:— Listen and learn
When the seventh World AIDS Day swings around. traditional attention grabbers like red ribbons and Safer Sex Roadshows will sit alongside a more intimate, less campaigning approach. Increasineg these days. the issue of AIDS awareness is being illustrated for the public by the personal responses of those directly affected.
This was the approach taken by Craig Sheppard of The Handsome Foundation, which is presenting two installations and a performance piece at Glasgow‘s CCA. Sheppard began researching his show Legend by interviewing around 20 people who either have HIV or AIDS, or have lost someone through AIDS; before creating a ‘personal response’ to what he had heard.
‘We didn‘t want to do a chest- pounding piece about the politics of it,’ he explains. ‘I don‘t like to be slapped around the face. We wanted a personal piece that kind ofcrept in and stuck under the skin. so you're not putting up those blockades about being lectured.
, No one's excluded from these feelings
3 — it does affect all of us directly or
. indirectly — so I wanted to make
something accessible that you can feel part of.‘
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, SOLAS. the support and information centre for people living with HIV. has been taking a more direct approach by offering its
clients an individual voice. At the beginning ofthis year, the T4 Group was set up to help people find a way of expressing their own identities as
people living with HIV.
SOLAS offered the T4 Group the chance to work with different media. after which they opted to present their ideas as a four-screen tape/slide presentation, combining still images with chosen words and phrases. The show is a sequence of short pieces by sixteen of the group’s members. and will be presented at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre.
‘Lots of the media images around people with HIV and AIDS are quite
Personal response to AIDS (left to right): The Handsome Foundation; T4's ‘You, Me & HIV' and ‘10 Years Cn'
patronising and dchumanising,‘ says Lynda Graham of SOLAS. ‘and people may feel they're not in control ofthe images that go out. This was a way for the group to tell their story how they wanted to tell it.‘ (Andrew Burnet) World AIDS Day is on Thurs 1 Dee. Ten/Loyer/Legend is at the C CA. Glasgow, Thurs / and Fri 2 (see Theatre listings for times): the T4 Group is tape/slide presentation is at the 'I’raverse Theatre. Edinburgh. Sat 3 at 2pm.
“- Home help
It’s been nearly five years since homelessness in Glasgow was thoroughly researched and in that time the problem has mushroomed, according to Margaret Taylor, the new director at the Glasgow Council for Single Homeless.
Taylor, formerly with Scottish Women’s Aid, ioins GCSH in time to co- ordinate a new review of
homelessness in the city, due to start next month. One of its central tasks will be determine why Glasgow has an
I eighth of Scotland’s population, but f around a quarter of the country’s ‘ homeless people. ‘We want to keep
that information in the public’s mind by raising awareness of the special nature of Glasgow’s homelessness
problem,’ says Taylor.
As well as appointing a new director, GCSH has undergone major changes since a financial crisis forced it to close its Stopover hostel last year. (The gap left by Stopover is expected
to be filled by a new hostel due to be opened by the welfare organisation the Guarriers before Christmas.)
New GCSH has narrowed its focus and
is acting as an umbrella to help its 40 member groups run services for the homeless, rather than being a direct service provider itself. Future projects include helping start a women-only advice and support service HCHOW (ilew Options for Homeless Women), which has just applied for Urban Aid funding. (Eddie Gibb)
Glasgow Council for Single Homeless can be contacted on 041 2041072.
:— Pirate video
It‘s fitting for a ﬁlm tackling such grand themes — Scottish independence. liberation theology. state corruption — that The Priest and the Pirate should come complete with a ‘Making of. . .‘ companion documentary.
The film, which receives its first public screening on television next week, is the result of a community video project which grew into a £I5().()()() production. The resulting feature-length film was shot in Pilton. Edinburgh. using local people and professionals including actors Vincent Friell and Alison Peebles.
The Priest and the Pirate is a self- referential story set in the near future about a group of video pirates who hack into the television networks to broadcast alternative news bulletins. ‘It is a romanticist version ofourselves,‘ admits producer Joel Venet of the film which originated in the Video In Pilton project.
The film was made using development money from Channel 4 and public sector sources such as Edinburgh District Council, but many of the professional cast and crew worked for part of the filming on a deferred fee basis. The production ran
out of money halfway through shooting. putting immense pressure on
the production team.
2 These strains were recorded by
; Edinburgh videomakers Brian English I and Gail Frater, and are the subject ofa BBC Scotland [ix-S programme. Video ': Pirates. ‘It‘s very powerful with
! clashes of egos and people storming off set,‘ says [ix-S producer Richard
1 Downes. ‘The documentary doesn‘t make a comment on the film itself, just the soap opera of the making of it.‘
; The Priest and the Pirate is being screened first on BBC Scotland and
4 The List l8 November—l December 1994
.Jeiil THE. HQMFI-ESS
then throughout Britain on Channel 4 next year. The producers are now touting the film round the European film festival circuit in the hope of selling it again to recoup some of the costs.
‘The lesson we learned is that it is incredibly expensive to make drama and you have to be sure of the money before starting,‘ says Venet. (Eddie Gibb)
The [ix-S documentary is on Tue 22 Nov at I 0.25pm on BBC]. followed by a screening of The Priest and the Pirate at [0.55pm.
Vincent Friell as the new priest on the block
I Herbal remedy Fears that herbal medicines would have to go through the same prohibitively expensive licensing procedures as pharmaceutical
drugs have receded. The Department of
Health last week said herbal medicines would still be exempt under new legislation which is being introduced to harmonise Britain's medicine laws with the rest of Europe. This apparent climbdown comes after unprecedented numbers of letters were sent to the department expressing concern.
I Wha’s Like Us? A special debate on Scottish national identity has been organised by BBC Scotland for transmission on St Andrew‘s Day (Wednesday 30 November) at l()am. Beyond Brigadoon will be presented by Ruth Wishart with speakers from around the world. Free tickets are available for the recording of the programme on Monday 28 November at Broadcasting House, Queen Street. Edinburgh at 7.30pm. Details on 041 330 2545.
I New direction The Scottish Film
Council has appointed Maxine Baker as
its new director. She will replace David Bruce who retired recently. Baker is currently head of the documentary department at the National Film and Television School, and before that was a programme maker with Scottish Television and Granada. Her production credits include World in Action and The Benn Diaries.
I Crisis management Turning Point. Glasgow's first drugs crisis centre. has opened. offering a 24-hour drop-in service for people with drug problems. It also has a twelve-bed short-stay unit supported by medical and community services and a 24-hour telephone advice line. Details of the service and confidential advice are available on ()41 420 6969.