Watch....The Missing Picture (DVD), a documentary made by Rithy Panh, a Cambodian, telling the story of how his country was taken over by the Khmer Rouge. It is told through the use of clay figures made by Panh and newsreels made by the Khmer Rouge. Strangely the horror was made worse for me by the combination of Rithy’s delicate production of figures representing his family and friends and the horrific justification of genocide played out in the newsreels. All of his family died in labour camps which the KR used to destroy not just the bodies but also the individualism and humanity that lies within us all. People were forced to labour for long hours, deprived of food and drink and most of all deprived of their hope for the future. Eventually the KR were defeated and the leader Pol Pot was put on trial for genocide but for Rithy and the survivors the horrors still continue.Highly recommended.
Support …the Labour Start campaign to pressure 19 companies to make public donations to support the victims of last year’s Bangladesh building collapse when over 1,000 workers died. C&A and Primark have coughed up but some of the biggest firms connected to the building have not. This includes Benneton and Matalan. Sign the petition at
Go to…Nature in the City at Manchester City Art Gallery on Thursday 3 April, 5.30 – 8.30pm. Find out about Thomas Horsfall and his Art Museum. He was inspired by William Morris and John Ruskin in his belief that art could set people free. He set up his museum in 1884 in one of the poorest parts of the city, Harpurhey, and provided music and theatrical performances as well as lectures and classes in art. Join curator, Hannah Williamson, for a tour of the Horsfall exhibition. There are lots of other activities during the evening see
Find out more...about the Spanish Civil War at a guided tour on 3 April, 13.15-14.00 at the Peoples History Museum. Learn about how the Communist Party organised “Aid for Spain” and the role that British volunteers played in the war. See
Read...Ruby’s War by Johanna Winard, a novel set in Lancashire in 1942. Ruby is 15 and after the death of her mother and disappearance of her father she moves to a small village to live with her grandfather. At the same time a contingent of black GIs move into the area and, mirroring historical events, Johanna shows how the segregagionist policies of the US Army affect the local population, bringing out racial prejudices but also the humanity of the poor villagers. Johanna knows her history and reminds us of a forgotten but fascinating aspect to the history of Lancashire during wartime.See