Liverpool Collaborative History Film Launch

World Museum
29th November 2013

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

In the auspicious surroundings of the Treasure House Theatre, the culmination of six months endeavour on this project came to its conclusion. The theme of collaboration in the history of Liverpool as an alternative to the profit-motivated world of Capitalism was the prime mover behind these eight, five-minute films.

Through a diverse series of activities, participants in the films show that it is possible to achieve something without selling out to greed and self-interest. Each of the films showed a different aspect of how help and support can add value to peoples lives when in adversity.

Leftist bookshop, News From Nowhere, is an oasis for contemplation and learning in the heart of the city. Skelmersdale Food Bank showed how a collective could provide cheap fresh vegetables to cash-strapped families. Credit Unions, a far cheaper option to pay day lenders and Time Banking – where an hour of someone's time is reciprocated back to the donor's own requirement – are shown alongside a now closed mutual aid and support centre.

There is also a community bakery set up in an old arts venue in Anfield; the grassroots magazine Nerve (a space for discussion and debate of real-time social issues) and who can forget The Dockers Strike of 1995? Scouse picket lines were set up in New York, (the Government outlawed them here), preventing the movement of ships and fostering friendships and support that epitomised the true meaning of collaboration.

Assiduously led by Jane Farley, the Heritage Lottery Funded project was put together by a team of first timers to the disciplines of interviewing, camera work and editing, all assisted by professional graphic and musical soundtrack back-up. Credit must also go to the interviewees who went about their part with an equal seriousness and purpose.

Afterwards, it was over to the Excelsior for a celebratory drink and buffet, with a chance to meet up again and reflect on the finished product – a heartwarming testament that there is more to humanity and life than satisfying the selfish gene. Well done to all.

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