Ctrl.Alt.Short film: No Way Through

18 03 2010

I first saw this short film as part of the London Short Film Festival back in January. It was part of the New Shorts 12: London Lives series, which was compiled to showcase “the glory and diversity of our fair city”.

There were some mindblowing pieces during this series, but No Way Through, winner of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift film competition, really stood out for me.

There’s always a degree of detachment when watching the news or reading the paper, no matter how well-reported the story is.

This film, as explained on the Ctrl.Alt.Shift website “highlights mobility restrictions imposed by the Israeli government that are limiting Palestinians’ access to health care, thus violating their right to health”.

By bringing the harsh realities of Palestinians to the backdrop of our own city and its citizens, we’re given a whole new perspective. The element of detachment almost disappears. It’s haunting. It’s powerful.

Please watch it to the end.


Stars step up against Asian Network closure

8 03 2010

The recent announcements that BBC radio stations 6 Music and the Asian Network are facing closure have caused quite a stir among the listening public.

Although the BBC are trying to justify the closures (just a small part of a massive slash in spending), I doubt there are many people who will let this happen without a fight or few.

The BBC Asian Network for me has not only been a way of connecting with British-Asian culture around the whole country, but I’ve been able to share new and old music with peers who would normally never be exposed to it. (See my earlier post on Nihal as an example). As a radio station for British-Asians, and on an intellectual level, the Asian Network is unparalleled.

This weekend, the Guardian published a letter addressed to the BBC Trust urging them to reconsider the closure of the Asian Network, describing it as “a retrograde step”. It’s been signed by some of the biggest Asian names in Britain today and the list goes on for a bloody while, too!

I just hope they take stock of the points made in the letter along with the tremendous amount of backing behind the online radio station and reconsider the closure. Otherwise there’ll be a gaping hole of cultural expression in media and music for Asians nation-wide.

It’s not patronising, it’s normalising. Fool!

8 03 2010

Last month Boris Johnson slashed funding for Black History Month. He already cancelled the Rise Festival last year. And now Africa Day. And he’s cut funding for Jewish events and St Patrick’s Day. There are probably tonnes more on the way.

Yet somehow he thinks that he can justify spending what has now hit a running total of £100,000 (that’s right my friend, one muf*ckin’ hundred G’s) on USA Day.

This is sad, sad news for all Londoners, no matter what their race or heritage. If things carry on like this, there’ll be no celebration of the diversity that makes this city and country what it is! And the idiots who argue that events like Black History Month are patronising for the ‘black youth’ of today are only exposing their ignorance by pooling the ‘black youth’ into one homogenous group.

These events serve not only to celebrate diverse cultures, but to share and learn. To allow us to better understand our neighbours and expand our own experiences.  It’s necessary to have these events to break down the stereotypes so strongly upheld by media and sensationalist reporting.

Boris, sort it out mate. And the Americans are coming here to get away from the USA, not to have more of it!

Probably Boris' worst nightmare...

(Picture provided by leafar)