Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Diary for 1st April to 7th April 2009

THURSDAY 2nd April - Moon Watching

For centuries the moon has been associated in different cultures with the basic rhythms of life as well as religious symbolism and mythology. For people with extremely deep pockets, space travel has provided the ultimate opportunity for a close up encounter with the moon. The rest of humanity can enjoy the bathed light of a moon drenched evening, or viewing the moon through a telescope, which is exactly what I am going to do! From the 1st to the 5th of April there will be opportunities to enjoy moon watching at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. People will be able to look at the moon through a 28 inch telescope, the largest of its kind in the UK. Admission is free. For more information take a look at this website.

FRIDAY 3rd April- Tokyo Sonata

For those of you familiar with Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's work, the filmmaker has steered away from his traditional horror fare to do a film which depicts the darker side of human nature while giving us a glimpse at some of the social problems which exist in contemporary Japan. Tokyo Sonata is a black comedy about a 'normal' Japanese family. When the father looses his job unexpectedly and keeps it secret from his family, a domino effect of lies and a breakdown of communication gradually leads to the family's destruction. Tokyo Sonata is being screened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts at 6:15pm tonight. Tickets are 8 pounds for adults and 7 for concession. To book tickets take a look here.

SATURDAY 4th April- In search of a medicine woman

As part of the London International Documentary Festival, there will be a screening of the film 'Noshinto Shamporo' (My daughter Shamporo) at the British Museum this afternoon. Taking place in the central rainforests of Peru, Elias the leader of the Ashaninka tribe decides to return to his birthplace to search for a medicine woman who will teach his daughter Shamporo all about plants and ceremonial rites. The film will take place inside the BP lecture theater at the British Museum at 3pm. Tickets are 3 pounds. For more information about the film take a look here.

SUNDAY 5th April- Was Manchester built on Slavery?

Eight museums and galleries from the greater Manchester area came together in 2007 to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade in 1807. In a project called Revealing histories, the group of museums and galleries developed exhibitions, events and activities aimed at exploring the legacies of slavery in their collections, communities and in their region. The projects and activities have been documented and put together in a wonderful website called: Revealing Histories, debating slavery. The website is divided into three sections, explore, investigate and debate. This a fantastic teaching and learning resource.

MONDAY 6th April- Un voyage a Canada

Today I am going to the Canada House Gallery, just near Trafalgar Square to see a new exhibit called Nunavut Our Land- Notre Terre. Established on April 1st 1999, Nunavut is the newest and largest of the Northern territories in Canada and is an area of growing international importance. The exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of celebrating Nunavut's establishment as a seperate territory. The exhibit contains Inuit sculpture and photographs of everyday life in Nunavut by Patrice Halley. The exhibit is free, and you can visit from 10:00am- 5:30pm.

TUESDAY 7th April- ASPEKTY Festival of Visual Anthropology: call for films

For all of you aspiring anthropological filmmakers, the annual ASPEKTY anthropological film festival will take place this year in Torun Poland, between the 27-29 of November 2009. The festival aims at exploring different areas of culture with the main goal of presenting 'the audience with diverstiy of human experience and the multiplicity of ways to express onself within a society and the world'. The festival is now calling for films to be submitted. The deadline for submissions is 1st August 2009. For more information about the festival and submitting your film, take a look at this website.

WEDNESDAY 8th April- Chewing for the environment

Those of you who go to Waitrose for your groceries or afternoon snack might have noticed a new product on the shelves called Chicza. Chicza is a new type of chewing gum that is organic and biodegradable. Following from an old Mayan tradition, Macario Leyva (a gum farmer from the Mayan rainforest) and his consortium of chicleros are hoping to launch a niche product that will not only provide an alternative to the toxic substance (that costs the British government 413 million pounds a year to remove) but a product that links back to Mayan cultural heritage and farming practices. There is a very interesting article from the Telegraph about the gum and the project, which you can read here.