Archive for September, 2018


Packing for the trip was a breeze. I’ve now collected a bundle of stuff that allows me to pick and mix. And be ready to go on my two week Polish adventure with one small backpack. Nothing to check-in and no waiting at the conveyor belt watching all the bags but mine come down.
All checked in. Easy. Security. Easy. A seat and a roll and a tea at Pret a Manger.. Easy. Flight delayed…. Lots of things are buzzing in my mind. Modern technology is great. A few emails and texts to sort out tasks for my return. There are times when the glamour of flying wears off. One is being on damp tarmac, breathing in the aroma of fumes from the plane’s engines before trooping up the stairs to your seat.
The feeling of suspended animation when flying is unnerving. What if everyone collectively stopped believing that these tons of metal etc could really fly. We were rolling over the ground below and it was laid out like an endless road to nowhere, busy going somewhere. A plane in the distance was slicing its way through the horizon. Foretelling of the soon to arrive sunset.
I watched and listened. What do people find to talk about non-stop. The stewards and stewardesses never stopped talking as they stood in their oblivious huddle. Maybe something I should learn if I am spending two weeks helping Polish business people to improve their conversational English.
The carpet lights of Krakow unfolded below and I had arrived to begin a two week volunteer session with Anglovile.
Krakow is a lovely city. The Main Square has an atmosphere and feel of its own. Lively. Busy. Friendly. A buzz without over buzzing. High quality musicians playing for and earning their keep. Gentle conversations outside the resteraunts that are placed around the Square. And off course a Starbucks. A young crowd on the move. A young man came and offered me the chance to drink, relax and watch girls dancing in a club. I think he picked the wrong guy there.

These two weeks in Poland with @angloville will be a great opportunity to put things down. The Angloville experience makes me think of my Blue Star Camps experience in America. For a period of time you can immerse yourself in it. Step away from the regular and normal day to day life.
A vegetarian meal option for the next two weeks will be great. A chance to rest my digestive system and stimulate my pallet. Especially if they stop serving such nice meat and chicken options.



20th AUGUST 2018

The film is excellent and has a suitable ending. Hollywood likes things to end with sweet American Apple wholesomeness. This goes somewhere else. Somewhere towards the truth and reality. You have to see it on the big screen for yourself.
Images from Charlottesville, Virginia when on August 12th, 2017 a car was rammed into anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators. 32-year-old Heather Heyer died as a result. Nineteen others were injured. There is more to the story and the demonstrations and the plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, but any person specifically ramming a car into people…..
Former kkk grand wizard david duke quoting trump from a campaign speech. I believe the role is now called national director – looks better.
There were some good parallels to the lives of Americans of the 70’s and to now. The smirk when a white officer was pointing out the possibility of a racist supporter of the kkk as President. It would have been the same if you mentioned having a Black President. One that was more eloquent than his successor. But for some people it doesn’t matter what they get, as long as it’s not Black, Jewish, Gay or female.
A couple of times there were some wake up calls to black people. They shot towards me with the whoosh of starlight passing.
I often leave movies like this questioning my position and privilege. And my own whiteness. And my relationships with so many white people across the globe.

The Q and A…. A Spike Lee joint.
The film was beamed to 116 theatres across the country and maybe beyond. The q and a session came to use in clarity from The BFI on the Southbank, London. Looking cool, fashionable and confident he took his seat to cheers. And a few standing cheers. I experienced this as a lost moment. I wondered why a few people left our cinema half way through. The questions from the Twittersphere were focused and clear. The interviewer seemed to ask the question, then ask again, then again in a combination of words. It is as if modern interviewers aren’t sure of their craft. Parkinson and Frost got to the point. Spike well sometimes he was informative about American culture both then and now. His film career and experience. American politics and Brexit. How the film, Birth of the Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915) directly revived the klan in the U.S. and led to lynching’s, castrations and murders of AFRO-AMERICANS. Because they were BLACK! And he rambled and interrupted the people asking questions. The film was originally called The Clansman. The two questions from the audience rambled and he didn’t listen – interrupted with the thought in his head. I suppose that’s real but to me it means you aren’t listening. And people need to be advised to really focus their question so more people can speak. To write their question down. Interviews like this can be rich and more than just chances to pat each other and hug.

The Showroom cinema in Sheffield is a clean, comfortable, welcoming venue. Good food and good service. I like sitting by the window and watching the world groove by. It’s a great example of a truth – Northerners are friendlier.
This is a hard-hitting film that flows across a sweet soul soundtrack, beautiful afros and beautiful black faces, moments of intense fear, intense hatred and anger from black and white characters, confusion, silent audiences and clapping audiences. See it for yourself. Take your friends and children. It’s not about being good or bad. It’s about being ALIVE in one of the most challenging but exciting times in history. And being part of that history. The story isn’t over but its truth can be avoided.

@spikelee @klan @showroomcinema @bfi

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