2012 Events


The Greatest Silence [film]

6:30pm, Wednesday 28th November

Cinema Politica Newcastle

  Culture Lab, Kings Walk,  Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaThe Greatest SilenceSince 1998 a brutal war has been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over 4 million people have died. And there are the uncountable casualties: the many tens of thousands of women and girls who have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army.

The world knows nothing of these women. Their stories have never been told. They suffer and die in silence. In The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo these brave women finally speak.

Emmy Award winning producer/director Lisa F. Jackson spent 2006 in the war zones of eastern DRC documenting the tragic plight of women and girls in that country’s intractable conflict. She was afforded privileged access to not only the grotesque realities of life in Congo (including interviews with self-confessed rapists) but also to examples of resiliency, resistance, courage and grace.

Newcastle Winter Book Festival

Newcastle Winter Book Festival 2012

Click here for full details of the festival

Lorna Windham: Deaths, Disasters and Dastardly Deeds of the North East  25th November, 13:45 – 14:45  The City Library Tinseltoon, or One Night in Newcastle: Christopher Goulding  25th November, 11:30 – 12:30  The City Library, Room 4 Fright Write: NSU Writers’ Society and Stage Right Society  24th November, 19:00 – 21:00  Blake’s Café Sheree Mack: Reminiscence Workshop  24th November, 14:00 – 16:00  The City Library The Humours of Haiku  24th November, 11:30 – 13:30  The City Library Graham Pears and Rebecca Jenkins: Crime in the North  23rd November, 14:30 – 15:30  The City Library, Room 7 Barry Norman’s Favourite Films  22nd November, 19:30 – 21:30  The City Library, Bewick Hall Russ Litten and Michael Stewart  21st November, 18:00 – 19:00  Gosforth Library Alan Morgan  20th November, 14:00 – 15:00 Tom Kelly  19th November, 18:30 – 19:30  Jesmond Library Hazel Osmond Fan fiction  19th November, 14:00 – 15:00  Denton Burn Library

Dive! Living off America’s Waste [film]

Dive! Living off America's Waste

6:30pm, Wednesday, 14th November  Cinema Politica Newcastle

Culture Lab, Kings Walk,  Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaInspired by a curiosity about the United States’ careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary Dive! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars’ worth of good, edible food – resulting in an inspiring documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

Whatever Happened to Equality?

9:00am – 3:45pm, Saturday 10th November

Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre, Newcastle University

Sponsored by Economic and Social Research Council and hosted by Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal

Whatever Happened to Equality? Whatever Happened to Equality? was a day of active debate and documentary-making. Participants took a critical look at the way equality is discussed today. The day included a film-making training workshop for young people, who were encouraged to video their thoughts, and had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of working behind and in front of the camera.

There were two panel debates, open to a wider audience of all ages, each introduced by a panel of experts. Participants were given plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make points from the floor:

  • Equality, Equity and the dispossessed The notions of equality and equity are widely used and yet people’s understanding of their meaning differs hugely. This can make it difficult to know what people are talking about when they argue for greater equality – is it equal rights? Equal access to education? Equal opportunity? Equal pay? All of the above? This session will interrogate these differences and ask in what contexts is a more equal society a better one? Speakers: Dr Vikki Boliver, Durham University Dr Geoff Payne, Newcastle University Christopher Snowdon, author, The Spirit Level Delusion

  • Equality versus Difference Why has difference replaced equality as the central theme of feminist and anti-racist politics over the last three decades? What has been lost and gained by this shift of emphasis? Speakers Dr Davina Cooper, author, Challenging Diversity: Rethinking Equality and the Value of Difference; Dolan Cummings, Associate Fellow, Institute of Ideas; Max Wind-Cowie, Head of the Progressive Conservatism Project, Demos

Film-workshop participants will video the debates and interview speakers and audience members. A closing session will encourage them to reflect on the discussions and ideas to which they have been exposed; they will record final interviews with each other, capturing new thoughts resulting from the day’s events, and a demonstration of how to upload material to the web will be given.

Development for people: Not for Developers’ Profits

7:45pm, Thursday 1st November Meeting Room, St. John’s Church, Grainger Street, Newcastle city centre

Development for people

Public meeting organised by Newcastle Green Party. Speaker: Patrick Harvie, Member of Scottish Parliament. Patrick Harvie is co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party and member for the Glasgow constituency of the Scottish Parliament. He has been convenor of the Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change committee and served on the Communities committee. He has worked in fields such as sexual health, recycling and tax. The meeting addressed issues such as speculative land banking, local development priorities and ways in which we can lay the foundations for a more sustainable system of land use, including ‘site value’ taxation.

