RCE North East uses documentaries to highlight gender issues and environmental activism

Cinema Politica Newcastle by RCE North East, a project that received the RCE Award 2015 in Category B “Acknowledged Flagship Project (Project Type: Community Engagement)” was set up in 2010 by a group of environmental scientists who wanted to explore, discuss and act on issues related to environmental sustainability. During the first steps of the project the team decided to make documentaries to highlight under-represented viewpoints, and to provide a safe space for discussion and debate. These films were publicly accessible. By affiliating with Cinema Politica, an international organisation committed to supporting the idea of ‘alternative, independent, and radical political film and video - telling stories from the margins’ and together with the local RCE network, they managed to provide a collaborative space to exchange views and thoughts of change. During the first year they focused on environmental stewardship and activism. Much of the experience came from other film directors, practitioners, NGOs, the community, and academics, who gave their time and thoughts to the discussions and debates. Fast-forward six years and the project has now enriched the collective knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues in and around Newcastle in the UK. In the last two years alone, the now all-women team has shifted focus away from Cinema Politica Newcastle, increasingly exploring the link between social, political and environmental issues, recognising that barriers to sustainability are often related to intersectional issues of inequality. In 2016, they hosted open discussion rounds about the power of localised environmental activism, the role of gender, sexuality and race related to violence, and the nature of show’man’ship in politics during the 21st century. RCE North East is currently working with The Northern Stage to develop a season of documentaries for 2017, including a feminist film series, featuring gender-based and female-directed films.
United Kingdom