The Problem of Perspective: “A documentary film”, 17 November

This screening brings together three moving-image projects produced in Bradford during the ’70s which present alternative documentary viewpoints on ideas of education and work.

The Unteachables (c.1975) is an experimental ‘educational documentary’ produced by the Media in Education Unit, a group led by Albert Hunt which grew out of the Bradford Art College Theatre Group. Pursuing a philosophy based on what Brecht called “cheerful and militant learning” Hunt used first workshop based theatre, then video to facilitate collective projects with young people combining agitprop with new screen based mass media.

Facilitated by the MEU and made with a group of mainly West Indian unemployed youth in Bradford, Jim O’Brien’s film Black Future (1977) imagines England in 1983, where modern industry has destroyed the labour market leaving millions of young people permanently unemployed and living in controlled ‘welfare zones’.

The screening will also include two 10-minute studies which form part of artist Darcy Lange’s project A Documentation of Bradford Working Life (1974). Lange produced a series of 15 anthropological video studies of single workers performing tasks across four different Bradford factories, with the unfulfilled intention of presenting the work in this context too. Simply stated by artist Dan Graham, “Through the use of video feedback, Darcy sought to effect change in the people who were its subjects.”

The Unteachables (a.k.a. Open Night) (Media in Education Unit, c.1975, c.30min)
[Two studies from] A Documentation of Bradford Working Life (Darcy Lange, 1974, c.20min)
Black Future (Jim O’Brien, 1977, 40min)

*Please note, the image quality of this work is reflective of the type of video equipment used at the time of production.

17 November, 7–9pm
At: Delius Arts & Cultural Centre
29 Great Horton Road

General admission: £5
Unemployed, students and low-waged: Free

Book online or email

Part of The Problem of Perspective: Alternative Film & Video in Northern England, a series of screenings illuminating a distinctly northern perspective on the history of artists’ moving image in England. Forthcoming screenings in Hull, Newcastle, Rotherham, Kendal, London, Sheffield, Doncaster and Leeds. Supported by Film Hub North, led by Showroom Workstation. Proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network.

This screening is presented in partnership with Subveillance: 50 years of the University of Bradford from Below, an exhibition curated by Helen Kaplinsky at Gallery II, University of Bradford until Dec 8th. With additional support from Bradford College and Artworks Creative Communities.

  • The Problem of Perspective: “A documentary film”, 17 November