You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days inside Guantanamo [film]

6:30pm, Wednesday 24th October Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Kings Walk, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaYOU DON’T LIKE THE TRUTH – 4 days inside Guantánamo is a documentary based on security camera footage from the Guantánamo Bay prison. This encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and a child detainee in Guantánamo has never before been seen. Based on seven hours of video footage recently declassified by the Canadian courts this documentary delves into the unfolding high-stakes game of cat and mouse between captor and captive over a four day period. Maintaining the surveillance camera style this film analyzes the political, legal and scientific aspects of a forced dialogue.

Film followed by discussion with Elena Katselli and Tom Frost

FREE and OPEN TO ALL. Suggested donation £1

Sex Slaves (The Real Sex Traffic) [film]

6:30pm, Tuesday 2nd October Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Kings Walk, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaSex Slaves (The Real Sex Traffic) takes us to “ground zero” of the sex trade – Moldova and Ukraine – where traffickers effortlessly find vulnerable women desperate to go abroad and earn some money. The film focuses on the remarkable story of Viorel, a Ukrainian man on a mission to find his pregnant, trafficked wife in Turkey. Our hidden cameras follow Viorel as he travels to Turkey; his only lead the telephone number of the pimp who, he believes, has Katia in his possession. To secure his wife’s release, after days of desperate efforts, Viorel poses as a trafficker and sets out to buy his wife back. We follow Viorel to his meeting with Katia’s captor and from there into the world of trafficked women …

Screening followed by a discussion with Dr Janet Townsend. Janet is a feminist who engages in participatory research with poor women in low income countries. She is concerned with issues of poverty, power, self-empowerment and the (dangerous) power of academics, particularly those in prosperous countries. Her present research is with Professor Diane Richardson, Professor Nina Laurie and Dr Meena Poudel, with women in Nepal who have been trafficked to Mumbai (India) for sexual purposes and have subsequently returned to Nepal, where most are rejected by their families, their communities and the state.

FREE and OPEN TO ALL. Suggested donation £1

20th annual Kalapremi Ganesh Festival

10:30am – 5:00pm, Saturday 29th September

20th annual Kalapremi Ganesh Festival Lamplight Arts Centre Stanley

20th annual Kalapremi Ganesh FestivalYou are cordially invited to attend a day-long series of events celebrating the birth of the elephant headed deity Ganesh. 29th September 2012 will see us delivering our 20th consecutive festival. Starting at 10:30am, it promises the usual mix of fine food and exceptional performance, and we would love for you to be a part of it.

The 2011 Ganesh festival included a taste of all the values Kalapremi hold dear, beginning with the Pooja and including a group of multicultural poets, a disabled former trumpeter, Indian dance and a band composed of refugees and asylum seekers. We held origami and rap workshops and offered a sumptuous Indian buffet lunch.

This insight into how south Asians celebrate with the Ganesh festival is something that has gained national prominence, not just local significance, and now we have extended the programme to include ALL kinds of diversity it is becoming a very special day. At all times, and with all of our projects, we encourage active participation and welcome questions.

>For 2012 we have booked a performer who we are sure are going to make the day that little bit more special. We will be pleased to welcome Aneesh Vidyashankar, a 21-year-old prodigy on the violin, to the Lamplight Centre. Vidyashankar has brought bliss to a wide variety of audiences, from spiritual gurus tosoftware giants, corporates to connoisseurs, for the last 12 years. Vidyashankar regularly performs for diplomats, foreign delegates, and leading hospital groups. Doctors consider Aneesh’s music to have a relaxing and therapeutic effect. In December 2011, at the Global Meditation Conference in Vizag, India, nearly 35,000 souls meditated through Aneesh’s violin melody for 2 hours – generating vibrant positive energy.

For lunch we are delighted to offer a sumptuous south Indian banqueting experience courtesy of Chef Vijay and his team: www.chefvijay.co.uk

Further entertainment will come courtesy of dance Guru Mrs Pani – performing herself for the first time in recent years to give a true taste and flavour of Indian dance.

