Wars are prevalent almost globally, if a country is not at war, then it is helping others by supplying them with weapons to create a mass destruction. Wars are at the heart of newspapers headlines, but in my opinion not many people take into account where a particular country received the weapons. ‘On the Verge’ opened my eyes to the realisation of EDO MBM, or as some would now know it as ITT, when brought in 2007. EDO MBM is a factory, one that uses their employees to make bomb racks, arming mechanisms for warplanes and release clips.

‘Operation Pillar of Defence’ inhumanly attacked many innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza, using bomb racks that EDO had manufactured and sold to the Israeli military. Immediately it is apparent that article 5 and article 3 of the UDHR were violated, click on the link below to see the names of those 164 innocent victims, whose lives were sorrowfully taken.

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, seen from the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel,Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, seen from the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel,Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

This is just one example of why protesters have gathered to launch the campaign smashEDO, in order to exercise their “right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association” (UDHR, Undated). Nonetheless injunctions were given to the activists, mainly by Mark lynch, they declared that this went against their rights, but the police would respond by saying that they live in a democracy, therefore their rights were not being violated.


Policing tactics radically changed during the demonstrations on the 31st May 2005, it was apparent that policing was going to be aggressive; the police had began to single people out. The demonstrators suggested that the police had a strategy of targeting people that had been arrested before. Demonstrators were confined to two meters of the grass verge, if a person had stepped one foot over, they were liable to be arrested.

Using a camera to record, breeched the injunction, so to ridicule the injunction, protesters took hand-made cameras. Paul Robison, one of the many protesters was filming the action of a security guard, the security guard then seized the camera and Robinson was charged with breeching the injunction of the High Court. Despite the fact he didn’t have an injunction, the police violated article 10 of the UDHR by not allowing him to have a solicitor present, when he was being questioned. Police were caught on camera violently attacking others, they wanted to criminalize the campaign, but instead were criticized for their wrongdoing.

Eventually when the cases did go to court, it was found that there was a misuse of law. The judge found that the CPS had withheld information, because they refused to disclose the material, the case collapsed.

Caldwell (2005) describes video as an important tool for advocacy. He states, “it can illustrate stark visual and provide direct visual evidence of abuses” (pg 2). Pillay (2005) is also in agreement with Caldwell, she confirms “video can be a powerful source of evidence for lawyers and advocates seeking to right wrongs and create changes” (pg 209). This is seen in the Tomlinson case where video illustrates the law-breaking demeanour by a police officer.

In 2009 at the G20-summit protests, Ian Tomlinson a bystander was walking past, when he was brutally attacked by Simon Harwood, a constable police officer. The misconduct led to Tomlinson’s unlawful killing, the Guardian had published the video that identifies the police officer striking the innocent man on the leg with a baton, then pushing him to the ground. There is a link between the role of policing during both protests that indicates the police abusing their powers.

The comparative film ‘Showdown in Seattle: Five Days that Shook the WTO’ that further proves misconduct by the police in Seattle 1999, exemplifies the protests against the WTO. There is footage that depicts police officers unleashing rubber bullets and tear gas. This questions the notion of free speech that protesters are entitled too, and have the right to exercise. Click below to have a brief look at what this video is about:

Having considered the video evidence ensuing the misconduct by the police it would seem that the police and the public’s relationship appears to be deteriorating. During protests the public have a right to exercise article 19 of the UDHR so that their voice can make a change, but also to expose their passion for their beliefs.  The Campaign Against Arms Trade is a campaign also doing its level best, to bring arms trade to an end internationally, they realise the harm it has on many innocent humans and are in agreement with smashEDO. Film has been used effectively to depict the role of policing during protests, the police are frowned upon by the public when they see such abuse. Nevertheless if it wasn’t for film, protesters would not be believed when they argue the case of a police officer attacking them, in this respect film can be used as evidence and a supplementary  voice for protesters.


