:- Crime and punishment
As the ReViewing Punishment season at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse reaches its climax with a series of special events, Stephen Naysmith finds out why it is important for everyone to have some inside information.
Despite the popularity of museums such as lnveraray Jail. the public would rather not know about their modern counterparts, according to the organisers of a major event about prisons being held in Edinburgh. ReViewing Punishment is a series of debates. workshops and ﬁlms organised by the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Edinburgh University Centre for Continuing Education (CCE).
Jean Racburn. programme director for the CCE. says that few people take the time to visit Scotland’s prisons. although everyone is entitled to do so, and that little is known about the vast costs ofthe punishment ‘system'. ‘The public don't tend to take an interest in how a large amount of money is spent on their behalf through the courts and the prisons.‘ she argues. ‘Partly because of a media fantasy which always talks in terms of crime rising and violent crime, people are almost willing to sign a blank cheque if it will keep them safe.‘
On the back of a ﬁlm programme which has been running throughout September. events at the Filmhouse will address questions such as ‘How
:— Sound advice
Sound City has unveiled its autumn campaign after a quiet summer which included low-key involvement in the Glasgow Fair Festival and Jazz in the Park.
Sound City set out to be more than a vibrant, intense week of gigging activity broadcast to the nation via Radio One. Its real objective was to secure long-tenn benefits for music practitioners in the city; there were ambitious plans to develop the educational aspects of music and establish links with the visual and performing arts. it was never the intention that it should grind to a halt when the folk from 1FM hopped on the shuttle back to tendon in April.
Look at the example of last year’s Sound City, Sheffield, which has expanded on its remit by staging another series of gigs under the colourful banner ‘Sheffield Sex City’.
The autumn events begin at Glasgow School of Art Students Union with Flight Paths to Each Other, an exhibition of O.l.Y. sleeve art from the
much does it cost to lock people up?’. ‘Does imprisonment work?’ and ‘What are the alternatives?‘
The combination of a ﬁlm programme, public forums and lectures is an unusual one. playing on the strengths of both organisations. Events are open to all and it is hoped they will attract both those working in the ﬁeld and interested members ofthe public. A key event will be ‘In The Public Interest', a public debate at the Filmhouse following the screening of David Hayman's powerful ﬁlm about the Special Unit at Barlinnie Prison: Silent Scream. The panel at the debate will include Hayman himself.
As one of the aims ofthe month is to get members ofthe public to visit Scottish prisons. trips have been organised to tie in with the public debate. ‘People often don't know that they can do this. or they don’t know
how to go about it,‘ Racburn points out.
As a result. the programme offers the
likes of The Pastels, Sonic Youth and St Etienne. It then continues with another intensive week of gigs, which feature touring and local bands at five venues throughout the city. This coincides with the start of the new university session, traditionally the busiest time of year in the concert calendar.
Other special events include a Postcard iiecords presentation at the OFT — a must for all post-modern ironists - at which Paul Ouinn will croon while Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver and the like flicker on the screen behind him; and the culmination of the AVA-organised Soundworks musical sculptures competition. To accompany the exhibition of the results at the Arches, there will be live music from Finitribe and an internet and video link with The Shamen.
Which is a fine programme to get the city centre buzzing again. But what of the trumpeted community events? Sound City’s John Williamson readily admits that, ‘the community involvement side - in areas where audiences don’t ordinarily go to see bands - is an objective which still has to be totally fulfilled.’ iiesidents of outlying areas may now wish to run for
opportunity to visit courts and penal institutions. Racburn suggests we owe it to ourselves to get along to some of the events. ‘Basically. people should be concerned about this,‘ she says. ‘It is your money. Do you know what is happening in prisons? Do you know what works?‘
Prisoner Cell Block H: An afternoon devoted to the Aussie soap takes place on Sat 24 Sept. 3pm. Edinburgh Filmhouse. £2.20 (£1.50). Cat/1i Rae of Leicester De Montford University aims to explore the popularity of the programme.