Please come and support this important event in our calendar. September 2012

Tickets: £8.50 per head

Children 5-12 yrs: £5.00 per head Family of 2 adults and 2 children: £20.00 Tickets only available from the Lamplight Box Office: 01207 218899 For more information contact Richard via: kalapremi.online@gmail.com

Connected Communities

Connected Communities

1:00pm, Wednesday 26th September Seminar Room, 4th Floor, Claremont Bridge, Newcastle University

A lunchtime workshop focussing on learning from recent participatory action research in the India and the UK. With Tom Wakeford

Blood in the Mobile [film]

6:00pm, Thursday 16th August Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Blood in the Mobile is a documentary by director Frank Piasecki Poulsen.

Cinema PoliticaWe love our cell phones and the selection between different models has never been bigger. But the production of phones has a dark, bloody side.

The main part of minerals used to produce cell phones are coming from the mines in the Eastern DR Congo. The Western World is buying these so-called conflict minerals and thereby finances a civil war that, according to human rights organisations, has been the bloodiest conflict since World War II: During the last 15 years the conflict has cost the lives of more than 5 million people and 300.000 women have been raped. The war will continue as long as armed groups can finance their warfare by selling minerals.

If you ask the phone companies where their suppliers get minerals from, none of them can guarantee that they aren’t buying conflict minerals from the Congo.

The Documentary Blood in the Mobile shows the connection between our phones and the civil war in the Congo. Director Frank Poulsen travels to DR Congo to see the illegal mine industry with his own eyes. He gets access to Congo’s largest tin-mine, which is being controlled by different armed groups, and where children work for days in narrow mine tunnels to dig out the minerals that end up in our phones.

After visiting the mine Frank Poulsen struggles to get to talk to Nokia, the Worlds largest phone company. Frank Poulsen wants them to guarantee that they are not buying conflict minerals and thereby is financing the war in the Congo. Nokia cannot give him that guarantee.

Blood in Mobile is a film about our responsibility for the conflict in the Congo and about corporate social responsibility.

Roadsworth: Crossing the Line [film]

6:00pm, Thursday 26th July Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaRoadsworth: Crossing the Line details a Montreal stencil artist’s clandestine campaign to make his mark on the city streets. As he is prosecuted at home and celebrated abroad, Roadsworth struggles to defend his work, define himself as an artist and address difficult questions about art and freedom of expression.

Occupy Happiness Film Season

Wednesday 4th to Wednesday 18th July

Star and Shadow Cinema

Stepney Bank, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Occupy Happiness Star and Shadow CinemaWhat makes us happy? What makes you happy? What changes have recently taken place in society that have impacted on our happiness? What does being happy mean?

We’ll explore all these questions through four fascinating and award-winning films:

7:30 p.m, Wednesday 4th July 2012: The Economics Of Happiness + Q&A With Robin Stott Of Medact (2011) 7:30 p.m, Wednesday 11th July 2012: Koyaanisqatsi (1982) 7:30 p.m, Thursday 12th July 2012: Happy (2011) 7:30 p.m, Wednesday 18th July 2012: Manufactured Landscapes (2006)

RiP!: A remix manifesto

6:30pm, Thursday 28th June Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Cinema Politica RiP!: A remix manifestoImmerse yourself in the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media with RiP!: A remix manifesto. Let web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, serve as your digital tour guides on a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age.

Biomedical engineer turned live-performance sensation Girl Talk, has received immense commercial and critical success for his mind-blowing sample-based music. Utilizing technical expertise and a ferocious creative streak, Girl Talk repositions popular music to create a wild and edgy dialogue between artists from all genres and eras. But are his practices legal? Do his methods of frenetic appropriation embrace collaboration in its purest sense? Or are they infractions of creative integrity and violations of copyright?

Crossings’ Sharing and Fundraising Evening

7:00pm, Monday, 18th June Newcastle Civic Centre Banqueting Hall Newcastle, NE1 8QH

In partnership with North East Strategic Migration Partnership and Platforma North East

CrossingsCrossings builds bridges across racial and cultural divides through music. It creates a welcoming space where asylum seekers and refugees come together with local and international musicians, to collaborate on the development and performance of their music.

Hope Not HateCrossings’ aims are: to promote the arts for the benefit of refugees, asylum seekers and the general public. This promotes the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in the wider community through the development of their skills and confidence. Their increased capacity to contribute more fully to the local community in turn promotes racial harmony, equality, diversity and human rights.

Crossings’ activities involve weekly music sessions, a cross-cultural band and a programme of ‘celebrating diversity’ workshops promoting the value of multiculturalism, targeting hard-to-reach young people.

