Members of Swansea Palestine Community Link, David Gillam and Ambulance director David Gillam on stage following our recent screening of Ambulance at Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea.
This year we are very fortunate to be collaborating with Danielle House and Berit Bliesemann de Guevara from the International Politics department at Aberystwyth University, who have been instrumental in bringing together a varied programme of talks, poetry and music connected to the films. See below for a full list of events (or for the full programme of films click here).
Dani and Berit are working alongside curator Roberta Bacic on Stitched Voices, an exhibition of crafted, powerful, vocal conflict and protest textiles that sparked the idea for WOW's "Voices of Resistance" season and which will be on display at Aberystwyth Arts Centre's Gallery 1 from 25 March - 13 May 2017.
This year we're holding an activist marketplace at Chapter throughout WOW's opening weekend Friday 17 - Sunday 19 March.
Among the stall holders is Charlotte Peacock of "Twin Made Things". Charlotte has turned images of the quirky placards she saw on the Women's March into "Protest Stitches", which she will be selling in order to raise funds for the women's charity Refuge.
Anaya Aid is a humanitarian organisation which sends sorely needed supplies to those suffering under the conflict in Syria. This spring they are part of the Unity Convoy which will be delivering ambulances to Syria.
As a reaction to events currently taking place in the world, The Listening Project are experimenting with finding ways to provide people with a space for thinking. While we are all bombarded with opinions and perspectives that people want us to agree to, we often don't get a space to consider our own thoughts on important issues. It's through the process of thinking aloud, and noticing what we feel and the complexities of our reactions that we get a chance to think freshly, shift our positions and decide on action. The Listening Project offers this space for people to be heard and to reflect. They will be a small group with listening ears and placards with a few key questions to get people thinking, look out for them on Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the weekend we'll also have stalls from the Cardiff People's Assembly, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hope Not Hate, Stand Up to Racism, Abortion Rights Cardiff, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, UNICEF and Alternatives to Violence.
In the 2017 WOW Film Festival cinema and activism combine, so come and see the films and then see what you can do to help make a better world.
At Chapter on Sunday 19 March we have a number of activist workshops:
1pm: Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Discussion chaired by Prof. Sharif Gemie with Ambulance director Mohamed Jabaly and apresentation by Rod Bull, who has worked in hospitals in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank.
2pm: Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Cymdeithas Y Cymod arms fair workshop.
Discuss what you can do in response to DPRTE in Cardiff.
3pm: Hope Not Hate - “How to have challenging conversations”
This workshop explores how we can constructively challenge prejudice in our everyday conversations.
5pm: Eco Assembly with Cardiff Activist Cafe and People’s Assembly
Help generate creative, sustainable solutions for Cardiff’s communities.
As fiercely talented as he was modest, in 1962 Finnish boxer Olli Mäki swept into national stardom as he trained for a once-in-a-lifetime fight against the World Featherweight Champion. There was only one problem: he had just fallen in love. Inside of the ring, it was Finland vs. the USA, but outside, it was boxing vs. romance.
Based on this true story, Juho Kuosmanen's charming debut feature, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Here Juho reveals why he found Olli Mäki's story so compelling.
The Syrian Civil War is the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis of our era. The conflict has killed more than 400,000 people, wounded almost 2 million, and forced more than 11 million people to flee their homes – more than half Syria’s pre-war population. Of those who have fled their homes, 6.6 million are internally displaced, 4.8 million are refugees in neighbouring countries, and another 1 million have fled to Europe.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, half a million Syrians have been held prisoner or “disappeared” since 2011, mostly in government prisons and security facilities where torture has become industrialized, with some 60,000 people having been tortured to death or died as a result of inhumane conditions.
As of 2016, dozens of governments – including from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, among many others – have spent billions of dollars either directly participating in the conflict or training, funding and arming different parties to the war. At the same time thousands of foreign nationals from dozens of countries have gone to Syria to fight with one or another side. Moving in the opposite direction, the Islamic State group is thought to have sent hundreds of operatives into Europe amongst the fleeing refugees, some of whom were responsible for terrorist attacks in Paris and in Brussels.
Against this backdrop, in this interview The War Show directors Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalgaard discuss mainstream media's portrayal of Muslims, common misunderstandings about the conflict in Syria and what they would like the audience to take with them when watching the film.
On the eve of International Women's Day, we're celebrating with a series of posts on the female directors whose films are appearing in the festival.
Here Anocha Suwichakornpong discusses history, memory and the 'past perfect progressive' tense in relation to her latest film By the Time It Gets Dark.