In The Public Interest: Wed 28 Sept. 7—10pm. Edinburgh Filmhouse. Free. tickets from F ilmhouse Box Oﬂice.
The Price Of Punishment: Sat I Oct. 1.30—5pm. Edinburgh Filmhouse. Tickets £6 (£3) from Filmhouse Box Office. A public debate with John McVicar and others. Includes a prison WSII.
: the hills with the announcement that
Greenock’s denim-clad Stonesy urchins Whiteout will be conducting a tour of community centres, halls and schools in places like Castiemilk and Orumchapel at the end of October. Back in April, many found the free seminars beneficial. The educational/talking shop aspect of Sound City continues with a series of talks at the OFT, beginning with an address from John Peel, and later covering topics such as video and TV, press and concert promotion.
As before, however, the ‘success’ of Sound City is still primarily up to the musicians of Glasgow. They must find ways to exploit the opportunities presented, and the financial help available to them through the Council’s Music Development Fund. This is not administered by Sound City, although it came about as a result of Glasgow gaining the Sound City title for the year.
The hope now is that the Fund will be invested wisely in projects which will have positive repercussions for a whole spectrum of musicians, rather than simply in individual bands. (Oamien love/Fiona Shepherd)
See Music section for features and listings of Sound City events.
I BEACNWATCR 94 Members of the Edinburgh group of the Marine Conservation Society are asking for anyone who fancies a ‘dirty weekend’ to help them clean up Cramond Beach on Sat 24 Sept from llam. Volunteers will survey the amount of litter on the beach before the clean up. as part ofa national initiative to generate information about the state of the shoreline around the country. For more information about‘the initiative contact: C. McNaughton (031 667 0779): C. Bradshaw (031 229 5689). or turn up at Cramond Beach car park on the day.
I RALEIGH INTERNATIONAL The UK's leading youth development charity (formerly known as Operation Raleigh) is holding a recruitment drive in Edinburgh in the week from 26 Sept to 2 Oct. Recruits will take part in a series of environmental and community projects around the world during l995/96. On Thurs 29 Sept there will be an open afternoon at the City Cafe. Victoria Terrace from 4pm. with a lecture on Fri 30 Sept (phone 031 553 5566 for details). On Sun 2, there will be a Challenge Day at The Meadows from 10.30am—3pm.
I SAFE CANALS The support group of the Forth and Clyde Canal is holding a meeting on Thurs 29 Sept from 7.30pm at the Forth and Clyde Canal Community Centre. 304 Maryhill Road, Glasgow. Everyone who has an interest in the canal and who would like to get involved or who has suggestions for the canal's improvement is welcome. Contact Diane Waddell on 041 332 9i 15 (extension 19).
I CEILION Friends of the Earth (Edinburgh) and Advocates for Animals will beneﬁt from a ceilidh with Ceilidh Express. to be held at the Walpole Hall, Chester Street, Edinburgh on Fri 30 Sept. Tickets cost £4 (£3) and the dancing lasts from 8pm to midnight.
I OAELIC PLACE NAMES Red Rope. the socialist walkers and climbers club which organises days and weekends away. is holding an open meeting at the back room ofthe Southsider Pub, West Richmond Street, Edinburgh on Wed 5 ()ct from 8pm. The speaker for the evening will be Danny Rafferty.
I DEMOCRACY ANO DOLLARS The Scottish Cuba Defence Campaign is holding a public meeting at the Friends Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace. Edinburgh on Thurs 6 Oct at 7pm. All are welcome .
I Advance iiotices Planning for the 1995 lntemational Women‘s Day celebrations in Edinburgh has already begun. The celebrations will centre on a large event at the Assembly Rooms next March. Individuals and groups interested in participating should contact D. Corbett on 031 529 4312.
I Kill The Bill Buses to the National Demonstration against the Criminal Justice Bill in London on Sun 9 Oct will be going from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Phone 07l 9230333 for details.
I If you have news of any events or
courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to 5 ‘Action’ at The list, 14 iiigh Street, ' Edinburgh EH1 fTE and include a day-
time phone number. |
The List 23 September—6 October i994 5