With special guest appearance by Stewart Hardy; Crossings Choir; Crossings Members; and the Crossings Band

All proceeds go towards Crossings’ weekly activities:

  • womens’ and childrens’ choir;
  • open music session involving sharing and creating songs and dance;
  • instrumental tuition.


6:30pm, Thursday 24th May Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaDebtocracyFor the first time in Greece, a documentary produced by the audience. Debtocracy seeks the causes of the Greek debt crisis and proposes solutions sidelined by the government and the dominant media. Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi discuss with economists, journalists and intellectuals from all over the world, who describe the steps that led Greece to the current debt trap –to debtocracy. The documentary follows the course of countries like Ecuador, which created Audit Commissions, and tracks the similar process in Greece.

Following the film we will have a discussion with our special guest, Prof Mary Mellor. Mary’s current research focuses on the financial crisis, money systems and financial exclusion. Her research interests include the social economy and alternative economics; co-operatives and other alternative economic structures; ecofeminist political economy, ecological political economy and feminist economics; ecologically sustainable and social just ‘sufficiency’ economics.

The Great Infrastructure Debate

8:00 – 10:30am, Thursday 26th April Devonshire Building, Newcastle University

Part of the Sustained Engagement project funded by Royal Academy of Engineering.

What infrastructure do we need to prioritise to develop the region’s potential?

In association with the Institution of Civil Engineers

Is the North East’s infrastructure fit for purpose? The North East has a proud industrial heritage which has shaped the infrastructure of the region, but does it suits our needs now and will it in the future? Providing the right infrastructure requires investment and vision and we need to think now about where the region is going and which infrastructure we need to prioritise to get us where we want to go.

The Great Infrastructure Debate engaged with the issue of what we should prioritise using the Crowd Wise process designed by new economics foundation to seek a consensus. More …

Speakers: Edward Bentley, Northumbria University; Richard Dawson, Newcastle University; Stephanie Henderson, Environment Agency; Laura O’Toole, Jacobs; Tony Quinn, National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec);

Introduced by Richard Coackley, ICE President

Pandit Ulhas Bapat – Santoor Concert

4pm, Sunday 15th April Derwent Suite, Lamplight Arts centre, Stanley, County Durham

Santoor1Kalapremi UK are pleased to welcome Pandit Ulhas Bapat back to the Lamplight Arts Centre for the first time since 1989. Pandit Ulhas Bapat is a living master of the Santoor. Bapat is one of the only musicians that tunes his instrument in his own chromatic scale. This allows him to produce rich, concert sounds.

A Santoor is an instrument that combines 100 strings and two curved wooden sticks that has a sound that can be mistaken for a piano or harp (see image). The Santoor is closely related to the hammered dulcimer of North America as well.

The Santoor is an instrument with approximately 100 strings which originated in the Himalayan Valley of Kashmir. Originally known as the Shata Tantri Veena (Sanskrit for one hundred strings), it has close relatives in the British and American hammered dulcimer; the Chinese yang chin; and the Eastern European cembalom. Played with a pair of curved wooden sticks, its many strings create an immense variety of resonating sounds which fill the air like waves, and a variety of tonal effects reminiscent of the piano or harp.

Pandit Ulhas Bapat is a disciple of Sarod Maestro Smt. Zarin Sharma, Pt. K.G.Ginde and Pandit Wamanrao Sadolikar. Pandit Bapat is the only Santoor player who has adopted the technique of tuning the instrument in ‘Chromatic’ structure, and has pioneered a modification which enables him to reproduce a ‘Meend’ on Santoor. This patented innovation has helped to extend the frontiers of Santoor to make it more appealing as a concert instrument, and this unique technique brings a masterly individuality in his performances.

Ulhasji has been internationally acclaimed as an accomplished Santoor player and a versatile musician. He has kept up a steady stream of concert appearances all over India, interspersed with concert tours abroad such as in U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany Switzerland, China, Belarus, Finland, Middle East, etc.

Newcastle College: Sustainability Road show

2.30-4.30pm, Thursday 15th March Parsons Refectory, First Floor Parsons Building Newcastle College, Rye Hill Campus

Newcastle College: Sustainability Road showSCENE (Sustainable Communities and Environments North East) is a project set up by Newcastle College to bring college staff and students, employers, students in local school and community organizations together. SCENE supports both the college and other organisations in their corporate social responsibility policy and in understanding and addressing the issues of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The Sixth Form Geography Department and SCENE are holding a showcase event for all the projects linked to social, economic and environmental sustainability which the college currently runs or supports. This is being organised by students from the college’s Sixth Form and is a chance for them to celebrate their successful projects of the last year.

