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EUROVISIONS, 1989: ALL THAT FALLS
11| 01| 14 – 15| 03| 14
In 2014 Side Gallery is developing three exhibitions for the 25th anniversary of the coming down of the Berlin Wall. The first of these explores the bodies of work held in its own unique photographic collection: Mark Power’s Berlin Wall and Paul Lowe’s Romanian Revolution.
The exhibition will also show Dana Kyndrova’s The Russians and Jindrich Streit’s Sovinec, projects which the two Czech photographers had developed over the 1980s and brought to Side. Sovinec includes the portrait of a Communist Party official, asleep in a public meeting, which earned the photographer a short prison sentence.
In 1987 Amber Films – with Side, part of Amber Collective – documented the East German fishing and shipbuilding town of Rostock in From Marks & Spencer to Marx and Engels. The East German film company DEFA came to Tyneside and made a film with the reverse title.
Many of the subjects of Amber’s films have closed down within a couple of years and East Germany was no exception. In the early 1990s Side Gallery was part of a flowering of European documentary collaboration and both Dana Kyndrova and Jindrich Streit came to develop work in and around Crook, Co Durham.
The exhibition is not just a commemoration of a crucial chain of events in contemporary history, it is a celebration of Amber/Side’s own engagements at that time (and an acknowledgement of its own responsibility for the collapse of Eastern Europe). Amber Films is currently making a film back in Rostock, looking at what has happened to the individuals who were in the original documentary.
A programme of events and film screenings linked to the exhibition will include both of the 1987 films, a season of films from the Prague Spring of the late 1960s and series of talks and presentations exploring the photographic collaborations of the early 1990s.
The second Eurovisions exhibition, in May, will look at some of the long term and current impacts of Eastern Europe’s collapse; the third will be Kai Wiedenhöfer’s Confrontier, documenting the walls which continue to divide communities around the world.
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Sirkka Bronze-Plaqued! Official!
As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard... Well, all right, Newcastle Quayside... and not yet, but definitely soon... look down at your feet and you might well see a bronze plaque celebrating Amber's own, truly wonderful Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, who has been nominated by the public as one of the first twenty to be honoured as local heroes! Up there with Bobby Robson, Cardinal Hume, Alan Shearer, Ant & Dec - and Amber friends Kathryn Tickell, David Almond, Robson Green and the late, much-missed Julia Darling - Sirkka was nominated, in particular, for her inspirational work in Byker... The press release has gone out ahead of the plaques, so they've got time to get the spelling right before casting it in bronze...
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Help Support Amber's Unique Collection
Murray Martin, founding member of Amber
Amber has launched a new development plan that will secure its unique film and photography collection and, where possible, make it accessible online and/or on site at Side Gallery. It involves a major programme of digitisation, interpretation, web development, digital/physical access development in the gallery and improved exhibition facilities. If you would like to know more, click here.
Your help and support is important. If you would like to make a financial contribution, CLICK HERE. Volunteers will be able help with the fundraising campaign and with the programme of work. If you would like to become involved or if there are other ways you think you can support these developments, please contact us.