The public event is free to attend and all are welcome. Plus there will be wine, soft drinks and nibbles.
In 2001 Kofi Annan, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, announced a redoubling of the UN’s effort to bridge the ‘digital divide’.
The digital divide refers to the differences in people’s opportunities to access and use digital media and has been understood to be a barrier to development that stops individuals and countries from achieving their potential. Since Kofi Annan’s announcement, billions has been spent on seeking to address the digital divide. This lecture looks at these efforts, the nature of the problem itself and whether we are actually any closer to solving the digital divide.
Marcus Leaning is Professor of Digital Media Education and teaches on the Media and Communication degree. He is a National Teaching Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. He is the author or editor of seven books and has written numerous articles, book chapters and magazine articles on various aspects of digital media education and related topics. He has lectured and given papers in 25 countries and has been a visiting researcher and visiting professor at Hokkaido University, Japan; the University of Limerick in the Republic of Ireland and the University of Costa Rica.
‘Tis the season of dark mornings and pitch-black journeys home in the late afternoon or evening, but Winchester is about to deliver some festive illumination to lighten up our mood.
There are two Christmas light ‘switch on’ events to look forward to this month. The first, taking place today (Thursday 13th November) will be an all-singing/all-dancing affair between 3-7pm on the High Street and Broadway. Capital FM’s breakfast presenters, Gillies and Emily, will host the event. Performers include Integr8 Dance, Winchester’s Military Wives Choir, Encore Youth Theatre and a cheeky panto preview from the cast of the Theatre Royal’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’. As for the grand finale at 6pm, Xfactor’s boyband ‘Concept’ will perform to a laser light and music show. Well, if you can’t have a bit of a camembert at Christmas… The event has been kindly sponsored by Denplan. The 13th also marks the start of late-night shopping on a Thursday in the city, plus free parking from 4.30pm. For full details on where and when visit here.
If you miss out on the 13th fear not, for Kingsgate Village will be hosting its inaugural ‘switch on’ taking place beneath the medieval gateway at 6pm on 20th November. The Bishop of Winchester will be guest of honour, and the evening promises be a traditional mix of music, late-night shopping and mulled wine. Kingsgate Village oozes its own sophisticated, friendly and accessible style, with Kingsgate Book & Prints, Cornflowers Gift Shop, Kingsgate Wine & Provisions and the booksellers P&G Wells. It’s a perfect Christmas (or any time) shopping destination for those looking for something special and off the beaten track with wonderful personal service from the dedicated shop owners and staff. As a bonus, from 6.30pm P&G Wells is hosting a joint book launch with the Wykeham Arms for Meats, Eats, Drinks & Leaves by Penny Ericson and Proteus by Simon Hawkins. Full details here.
And for a stellar view of the spectacle that is Winchester’s ‘perfect Christmas’, from 21st November the Cathedral will be offering a Twilight Tower Tour with a second to none view of the Christmas lights as they sparkle across the city. After the tour, you can enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies in the medieval Undercroft. There’s a minimum age restriction of 12 years and an adult must accompany children under 16 years. (Although there’s no set upper age limit for this tour, it’s a steep climb and not recommended for the elderly, infirm, disabled or pregnant.)
So shake off the winter blues and begin to embrace the impending Yuletide in all its glittering glory.
Tipped by Dance Europe as one of 2014’s highlights on the Dance scene, GOlive made its way to Winchester for one night at Winchester University in what will be the first of many visits…
Imaginations Flowing: A Review of GOlive at Winchester University – September 16, 2014
Since the birth of the GOlive Dance and Performance Festival in September 2013 at the Giant Olive Theatre, Kentish Town, its topsy-turvy programme has provided a platform for both new and returning artists back-to-back with an average of five different ‘acts’ per night. This autumn the multi-disciplinary festival presented mixed bills on nine nights over a two-week period in London, plus an additional evening hosted by The University of Winchester on September 16.
