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Great pleasure to invite you to the 4th Stanley Picker Public Lectures on Art: ‘Time Travel 1984: Art & Social Change’ on Tuesday 22nd May 6pm, with Peter Dunn, Sophie Hope and Margareta Kern, organised by Dean Kenning from Contemporary Art Research Centre, Kingston University.

I’ll be speaking about the residency project and am particularly excited as I just got permission from ‘Northern Region Film & Television Archive’ to show one of the campaign videos made in 1984 by Tyneside women collective ‘Magination Media’, titled ‘Never done anything like it before’.

Further info about the event and all the speakers below.
This event takes place: UPSTAIRS AT THE CRICKETERS, 20 Fairfield South, KT1 2UL, 10 mins from Kingston Station, FREE ENTRY

In the ‘Northern Region Film & Television Archive’ – ‘Magination Media’ women’s collective, ‘Never done anything like it before’, 1984. Photograph on the cover by Keith Pattinson.  Margareta Kern, 2012.

In light of recent protests and occupations three artists look back to the UK of the early 80s – to Dunn’s ‘Docklands Poster Project’ (co-produced with Loraine Leeson), to the Miners’ Strike, and to the lessons political art of that time has for us today.

Peter Dunn: In many ways my most recent work, Global Town Square, is a return to the principles of The Docklands Community Poster Project that I was engaged in for almost the full decade of the 1980s. The earlier project was part of a campaign that was reactive to regeneration – and I argue necessarily so – while the current work aims to be proactive in putting Peoples Plans onto the agenda before the developers can have their way. My work has always been contextually situated and therefore Global Town Square required the development of new networking tools, new communications technologies and new social strategies. It is also rooted the lessons learned from previous strategies and the underlying belief in culturally democratic processes as a vehicle for change. The two projects came out of different historical contexts but some eerie parallels are emerging, so it is important that we understand that history to deal with what is coming.

Sophie Hope: The act of imagining life in the near or distant future means the groups have to leave their experiences of current realities behind and enter the realm of fantasy. Such an experiment in collective mental time travel, however, can allow the group to talk about difficult subjects with the protection of fantasy as a buffer zone. Thinking about the future of a newly-built town, for example, is a way of unveiling the different ideologies and perceptions people have of today, imagining the future triumphs and failures of such an ‘ideal place to live’. The process is not about coming up with a shared vision of the future but that any future is based on the diverse opinions of the present being heard. My futurology workshops take time travel as a facilitation method to reveal the different hopes and fears people have about life now but through the lens of the future. Ideologies and political points of view are allowed to clash because the groups are temporarily and collectively inhabiting different time zones.

Margareta Kern will be speaking about her current residency at the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University (from February – November 2012), which is broadly concerned with the historical and political legacy of Miners’ strikes that took place in 1984, re-visited in the light of the recent anti-cuts protests and occupations. Whilst focusing on this formative moment in the history of trade union movement and labour struggles in the UK, Kern is also exploring the critical issues around collective memory, archiving and historicising radical politics and its representation and contestation on screen. In her talk, Kern will share her work and research to date, including a campaign video made in 1984 by Tyneside women collective ‘Magination Media’, titled ‘Never done anything like it before’.

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