Watch… Girlhood(Home)…set in unfashionable Paris,about the children of French African families, it follows in the footsteps of films such La Haine and 35 Shots. And once again shows how French filmmakers are leading the world in expressing the alienation and discrimination of the poorest classes in their country. Marieme is 16 and wants to go to high school but like many of her peers she is offered little in the French education system but a lower status vocational training course or following in her mother’s footsteps as a room assistant. Her mother works long hours and the care of her two sisters falls to Marieme. Her brother is a frightening prescence in the family home, (a flat in a tower block) and is involved in the drug trade and policing Marieme and her sisters’ behaviour. There is a mixture of joy and harshness as she finds a new set of friends, but the friendship is riven with new demands involving physically fighting other girls and the shortlived acquisition of stolen money and clothes. It is a claustaphobic film reflecting the harsh lives and limited options for girls such as Marieme but there is a gradual awareness by her that she can change her life for the better. Best film of the year!
Get inspired .. and come to my book launch on 6 June at 2pm at the WCML in Salford. What we need is hope for the future and I believe my book can help people to believe they can change society. In Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women I explore what it means to be an activist with nine other women. At my launch you can meet these women and maybe discover that you too can follow in their footsteps. Further info see
Support . the campaign against mental health cuts which is one of the most vibrant in the region. On 21 May they have organised a gig to raise the profile of the campaign and to get some fund. Promoted by MIND and Grassroots Initiatives with the support of service user and carer groups. Further info see Tickets can be purchased using this link see
Go ..to some political theatre The Siege by The Freedom Theatre from Jenin Refugee Camp in occupied Palestine begins its first-ever tour of Britain. The play is an artistic reflection on a crucial event in recent Palestinian history, the Israeli army’s 39-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during the height of the second Intifada. While the dramatic scenes of the 2002 siege made headlines worldwide, those trapped inside the church were not heard. With The Siege, The Freedom Theatre tells the story from the perspective of fighters, clergy and civilians who lived through those fateful 39 days. Performances of The Siege will be accompanied by post-show discussions as well as workshop programmes, screenings and live events, with the aim of encouraging cross-cultural dialogue around notions of freedom, justice and equality. “I hope it will be a two-way experience”, says Nabeel Al-Raee, co-creator of The Siege. “The greatest thing for us is to meet people face to face and discuss our artistic project, as well as our lives.” More info on their UK tour see
Discover more about local poets and their poetry at flapjack press. Based in the northwest they promote some of our best poets. Check out Cathy Crabb’s new book of poetry or go to one of their events where you can find out more about their books. See