Caldwell G. (2005) ‘Using Video for Advocacy’ in Gregory S, Caldwell G, Avni R and Harding T., (eds) Video or change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism. London. Pluto Press.

Pillay S. (2005) ‘Video as Evidence’ in Gregory S, Caldwell G, Avni R and Harding T., (eds) Video or change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism. London. Pluto Press.

UN., (Undated) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 20 December 12].

Roehampton Universities Human Rights Film Festival

Our logo for the film festival.

Our logo for the film festival.

Over the years human right film festivals have become a huge success, they have proliferated not only within the UK but also globally. My understanding and familiarity of organising a film festival was limited. As I undertook research to learn the purpose of having a film festival, I found Grassilli’s (2012) abbreviation credible. To “recognise films as powerful tools for advocacy. Through a combination of film screenings, arts and music exhibitions and debates and discussions with filmmakers…” (pg 31). Having analysed this articulate expression, it is evident that our film festival featured the aforementioned.

Based on this it was imperative that we would need spectacular human right films that would engage a powerful message to the audience through cinema.  From the outset ‘Nostalgia for the Light’ had received a positive general consensus from the group. This was an incredibly moving film on the day of the festival and the feedback from the audience was phenomenal. I participated as main spokeswomen for this event, at the end a gentleman spoke to me and requested the name for the film, as he knew someone who had their wife taken from them in the Chile trauma. For him it was emotionally moving, when he mentioned this to me, I felt so pleased that we as a group had already produced a successful festival, as it profoundly illustrated human rights through cinema so admirably.

Grassilli (2012) mentions what is needed for a festival to be launched, mainly a projector for the screening and a community to come and engage. This was a chance for Re-generate to campaign exponentially and for us to amplify the potential of our own human rights film festival. I liaised with Andy Smith the director of the campaign, I explained to him that we had a film called ‘Re-generation’ similar to their company name and that the message of the film correlated to their campaign message. His enthusiasm and drive on the day of the festival has encouraged him to have another screening of the film, for the youths.

During the weeks our lecturer asked us, why we were doing this? What do human rights mean to us? These questions were mind provoking and allowed us to think about what message we wanted our audience to walk away with. We wanted them to have a better understanding of what human rights are, and thus I thought that Amnesty International would be the perfect organisation that could explain this. What’s more is that they could do a workshop about a specific topic that would enlighten the audience. We eventually got an amazing speaker (Virginia Donovan) who was willing to explain the background of human rights, who Amnesty Intentional are and to organise a workshop on violence against women. On the day we received positive feedback, the audience were enlightened and reminded of the significance of violence against women. Respectively all the hard work I had been put in to emailing several people for them to agree to attend, finally paid off.

Grassilli (2012) confirms the value of celebrities as “they attract the attention… and increase the chance that the festival and its issues will receive coverage.” Therefore we were grateful to our lecturer who organised Michael Channan to come in to speak about Secret City. It was a pleasure to have him part of our festival, whilst I was designing the poster for the event in Duchene and for our lunchtime session, it was a privilege to say that they were attending for publicity benefits.

Click below to look at the posters we created for the festival:

Film Festival – Amnesty International

Film festival – General Poster

Film festival – Poster DU004

Film festival – Student Competition Poster

Two weeks prior to the festival we had to finalise some important decisions in order to publicise the posters. Consequently we ended up changing the timetable so that we wouldn’t be splitting our audience up, so we used the film festival-planning page on Moodle to confirm last minute things, so that everyone would be posted. I made a show plan for the events that I would be participating in, so that organisation and time keeping skills would be on point.

