RFN Unconference and Festival: ​​Glasgow, 29 April-2 May 2016

Over the 2016 May Day holiday weekend (29 April to 2 May), Glasgow will host the Radical Film Network festival and unconference. This unique and innovative constellation of events brings together the collective efforts of activists, academics, and cultural workers from over twenty Scottish-based organisations engaged with radical film culture. The Glasgow event builds on the 2015 inaugural conference of the Radical Film Network in Birmingham which explored alternative film cultures and political cinema in the 21st century. At the inaugural conference, initial steps were taken to open up spaces for discussion involving academics and participants in film culture. Grounding itself in Scotland’s vibrant radical film culture, the 2016 unconference and festival will respond to one another, allowing for questions and ideas to be explored beyond the conventional boundaries of academic events and film festivals.

The organising committee invites expressions of interest from anyone wishing to participate in discussions over the weekend. These conversations will take the form of an ‘unconference’, in which the agenda will be decided by the participants according to their interests and in response to the weekend’s range of screenings and events. Within this flexible format, participants are invited to share their practical experiences, research, skills, and insights on any aspect of radical film culture including:

  • Your or your organisation’s practice (as filmmaker/s, exhibitors, researcher/s, activist/s, etc)
  • Film exhibition, festivals, community cinemas,
  • Consequences and possibilities of new technologies and platforms,
  • Political filmmaking,
  • Education and radical film practices,
  • Critical perspectives on the representation of marginalised groups,
  • Radical film history, culture, theory and practice

Possible forms of participation include:

  • Short illustrated talks (up to 6 minutes)
  • Poster presentations
  • Digital or printed material that can be distributed at the event

In keeping with the ethos of the unconference, the organisers will consider proposals for other formats. The unconference will take place at the University of Glasgow, the University’s Queen Margaret Student Union, and the Scottish Trades Union Congress’ headquarters, which are all in close proximity. Across these fully accessible venues, we will have ample space to facilitate additional activities as requested. Please contact the organisers if you require childcare facilities or have any other access questions.

While the support of the University of Glasgow and the STUC allows us to keep costs to a minimum, in order to provide food and materials for the attendants the unconference will have a ‘Pay What You Can’ registration system, with a suggested contribution of £50 from salaried academics and those with access to funding, but free of cost to all unwaged and voluntary sector participants.

Glasgow is a city with a rich, radical political and cultural history, which includes a wide-ranging, alternative film culture. The May Day Bank Holiday weekend, which takes place in the run up to the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections, is the perfect time for the city to play host to activists and academics – from Scotland, the UK and beyond – interested in exploring radical film cultures. We’d very much like to hear from you! Please answer a few questions about your interests using this form.

Organisations supporting and taking part in the Radical Film Network weekend include: