Watch.. Blood In The Mobile screened this week by the Manchester Film Co-operative. The film was made by Frank Poulsen, Winner of Berlin’s Cinema for Peace Award for Justice in 2011. The north west has had a Congolese community for many years and at their demos they have raised the issue of the connection between mobile phones and the civil war in their country.
Director Frank Poulsen travels to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to see the illegal mining industry with his own eyes. He gets access to Congo’s largest tin-mine, which is being controlled by different armed groups, and where children work for days in narrow mine tunnels to dig out the minerals that end up in our phones.
Most of the minerals used to produce cell phones are coming from the mines in DR Congo. The Western World is buying these “conflict minerals” and thereby financing a civil war that, according to human rights organisations, has been the bloodiest conflict since World War II. During the last 15 years the conflict has cost the lives of more than 5 million people and 300,000 women have been raped. The war will continue as long as armed groups can finance their warfare by selling minerals. Blood in Mobile is a film about our personal responsibility and corporate social responsibility for the conflict in the Congo.
Go and see… Wrong’un, a one woman play about the campaign for the vote. I saw it last year at the Lowry and it is excellent. Set in 1918 at the point when Parliament is about to pass legislation to give some women the vote. Ella Harris plays Annie Wilde, a Lancashire mill-girl who becomes a suffragette. We learn about her life and her adventures from schoolroom to prison cell. See this clip on youtube at
Further details see
Read… Ellen Wilkinson From Red Suffragist to Government Minister by Paula Bartley. Watch Paula give a talk about Ellen but skip the cringing introduction by a Labour MP showing how far they have departed from the ideals of Ellen and her generation see. Read my review of the book at Highly recommended.
Join in….a discussion with writer John Fay on how television presents history on 24 May at 2.30pm at Three Minute Theatre. John Fay is the creator and chief scriptwriter of the Channel Four series The Mill. Based on real events at Styal Mill in the 1830s, the first series aired in 2013 and showed the struggle for better working conditions and the Ten Hour Day. The second series, set in the 1840s at the time of the Chartists, will air this autumn. In addition to the Mill John’s work on television over the last 20 years has included Blue Murder, Brookside, Coronation Street, Clocking Off, Primeval and Torchwood. Further details at
Go to..a new play Angel Meadow. Angel Meadow,located off Rochdale Road, was a large predominantly Irish community from the mid-19th Century onwards. The renamed and rebranded Library Theatre Company as Home have brought in Irish theatre company ANU to create this new production set in Ancoats. It starts on 10 June and they say;
Immerse yourself in an adrenaline-fuelled encounter, exhuming an area of Manchester that no longer exists. Angel Meadow, once a steaming, sordid hell on earth at the centre of the industrial world; populated by red eyed scuttling gangs, girl rippers and the displaced Irish. Here lost strangers sought solace, sex and the divine. You and I will be the strangers.
– See more at