Click below to look at the show plan’s:

Film festival – Show Plan H209

Film Festival – Show Plan Re-generate

Film Festival – Show Plan Du004

Click below to see how our timetable changed, two weeks prior to the festival:

First timetable

Film Festival – Timetable

On the whole if I had the chance to organise another film festival I would extensively plan earlier on, so that publicity can be used to seek a larger audience, therefore be pro-active rather than re-active.  On reflection I would also allow my voice so speak constructive criticism for the recommended films, so that we get the best possible output from the films that would be screening. Finally I would suggest consistent meetings in order to confirm any changes or to get a general consensus on a suggestion, rather than wait a week, as this may have given us the opportunity to focus and expand on other ideas.  On the positive side, I think on the day we organised a marvellous film festival, one that the audience walked away with a meaningful message about what human rights is and how it is violated not only in the U.K but also globally.


Dina Lordanova and Leshu Torchin., (eds.) (2012) Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals and Activism. Edinburgh: St Andrews Film Studies.

If interested, the Human Rights Watch has many film festivals during the first two quarters of 2013. Click below to see dates and ticket information. 

See some of our images below, from the festival:

Outside the youth organisation.

Outside the youth organisation.

Business students came along on the day of the festival. This benefited us our audience had cupcakes and popcorn to snack on during the movie.

Business students came along on the day of the festival. This benefited us our audience had cupcakes and popcorn to snack on during the movie.

Before the award ceremony for the student competition.

Before the award ceremony for the student competition.

Third Place

Short film competition; 3rd place: Cristina Turcu – Poverty at Your Doorstep


Short film competition; 1st place: Sam Taylor and louise Das di Benedetto – The Perfect Human Rights


The oppression the miner’s endured during 1984-85 in West Yorkshire

The lie machine’ and Only doing their job’ from the Miners Campaign Tape Project were the two films we were exposed to this week. The narrative reveals BBC’s devious, deceitful and dishonest actions. BBC changed the order of events that occurred during the miner strike. The footage aired was edited prior to broadcasting in order to portray the miners at fault when in actual fact the police charged in at the miners and thus they retorted to violence by chucking bricks. On-going issues within the police force at present disclose their insincere actions and misconduct; this is reflected in the Hillsborough investigation. In light of this new evidence the miners’ strike handling has been referred to the IPCC and according to the Guardian they will be “investigated for possible assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office” (Guardian, 2012).

My familiarization with the miner strike that occurred in West Yorkshire during 1984-85 was minimal and thus I wanted to expand my comprehension. Billy Elliot the musical was showing in Victoria Palace in London, to explore the themes and gain a comprehensive understanding, I journeyed my way there. The use of political theatre exposes the turmoil of the coal miner’s strike. Described as “one of the darkest times in British History… the mining town in which he lives experiences relentless hardship and despair” (Durham performing arts centre, 2010). The artistic representation was embodied outstandingly through the characters, music, lighting and use of space on stage. The struggle highlighted Billy’s father in need of money so that he could send Billy to school but it was evident that money and food was scarce.

Thatcher’s right wing Conservative aim was to increase capitalism and reduce the working class state. ‘The lie machine’ displays interviews with the miners, Thatcher’s characteristics are described as manipulative, because she abused her authority as prime minister to give knighthood to the editors of mainstream media such as Sir Larry Lamb editor of the Daily Express, Sir John Junor editor of the Sunday Express and Sir David English editor of the Daily Mail. This allowed her to have consistent access with them about what was and wasn’t published.

Essayists such as Herman and Chomsky reinforce the latter issue in relation to America about the how material is published. In their book ‘Manufacturing to Consent’ Herman argues that media cannot give the audience the real truth because they do not satisfy the five filters. The first filter is about the idea of ownership and the third filter questions who the use as their sources?  It is evident that Margaret Thatcher and the police would be reliable sources and miners would be disregarded (Herman and Chomsky, 1988).

Click on the link below and scroll down to see the ownership of mainstream tabloids and broadsheets today:

Article 10 of the UDHR states everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

Article 19 of the UDHR states “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

During the miner strike the aforesaid rights were not implemented amongst many others. (Click on the link below to glance through the rights that every human is entitled to).

