Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Watch….at the Manchester Film Co-operative on Tuesday 27th November – a screening of Manufactured Landscapes. Jennifer Baichwal’s eye-opening documentary follows Ed Burtynsky’s photographic journey through the epic industrial landscapes of China and beyond, exploring “the aesthetic, social and spiritual dimensions of industrialisation and globalisation”.
Time: Doors open at 7:30pm. Screening begins at 8:00pm.
Admission: £3 waged, £2 unwaged/student.
Location: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House,
Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY.
Go To …. Book launch of The Oil Road Wednesday 28th November at 6-8pm,same venue:, Virtual Migrants present the latest of their ‘Passenger’ events using live music and spoken word, plus a panel discussion in response to Platform’s new book, The Oil Road. This panel discussion will explore the themes of the book and ask, “How does the sanitisation of difficult, violent processes and imperialist histories inform the fight for climate justice today?”
More information on event is available here

Look…..Shirley Baker was born in Salford in 1932 and studied at Manchester College of Technology. Her pictures of inner city Manchester and Salford in the 60s are historical documents of the lives of poor people in those cities , who endured shocking housing and living conditions so that other people could make vast profits from their labour. The people are down, but not out, and that is why I like the pictures so much. Shirley gives her subjects a sense of humanity and communality that stops them from being a voyeuristic take on poverty and its circumstances. She doesn’t ask them to pose and that gives the pictures a sense of reality and brings out the character of the individuals. In this exhibition there are the iconic photos of the 60s alongside her latest ones taken in 2000, once again in Manchester and Salford. In 2000 she has chosen to use colour which gives the photos a modern look, although there are still pictures of children on the street but their mothers and aunts have exchanged the street for the shopping centres.
See for yourself at Gallery Oldham……

Another exhibition…….on volunteers from the Northwest who joined the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. Launch and opening talk by member of International Brigade memorial trust on Wednesday 21 November 7pm at Fusiliers Museum (opposite Art Museum) Moss Street, Bury. More information here.

Find out …about Community unions. In the 1920s and 30s the National Union of Unemployed Workers were a group of people, many in the Communist Party, who took direct action on the streets to oppose the cuts that the Government were making to their unemployment pay. Walter Greenwood in his novel, Love on the Dole, described a famous event during this period where the NUWM fought the police in Bexley Square in Salford. Greenwood used Eddie Frow as the model for his angry young man. in real life, Eddie was beaten up by the police and sent down for 6 months.
This year it is trade unions, such as my union Unite, who are trying to organise the unemployed in organisations such as the Greater Manchester Community Unions. Their aim being we will work with you to make life better; we will give you the platform you need to create a fairer society. Our trade unions are the biggest voluntary group in the UK. At 6.5 million strong, we are the Big Society. At Unite we have 1.5 million members – just imagine what you can achieve with them standing by your side?
After 6 months in existence there is an opportunity to find out what Unite’s strategy is on working with the unemployed on Manchester Tuesday 27 November at Friends Meeting House at 7pm. The agenda is nomination for elections, organising for TUC demo on 5 December and a 6 month plan for Jan to June 2013 . More information here

Save….Newcastle libraries.. The council is proposing to get rid of 10 of its 18 branches as part of budget cuts and several authors led by Alan Gibbons have organised a protest. Newcastle Libraries Emergency meeting Tuesday 20 November 7pm, St. John’s Hall, 30 Grainger St. Newcastle NE1 5JG Speakers include: David Almond, Alan Gibbons, Steve Barlow. Further info see

Buy ethically……….. 2nd Peace & Craft Fair to be held at Cross Street Chapel, Cross St, Manchester on Saturday 24th November. Everything from beautiful crafts, head massage, henna painting, campaigning stalls, Father Christmas, elves to mulled wine. The antidote to Primark and M&S…..see

Go to a left wing play………Liverpool’s Dingle Community Theatre are performing the play “Waiting for Lefty” written by Clifford Odet, it is the story of a strike by New York taxi drivers. The original production by a socialist theatre group was so successful that they went on to form the Unity Theatre. See what so inspired people in the US in the 1930s. Performances are at the Lantern Theatre, Blundell St. Liverpool, 29&30 November at 8pm. Further details; 0151 703 0000

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
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