The low-key, rough-and-ready nature of GOlive gives it an edge, with artists being showcased in a wonderfully intimate but exposing way. Each evening is entirely unique, presenting a lucky dip of works-in-progress, excerpts of longer shows or short and snappy finished pieces. But it’s the curation of twenty-minute or so works of all sorts that gives this festival its power. With such variety and juxtaposition in GOlive’s palm, its audiences are bombarded with enquiring and thinking pieces that allow for new ‘ways of seeing’ (to quote John Berger) via their order on the programme.
Mamoru Iriguchi introduced his semi-biographical work-in-progress [working title: Marlene Backwards] as a play on the three standard dimensions but with the addition of a fourth – time. Using spoken text and a series of video projections broken by time, space or Iriguchi’s own face as a centrepiece, he distorted the linear narrative of German actress/singer Marlene Dietrich’s life. In this manner Iriguchi exposed the facades created by technology – facades that are easily perceived as absolute through a camera lens. It was when his own technology failed him – and as he moved in and out of character – that Iriguchi’s clunky, awkwardly stop-start performance gained what I believe to be its ‘real’ extra dimension: the falling in and out of perceived reality. As a recording of the same performance (given previously in Germany) was played in reverse, the piece’s formal and visual elements became the focus alongside a screaming sense of dislocation in time, place, and language. Iriguchi was effectively reminding us how fallible, changeable and interlinked our constructed realities and technologies are.
Debbie Lee-Anthony’s reworked autobiographical solo A nice little project (shown in Winchester Chapel at Every Word HurtsonJune 26, 2014) returned for several nights at GOlive in London, plus this one-off in Winchester. After handing out biscuits, Lee-Anthony took the audience through a nostalgic sharing of all things nice whilst also exploring the psychological implications of ‘nice’ people. Honest recollection of negative responses to her actions and personality revealed undertones of suffocation and frustration. In other words, Lee-Anthony relived the emotions associated with these experiences whilst describing them through words and dance. The audience was drawn into the dialogue by sharing mutual scenarios of ‘niceness,’ something that would strengthen the unsettling nature of the piece if it were to reoccur as Lee-Anthony’s themes became darker and yet more academic – thus creating possible moments of self-reflection for us.
Hayley Barker (an associate artist at The Point, Eastleigh) brought her second piece Venus to GOlive, a work-in-progress that casually invited the audience to observe closely this doll-like redhead as she grinned and grimaced, chewed, preened and agitated. Several times Barker snacked from a bag of nuts whilst accumulating a jolting movement vocabulary into a distorted, grotesque version of herself. Clear motions were repeated, building up a dynamic tension and a sense of expectation that remained unfulfilled due to this short work’s sudden finish. As Hutera later commented to Barker, ‘I wondered if we’d see you vomit those nuts over the stage.’ Plainly a massive explosion of some kind was anticipated, or possibly a handful of nuts greedily gobbled, dribbled and spat out; there was a mess to be made, or a purging of movement both ugly and cathartic and blurring the line between satisfaction and self-loathing. But the sudden stop to Barker’s piece was powerful in itself, and perhaps said more about the urges and longings that were left in the spectator’s imaginations. Was it not brave of Barker to end her work there and refuse to give the audience its climax? I think so.
Nuno Silva and Sabio Janiak are two other GOlive alumni imported from London to Winchester. In this piece Silva serenaded the audience, some of whom were invited to sit in the round onstage in close proximity to the performers and their instruments. The magnetising Silva quietly introduced each fado, illuminating the Portuguese national song just enough to set imaginations flowing as we reclined into a candlelit world of music at once soulful and comforting as a lullaby. Silva’s constantly circling choreography and intensity as a singer and dancer was trance-inducing. Janiak’s complete concentration creating live music with voice and multi-instrumentals was equally mesmerising. Their collaboration created a whirlwind of emotion, transporting this spectator into another realm.
Sarah Kent, a familiar face in GOlive, brought the house down as she always does. Engaging in a performance ‘conversation’ with her is unpredictable and chancy. Kent’s stream-of-consciousnessis structured and knowing but risks being never-ending. Batty as ever, funny, naughty and completely unabashed, her improvised form of ‘action theatre’ drew in this instance on features of the theatrical and architectural space as she evoked memories and stories from her past. From high-pitched wails to car engines to on-the-spot singing, her use of voice in Winchester was powerful and solidly dependable.
