Saturday 13th July – what a contrast. Another extraordinary location to watch a set of artist made films on one of the hottest evenings at the height of summer. It was a bit cosy upstairs beneath the uninsulated loft of an old red brick Victorian factory! Last used as a printing works it’s now an innovative artists’ project space in the middle of Regency Cheltenham. Two electric fans on full blast moved the hot air around the twelve of us sitting as motionlessly as possible, engrossed by the films and trying to reach some equilibrium in the heat. I felt a kind of kinaesthetic symbiosis with the stories and sensations revealed – the sweat emerging on a diver’s face as she struggled to decide whether to jump or not – the blink of an eye glimpses at hot cities – the inertia of an old man’s corpse slowly washed and placed in a padded coffin – the breathless anxiety of being challenged by a border guard in steamy Vietnam. By the time we began the last film’s adventure I had almost forgotten the pressure of our local heat as we were taken through road blocks and dusty towns across the baking desert to Ramallah with a giant metal horse. The whole event was an enveloping, sensory experience.
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