kit’ of resources and to share findings across these cultural and community partnerships.
More information about the project can be found here.
Sue Hall, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, Forming A Residents Association, 1974. 16 min 45 sec, 1/2″ EIAJ (B/W) transferred to digital.
Forming a Residents Association is an instructional/ educational tape. Sue Hall describes the process of its making: “We had wanted to contribute to our community in some way and you could not avoid the hostile and unproductive stand off caused by the council’s unwillingness to communicate with us as squatters. After some advice we thought if we organised a community meeting we could get together in a format recognised by the Camden Council and disrupt the stalemate. Hoppy suggested we might document the meeting on video as an integral part of the process. Portable video had only been available a few months and so the novelty added to the interest around the meeting. It was also my first experience of filmmaking. We screened a finished version of the video to the next meeting of our new Residents Association and issued a press release. The resulting interest led to a number of screenings and direct requests for copies of the video.”
Leeds Animation Workshop, Home and Dry?, 1987. 8 mins, 16mm transferred to digital.
The film examines the inadequacies of housing policies and the political thinking that lies behind them.
Four women discuss their housing situations. None of them would describe themselves as homeless – after all, they’ve never slept out on the street. However, listening to each other’s stories helps them understand that what they’ve all been experiencing is indeed homelessness.
Made on 16mm, with financial assistance from the GLC, for the Board and Lodging Information Programme
Bookings via Document Film Festival.
The film programme is available for individual rental (£5 full price / £3 concessions), or as a Festival Pass bundle containing all the films included in the programme (£15 full price / £10 concessions). A full breakdown of ticketing and access can be viewed here.
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Ed Webb-Ingall is a filmmaker and researcher working with archival materials and methodologies drawn from community video. He collaborates with groups to explore under-represented historical moments and their relationship to contemporary life, developing modes of self-representation specific to the subject or the experiences of the participants.
Joey Simons is a writer and Workers’ Educational Association tutor from Glasgow. He has been an active member of the Living Rent tenants’ union since the setting up of its Glasgow branch in 2017, and is now part of the union’s national strategic forum as a delegate for his local branch in Pollokshields. As well as taking part in major campaign battles with the union, he has developed courses on Glasgow’s history of housing struggle for the WEA and collectively created a ‘tenants’ toolkit’ using archives, mapping, timelines and creative writing. He has also organised several film screenings for the union which have directly fed into Living Rent’s organising. He is currently developing a project on the history of riots in Scotland for Collective’s Satellites programme.
Tamima works with Women Aslyum Seekers Housing (WASH) in Glasgow, an organisation run by women with experience of the immigration system. WASH advocates for tenants, to ensure repairs are carried out to a reasonable standard and that landlords and housing associations adhere to the law. Tamima has also worked at Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for six years supporting people to access benefits and housing.
Leeds Animation Workshop
Leeds Animation Workshop is an independent, not-for-profit, women’s film cooperative, established in 1978. It has produced over 40 short animated documentary films on social issues.
The films have been translated into different languages, screened in many countries, and won various awards. Thousands of copies have been distributed throughout the UK and around the world. Subjects include equality and diversity, the environment, workers’ rights, domestic violence, disabilities and family issues.
Besides screenings in cinemas, at festivals, and on television, the films have been shown many times in meetings, classes, and small groups, to raise awareness and promote discussion. They aim to promote positive messages in an accessible way.
Based in a small back-to-back house in Harehills, Leeds, the Workshop organises screenings, and provides training days in animation for beginners. Its main focus however is film production.
Each film is made in consultation with partner organisations and individual experts. All stages of production, from research and development to editing and distribution, are carried out by the in-house team.
Sue Hall is a video activist, the founder of Graft-on in 1973, and the co-founder of Fantasy Factory with John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins. As a squatter in London during the 1970s Sue made several videos around the rights and issues squatters, as well as other videos in and around Kentish Town, North London. Fantasy Factory pioneered the development of video editing facilities for the independent community and arts video sectors in the 1970s and 80s.
John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins
Hoppy was a British photographer, video-maker, journalist, researcher and political activist, prominent in counter cultural circles from the late 1960s onwards. He got a degree in physics and mathematics at Cambridge University, and worked briefly as a nuclear physicist, but soon became interested in working as a photographer, mainly in the music and underground scenes of the time. He and Barry Miles co-founded the influential magazine International Times (IT) and he set up the UFO Club with Joe Boyd, with Pink Floyd as the resident band.
In 1967 Hoppy was sentenced to nine months in prison for keeping premises for possession of cannabis, stimulating a “Free Hoppy” movement. In the late 1960s he was an ‘early adopter’ of portable video technology, initiating and working with a number of groups and organisations, including the Arts Lab, TVX, IRAT and Fantasy Factory. In the 1970s Hopkins was researching the social uses of video for UNESCO, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Home Office and others, and edited the Journal of the Centre for Advanced TV Studies. He died at the age of 77 on 30 January 2015.