To sum up, GOlive never fails to intrigue and catch you unawares. There’s an oddness of character about this festival which makes each outing – whether in Kentish Town or Winchester – so interesting. Wherever you see GOlive, and on whatever night, you’re guaranteed to laugh, question your own assumptions and be surprised. Hosted by the University, the ‘one-night stand’ in Winchester occurred at what is only the beginning of the festival’s second year of existence. What a treat it was to view both London and local artists together. Curator Donald Hutera’s ‘troupe’ was honest and humble during a post-show talk where the works we’d just seen were dissected and unpicked. Each artist was passionate and eloquent about his or her intentions and process, valuing the dialogue with the audience. With any luck GOlive’s visit to Winchester will turn out to be the first of many to the city…
The name GOlive is derived from the place of origin of the first festival: the Giant Olive Theatre in London, located in the heart of Kentish Town at the Lion and Unicorn. GOlive was launched there a year ago this month as a 21-day marathon showcasing the work of 57 individuals or companies (or, tabulated another way, 98 artists altogether). The festival then returned this past spring in a more selective ‘headliners plus special guests’ format. Now it’s back in yet another guise as GOlive/GOlab. The emphasis during this current laboratorial version is on works-in-progress, which means the presence of anyone in the room can potentially influence a show’s future development. [For the record, the remaining London performance dates are September 13, 14, 15, 19, 20 and 21 at 7.30pm. Admission is by donation (£5 suggested) but all are welcome. Full details available at www.giantolive.com or via Twitter: @GiantOlive and Facebook]
Enough about London! What’s up with GOlive in Winchester? Thanks to a nascent association with the good people at Winchester University, the festival is happily going ‘on the road’ for one night only. The plan is to present five ‘acts’ in two different black box theatre spaces on campus starting at 7pm on September 16. The evening is part of a roster of activities for new students, but anyone who’s interested will be warmly welcome – and, from my perspective, positively encouraged – to attend. I’m both tickled and thrilled that GOlive is, in effect, now on tour (and this without benefit of government or any other form of subsidy aside from the in-kind generosity of the University’s Faculty of Arts).
I’ll close with a thumbnail description of each of the works on offer that evening, and the gifted people who created them. Enjoy reading and, ideally, venturing out to the University campus to actually see the entire show. It’s likely to be a most scintillating night…
Independent movement artist Hayley Barker (also an associate artist at The Point, Eastleigh) creates structured improvisations built imaginatively from real and fictional people/stories. In the work-in-progress ‘Venus’ (working title) she considers the history of human exhibitions, voyeurism and contemporary pop culture’s obsession with the body. (10 mins approx.)
The designer/performer Mamoru Iriguchi likes using lo-fi, DIY technology to blur actual and virtual realities, usually with an inventively droll sense of humour. For this edition of GOlive he’ll be testing out nascent ideas, asking what’s live and what (if anything) is eternally fixed… (20 mins)
The highly-regarded ex-Time Out visual arts critic turned fearlessly frank and funny soloist Sarah Kent (aka Degenerate 15) lays herself on the line in a defiant piece of action-theatre called ‘No Holds Barred.’ (15-20 mins max)
A dancer and choreographer who trained at The Place, Debbie Lee-Anthony is a senior lecturer at the University of Winchester. Her current focus is solo autobiographical performance. Taking notions of niceness as a theme, ‘A nice little project’ is a series of intimate danced and spoken vignettes designed to engage, provoke and entertain. (20 mins)
Multi-talented Nuno Silva (singer, dancer, actor and the fulcrum of Nu Music and Dance) and multi-instrumentalist/composer Sabio Janiak develop further a fusion of contemporary dance, fado (Portugal’s national song style) and electronic/live music first unveiled at GOlive 2013. (15-20 mins) Twitter: @nnunoev
by Donald Hutera
The arts & culture guide for the city of Winchester in Hampshire.