Arnolfini, Bristol, 6 September 2015
Many thanks to Difference Screen for putting on this presentation – an eclectic mix of international short films on the theme of landscape, identity and culture – at Arnolfini, Bristol recently. I was at times amused, unsettled and curious and at others completely non-plussed and irritated. A thought provoking and thoroughly agreeable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Interested to hear that a selection of films had been taken on tour in Mongolia, I wondered (out loud) how it had been received (well, apparently) and who had seen it? It had been a joint venture with Nine Dragon Heads and together they had managed to reach a reasonably wide audience in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, and beyond http://www.differencescreen.net/mongolia/
Meanwhile, back at Arnolfini, it was difficult not to notice that the audience was predominantly white British, middle-aged and middle class. So, what of it? Apart from the fact that the films deserve a wider audience, does it matter and what can you do to attract a more diverse audience? And then I disappeared down a rabbit hole wondering about arts education, the funding of the arts in general, how do you make people more visually literate and willing to move out of their comfort zones, and why do people make the effort and part with their cash for an event anyway? I didn’t reach any conclusions of course and I imagine that it won’t be resolved any time soon.