The emergence of political policing is displayed in the comparative film the battle for Orgreave. The public disorder exposed was shocking in my eyes. Similarly the films shown this week also elucidate the mockery that the miners faced. The gruesome images that were taken whilst the strike was occurring divulge the defendants bleeding, for example James O’Brian expresses what actually happened and why the police pointlessly attacked him without motive.

One of the lawyers for the defendants talks about her experience and describes the police and courts as “treating the miners like cattle with contempt remanded on extraordinary bail conditions with no regard for the evidence” (Mike Figgis, 2012). Refuting to produce evidence and not providing a fair trail exemplifies a violation of article 10 in the UDHR. A positive modification on policing can be seen in The Public Order Act 1986 that was passed because of growing apprehension over protests and industrial disputes. One may come to the conclusion that police officers were prepared to fabricate evidence against the miners.

The police, a governmental body who is supposed to be enforcing rights, infringed the miner’s human rights. Their subversive actions have been acknowledged into more depth in light of the Hillsborough investigation. The legislations that passed deriving from the miner strike in my opinion is a positive one because their rights have been recognised and reinforced before the law. Film was used resourcefully to disclose the oppression the miners endured by the Conservative government. The voices of the miners were heard but yet the government could have done more or the case would not be in the eyes of the IPCC today.

VHS gave miner’s the opportunity to be heard and reveal the propaganda approach the media and government had used.

Click on the link below to view more about the working-class television that defines the Miner’s Campaign Tape Project into depth.


Durham performing arts center., (2010) The 1984 Miners’ Strike: The history behind Billy Elliot the Musical. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 06 November 12].

Guardian., (2012) Miners’ strike: police to be investigated over ‘battle of Orgreave. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 23 November 12].

Herman, E. & Chomsky, N., (1988) Manufacturing consent. London: Vintage.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights., (Undated) Preamble. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 12].

Mike Figgis., (2012) The Battle for Orgreave. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 12].

Coup pour Coup / Blow for Blow (1972)

Without Nelson Mandela we wouldn’t have people fighting for social justice,

Without Martin Luther King we wouldn’t have people fighting for racial equality,

Without Ghandi we wouldn’t have people fighting for injustice.

The aforementioned names are people, people who fight for the their rights to be heard for namely justice, equality and freedom. Just as women did in Paris 1968, they fought for their fundamental rights to be enshrined.

Click on the images below to learn more about what each individual fought for:

This American rhetoric was delivered on August 28 1963.

Recognised for his struggle to demolish apartheid regime in South Africa he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

His doctrine of a non-violent protest deemed to accomplish the political and social progress.

With this in mind I will be focusing on the film Coup pour Coup and the oppression women faced at the textiles factory, this intrigued me to find out how far freethinking individuals were willing to go so that their rights were implemented. The film exposes women who eventually became alienated to the extent they show signs of madness. They cannot endure the tiredness and become rebellious in effect they sabotage machines so they could stop working. The violation of their rights gave the women encouragement to confront the boss in respect to the inhumane discipline. In the process two of the agitators were fired and as a result the women became even more eager to unite to obtain their reinstatement.

In this film Marin Karmitz produces an aesthetic film through the use of actors who were in actual fact the real strikers. “Karmitz’s film tries directly to bypass the social and cinematic obstacles to present a realistic picture of both work and the struggle against work” (Film unemployment, 2012). As the titles are showing at the end the director’s name shows amongst the others, I admire this authentic approach as he saw himself equal to the other cast who helped produce the movie. “It is a genuine attempt to undercut the non-egalitarian nature of most cinematic production and present a didactic model of social resistance at the same time” (Ibid, 2012).


At the end of them film there is freeze frame of the women united with this boss, this frame is used whilst a voice-over is extolling the resistance the women have faced. There was a particular saying in the voice-over that intrigued me “don’t forget that your great victory is the unity with our own strength. Unity with our husbands, who are now aware of out struggle. Unity with other factories” (Ibid, 2012). The repetition of the word unity represented the victorious three-week strike in rural France and this simplicity was portrayed in the film when a shot was taken of the husbands cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. Moreover, looking at the language used in the voice over there is the technique called the power of three prevalent that is used to make a speech more memorable.

