Online exhibition: GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW Part 3
The third instalment of GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW, this year’s Artists’ Moving Image Festival, co-programmed by artists and writers Tako Taal and Adam Benmakhlouf. The festival continues with this online screening of Newsreel Collectives’ Stand Together! (1977) available to watch online from 2-9 June and accompanied by a discussion event focusing on the film and hosted by the programmers on Thursday 9 June from 7-9pm.
For this next instalment we are encouraged to transform, unite and consider solidarity. After a year of isolation and distance, but which has also been marked by protest it is hard not to watch Stand Together! and ask what could have been? A document of a single summer’s day where we are forever suspended in a feeling of rage and hope, there is perhaps a timely resonance too with the antiraid action on Kenmure Street in Glasgow last month.
– Adam Benmakhlouf and Tako Taal.
Stand Together! documents the mass day of solidarity on 11th July 1977, in support of striking workers at Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories in Dollis Hill, London. Those at the centre of the pickets were mainly women workers who had moved to the UK from Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda. They had been contending with both poor working conditions and not being able to join a workers’ union – at the time, dominated mostly by white males. The Grunwick dispute was an unsuccessful demand for trade union recognition that led to a two-year strike between 1976 and 1978. The film was made for the Grunwick Strike Committee by the Newsreel Collective members of the Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians (ACTT) and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
Newsreel Collective was formed in 1973/4, I think with a grant from the BFI film production unit, with the remit to make simple solidarity films to support current struggles. The emphasis very much being on getting films out quickly to respond to the immediate situation, which in the mid to late 70s was quite volatile with worker actions taking place throughout the country and of course there was also the revolution in Portugal which the Newsreal documented.
– Chris Thomas, Newsreel