The March Now Showing invites London based Lucy parker to present new work alongside Adriana Monti's Scuola Senza Fine from Cinenova. Lucy Parker has a research led practice which adopts collaborative filmmaking methods when making work with a community. She is interested in ways that social networks give agency to individuals and how film can have a social impact in its production and screening. She has made previous work with a community writing group and residential home for adults with learning difficulties and is currently producing a film about workplace blacklisting.
Lucy Parker will screen her new film Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers A.G.M (2016) work in progress.
Having researched into the Federation to produce her film Writers Group (2013), in response to Adriana Monti's 1983 film Scuola Senza Fine Lucy decided to return to the archive at the TUC library to make a short film to represent the groups annual meetings that bring writing groups together from around the UK. The A.G.M archive material she has selected documents a meeting in the late 1970's a similar period to 150 hours courses in Italy.
Former member of the Federation now Academic in Education at the Institute of Education and writer Tom Woodin will read from his future book about the history of this writers movement.
Lucy will also show a section of her film Writers Group (2013).
Adriana Monti - Scuola Senza Fine, 1983, 40 Minutes
The 150 Hours Courses were an educational experiment implemented in Italy beginning in 1974, available to factory workers and farmers initially, and expanding to include women a couple of years later. The courses were non-vocational; they were not intended to improve one’s productivity at work, but rather to allow for personal and collective growth. The courses sought to help workers reflect not only upon their working conditions but also on their lives. A large part was devoted to the re-elaboration and reinterpretation of what was defined as the "lived experience" of those attending: their experiences with work, emigration, cultural and language discrimination, union struggles, etc. Scuola Senza Fine shows how the experiment extended into the lives of women taking the course, most of whom were housewives.
The film was produced in collaboration with these students as part of their studies for the class, turning the curriculum's questions about the representation of women into questions about the representation of themselves. Adriana Monti writes in her introduction to the film: "After I had been working with a particular group of housewives for a year we started shooting the film Scuola Senza Fine (literally School Without End) almost casually, in 1979. I was able to get equipment free of charge and money to pay for the film was made available. Rediscovering the pleasure of reading and studying was reliving their adolescence. It was important for them to have teachers to whom they could tell in writing what they had done and thought, their past history and plans for the future. The film shows how the women related to each other at that time and the special closeness each woman felt for every other – perhaps because they came from the same place, or shared the same ideals and way of thinking, or, simply, because they were fond of each other. For many women, rediscovering the mother/teacher relationship meant being able to express thoughts which had often been undervalued or disregarded (most of the housewives attending the course had given up their education to go to work or had not been able to make use of the knowledge they had already, because they stayed at home after getting married). The opportunity to relive that relationship in a learning situation stimulated a very interesting kind of writing and thought."
Cinenova: Now Showing began in March 2015 and runs monthly. The series intends to materialise relationships between contemporary artist moving image practice and the feminist and organising legacies present in the Cinenova collection.
A digital archive of selected works from Cinenova distribution is available for viewing at The Showroom. For details on how to view the digital archive click here