The struggle for the women in factories was well acknowledged by everyone in the late 1960’s and so Jean-Luc Godard produced Tout Va Biento reveal the degrading treatment. When Coup pour Coup was released in 1972 critics were quick to disparage because of the comparison between the two. There were different representations on the strike displayed by directors; below I have shown a link to an interview by Godard, this reveals how he believes his work differentiated from Karmitz’s.

Godard explains why his movie was more practical to describe what happened during the revolution. His main argument is that Karmitz shows the women voicing themselves, however they didn’t voice themselves for such a long time. Godarad allows cast members to have up to 3 minutes each to explain what the strike meant to them; therefore he believes this is a practical approach as it reveals a realistic concept.

To conclude I think Coup pour Coup demonstrated how the women fought for their rights in a simple artistic way, so that the audience could relate to it and comprehend to the severity they encountered. For example, in the beginning Karmitz’s showed how the workers were denied the right to go to the toilet whilst working and when they had held the boss hostage they also denied him the right to go to the toilet. This was done through a comical concept but yet a profound one to make one sympathise with the workers. They wanted to make the protest a successful one by uniting with their co-workers and families but without the help of the Trade Union. I admired their courage to stand up and fight for their freedom of expression, which I believe, was honorably successful.


Film Unemployment cinema. (2010) MARCH’s SCREENING – Coup Pour Coup (Blow For Blow). [Online] Available at: [Accessed 02 November 12].

‪Laura Sánchez (2006) Entrevista a Godard/ Godard Interview[Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October November 2012].

Heartfield’s Concept on Photomontage

After WWI Germany tackled isolation they were experiencing and thus the German Expressionist movement was confined in Germany. In 1916 the nation saw a ban of foreign films, however the people protested against this and wanted to see films generating, as a result there was a slow but sure increase. Hyperinflation was prevalent during 1923 for three years so the Germans found going to the cinema a luxury and saw the money they had well spent, German cinema was highly praised.

Triumph of the the Will was a major success for Leni Riefenstahl’s when it was released in 1935; her use of the music and long focus lenses created misleading perceptions. “Upon the very first screening of Triumph of the Will in 1936 the Nazis knew they had struck propaganda gold. The film played to packed movie theaters throughout Germany. For her efforts, Riefenstahl received a Cultural Achievement award from Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry. The film also won a gold medal for its artistry at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris.” (The history Palace, 2001)

However film is one concept of the ‘art theory’ other concepts include theatre, poetry, music,  dancing and other performing arts. In the first week we spoke about photomontage and how this was conveyed in Heartfield’s work to replicate early 1930’s Germany. This fascinated me as portraits express different meanings of how the artist was feeling so I wanted to see how Heartfield had constructed photomontage so admirably. Respectively I went to Tate Modern in London to view his exhibition and learn more about his work and how he articulated political and cultural issues through photographs.

Berlin Dada was a group who believed that art could construct new means of expression. Their style was usually anarchic this can be seen in their depictions that juxtaposed with the political situation or so to speak with reality. Dada montage emerged with great inspiration from the practitioners in order to emphasise Germany’s situation. The best-known practitioner, John Heartfield’s concept of photomontage was displayed in his work of art from the 1920’s-1960’s he used a variety of pictures to construct one picture in order to manipulate the audience. (J. Paul Getty Trust, undated) The Nazi’s became his stimulus in his work of creativity and I came to learn he wanted to express their violence and demagogy through his work.