This will include a market place of stalls showcasing their projects. Including Environmental Awareness and Climate Week, Free runners and dance performances, information from a student projects on global maternal healthcare, fundraisers for charity projects, young entrepreneurs and their businesses, a smoothie bike (yes, a bike that makes smoothies!) and more… Please come along to celebrate and discover the sustainable work of our students.

Booking details

For more information email Rachael Little or call 0191 200 4453. Or feel free to call in on the day.

The Challenges of Sustainable Transport

6:15 – 8:30pm, Wednesday 14th March Room CCE1-003, Newcastle Business School and School of Law Building Northumbria University

Part of the Sustained Engagement project funded by Royal Academy of Engineering.

What should we prioritise to manage personal mobility effectively in Tyne and Wear over the next twenty years?

Come and hear engineers present their answers to this question and help us adapt those ideas and find the best transport solutions. The event will use the Crowd Wise process designed by new economics foundation to seek a consensus: Beginning with the open question above, participants (speakers and audience) are invited to work together to create and refine possible answers. This is a collaborative process, where answers can be merged, split or refined by anyone, in order to create the most interesting, wide ranging and appealing range of possibilities. Then, instead of voting for their favourite, each participant is asked to rank each answer from best to worst. Votes are then counted to establish which option has the broadest support.

Speakers include: Matteo Conti, Northumbria University Katja Leyendecker, Environment Agency, Newcastle Cycling Campaign Adriana Monroy-Olaya, Newcastle University

Come along, join in the discussions and take part in this fascinating experiment!

This event is FREE, but places are limited so PLEASE RESERVE YOUR PLACE.

Booking info

The World at 7 Billion: Rethinking Development

18th – 19th February Herschel Building, Newcastle University

On the weekend of the 18-19th of February the debates surrounding international development come to Newcastle University. Over two days the Newcastle University International Development Society will host a series of lectures and seminars intended to engage and provoke thought on the major development issues facing the world today. With the global population passing seven billion in 2011, our world is at a major milestone where we should examine how a burgeoning population may impact debates on sustainability, inequality and the role technology may have to play in development agendas. All are welcome to participate over one or both of the days with tickets and more information available online at www.idcnewcastle.com.

Shatila Theatre

6:30pm, Wednesday 25th January

Cinema Politica Newcastle, Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaSHATILA THEATRE is a remarkable documentary that follows six Tyneside artists during their 16 days living on Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp in Beirut, Lebanon in 2011.

The six worked with the camp’s young people to produce (in English) a play by Peter Mortimer which premiered in Theatre Monnot, Beirut. The film then follows the production to the UK, where it was performed by the same cast in four separate venues on Tyneside, in Edinburgh and in Liverpool. The young actors had no previous experience of theatre, and spoke only a few words of English, yet their performances were hailed by critics in every venue. SHATILA THEATRE is made by Primate Productions of Whitley Bay.


6:30pm, Thursday 5th January Cinema Politica Newcastle Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Cinema PoliticaHow much unspoiled nature should we preserve and what do we sacrifice for clean, renewable energy? Dreamland gradually turns into a disturbing picture of corporate power taking over small communities.

Dreamland is a film about a nation standing at cross-roads. Leading up to the country’s greatest economic crisis, the government started the largest mega project in the history of Iceland, to build the biggest dam in Europe to provide Alcoa cheap electricity for an aluminum smelter in the rugged east fjords of Iceland. Today Iceland is left holding a huge dept and an uncertain future.

In Dreamland a nation with abundance of choices gradually becomes caught up in a plan to turn its wilderness and beautiful nature into a massive system of hydro-electric and geothermal power plants with dams and reservoirs. Clean energy brings in polluting industry and international corporations. It’s the dark side of green energy.

Feature length documentary directed by Þorfinnur Guðnason and Andri Snær Magnason. Produced by Ground Control Productions. Based on a book by Andri Snær Magnason, Dreamland – a Self Help Manual for a Frightened Nation.

Screening followed by talk and discussion

Explore Programme at NECLL

Adult education at its finest: the award winning North East Centre for Lifelong Learning Explore scheme offered an exciting range of courses and workshops to people of all ages.