We will be sharing two films grown from our 50 year relationship with the Byker community in Newcastle Upon Tyne. We will be joined by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen to discuss her seminal work beginning in 1968 and continuing to this day.
BYKER ( Amber, 1983, 53 mins, colour)
When Amber film & Photography collective moved to the North East of England in 1969, Finnish founder member Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen set up home in Byker, a working class district of Newcastle upon Tyne. She began to photograph the terraced streets and their inhabitants, her awareness of the impending wholesale demolition of the area lending urgency to her documentation.
The seminal work became a book and an exhibition, and in 1981 Amber began work on the film which, drawing on Sirkka’s photographs and interviews, on documentary footage and dramatic reconstructions, evokes an entire era in British working class life. It is an intimate portrait of a community faced with redevelopment and a celebration of the richness of its culture.
TODAY I’M WITH YOU ( Amber, 2010, 54 mins, colour)
In 2005, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen returned to the rebuilt Byker. The visionary Byker Wall Estate, designed by the architect Ralph Erskine, was to have rehoused the original community intact, but inevitably failed. In her occasionally chaotic portrait sessions Sirkka invites the residents of the now multicultural estate to imagine their lives in ‘just one picture’, hoping to create a ‘virtual’ community through her project. In the resulting book and exhibition, Byker Revisited, she builds a collaborative portrait of the estate and the diverse communities who have come to share it.
OFF SIDE CINEMA
We may be distanced but we can still come together digitally to share films. We are very excited to share with you five Amber films that look at the world differently, highlighting community and collective resolve. We have curated a season drawn from our collective works including films grown from our 50 year relationship in Byker, Newcastle to our decades long conversations with East Germany, County Durham and beyond.
We are looking forward to watching each film with you and then facilitating a conversation afterwards featuring Amber filmmakers and members of the communities who worked with us on each project.
- REGISTER for the event we will email you the details including a link to the film and details of the facilitated conversation.
- We will share the link to the film 24 hours before the conversation begins giving you time to watch it at a time that works for you.
- We will email the Zoom link the day of the conversation so you can join us.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We have chosen to make the films available for free on the day of the screening but feel free to make a donation.