We’re back from the Greenbelt Arts Festival in Cheltenham and it was full-on as ever, but very rewarding. Greenbelt is a great audience, packed with all kinds of people who really care about political issues, social change and campaigning and who want make big change happen – just like we do!
The Vanishing of the Bees, Saturday 28 August
We had a full house for The Vanishing of the Bees followed by a great talk from Phil Chandler – author of The Barefoot Bee Keeper. Phil describes his book as ‘a challenge to the status quo [and a read] to stimulate both actual and potential beekeepers to think for themselves and ask questions’. He talked with first hand knowledge – and with deep passion and energy – of how and why the phenomena of bees and ‘colony collapse disorder’ is directly linked to the way our food is produced (chemical overload, monoculture, agri-business lobbying). Visit Phil’s site www.biobees.com to learn more, or to take action visit The Co-operative’s Plan Bee.
Burma VJ, Sunday 29 August
After the film, Zoya Phan – a 28 year old ethnic Karen refugee – spoke about her own experiences as a teenager fleeing the regime. She now lives in London and works for human rights organisation, The Burma Campaign UK. In an incredibly moving presentation, Zoya spoke about the extent of human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime – including the assassination of her father and assassination attempts on her own life; the need for the international community to keep pressure on Burma as well as its trading partners; the need for a Global Arms embargo as well as for the UN to agree to implement a commission to investigate Crimes against humanity in Burma.
Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army, Monday 30 August
Jeremy Hardy turned up on Monday morning to a very warm welcome from the Greenbelt crowd. In fact the venue was so full that even Jeremy himself had to queue to get in! After the screening of Leila Sansour’s first film ‘Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army’, the Radio 4 comedian spent more than an hour in a lively post-film discussion, updating the audience about the individuals in the film (International Solidarity Movement) and the issues affecting the West Bank and Bethlehem in particular. We’ll be posting clips of the discussion here on our website but in the mean time, see what Jeremy had to say about Tipping Point Film Fund and Leila’s new film ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.