In this image he famines to ridicule the salute of the Germans and divulges Hitler’s support that is behind him. Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, when he won the Reichstag this gave him control on the legislations within Germany. In 1934 he made himself President and with this supreme power he destroyed the democratic system. Hitler’s title ‘Fuhrer’ meant that he was the commander; his importance meant that all persons of society by law had to greet others with the German salute. Even on his forty-fourth birthday shops were selling edelweiss emblems so that most people could wear it to represent their support to the Nazis. (Brooman, pg 69) The culture in Germany expected the proletariat to respect Hitler as it was customary, it can be examined that the Nazis and primarily Hitler influenced the culture in Germany. The way Heartfield ridiculed this picture was mischievously cunning, but in my opinion he expresses a statement though an image deferentially, and to me this is evidently why his art is still exhibiting today and sends a strong message to me of what the political and cultural issues were like in Germany.

The photomontage above expresses “the ideological subjectivity produced by the press, through an implicit dialectic between the suffocating mental imprisonment of socialist illustrated newspapers.” (Kriebel, pg 64) This picture reveals a man blinded by newspapers, Heartfield is metaphorically saying that anyone who reads the “bourgeois papers becomes blind and deaf.” (Heartfield, 1930). The violence of the portrait is captured through the psychological discomfort through the sense of realism. (Kriebel, 2009) In my opinion Heartfield was eager for society to emancipate their voice to the autocratic Hitler and I thoroughly admire the way he has done this because it is so simple to acknowledge the use of photomontage.

Here are a few of the many photomontages that were at Tate Modern for Heartfield’s exhibition that came to my interest because of his metaphorical interpretation.

Hitler degenerated the emergence of the art movement ‘Bowel House’ that shifted the idea of what it was for, how it changed the world and had an effect on people’s lives. His characteristics seemed to be reactionary, self opiated and autocratic in my opinion he found it hard to accept change as he had this cultural view and no one else could tell him any different. “When the 1936 games were played, Nazism was thriving in Germany with Adolph Hitler at the helm. Hitler had seen the Olympics as an opportunity to show off how superior his Aryan race was compared to others.” [Bleacher report, 2009].

I believe that Heartfield’s use of photomontage in relation to modern art was successful by juxtaposing pictures with reality to reveal Germany 1930’s. His images bring a sense of reality about the history in Germany. This to me is a fascinating way to do so as it tells a story of the issues Germans and namely Jews faced. When I saw the exhibition in Tate Modern I must say I was truly impressed with what I saw and would recommend this exhibition to not only those who are interested in art or history but for those people who struggle to understand the images significance, because Heartfield shows this in a simple and cunning way which immediately educated me.


Bleacher Report . (2009) The 1972 Summer Olympics: Remembering the Worst Sports Tragedy of All-Time. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 23 October 12].

Brooman, J, 1996. Germany 1918-45. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Heartfield, John. 5 fingers has the hand. 1928. Photo.  Tate Modern, London.

Heartfield, John. Adolf, the superman: swallows gold and spouts rubbish. 1932. Photo. Tate Modern, London.

Heartfield, John. The meaning of the Hitler salute: little man asks for big gifts. Motto: millions stand behind me! 1932. Photo. Tate Modern, London.

Heartfield, John. Voice from the swamp. 1936. Photo. Tate Modern, London.

Heartfield, John. Whoever reads bourgeois newspapers becomes bling and deaf. Away with the stultifying bandages. 1930. Photo. Tate Modern, London.

History Place. (2001) Triumph of the Will. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 October 12].

J. Paul Getty Trust. (Undated) Agitated Images: John Heartfield & German Photomontage, 1920–1938. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 October 12].

John Heartfield. (2011) Dada Photomonteur: Official Internet Archive. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 23 October 12].

Kim Dodge. (2007) What is Third Cinema?. [Onlne] Available at: [Accessed 17 October 12].

Kriebel, S., (2009) Manufacturing Discontent: John Heartfield’s Mass Medium. New German Critique 107, 36(2), pp.53-88. [Accessed 15 October 12].

Tinham, D. (2012) HUR020X301A: Human Rights on Film: course notes, Roehampton University, London.