Volume 4 - Issue 1 - Place and Purpose: The Moment of the Image

By Gareth Evans

“Scavenging is an activity like anything else, which when done with inspiration can be raised to an art, and when done with discipline, consciousness and devotion, becomes a spiritual endeavour. It is… a process of applied karma, keeping things in motion, and accepting and appreciating the bounty of the universe. The most talented (‘lucky’) of dumpsterdivers, second-hand shoppers and pilferers recognise their acquisitions as gifts rather than quarry. The devoted finder-of-things, like any artist, must have in his portfolio some of the following traits: perseverance and training, intuition (good-stuff radar), openness of mind to see that which is invisible to others, ability to see wisdom and beauty in unexpected places and / or God-given talent – i.e. be in excellent graces with the angels who leave stuff for people to find. The scavenger should also have a moral code.” – Beth Zonderman, from an article in Second Sight (no.2, 1996).

Why a speculation on unexpected epiphanies to head up this issue’s editorial? Because, simply put, it summarises both an aesthetic and a political intention, one that Vertigo aspires to in philosophy and practice; always to remain porous in one’s relations to the world. Actively to be seeking and yet open to the uncontrolled. To pay attention. To glean widely, ever alert to the startle and the dazzle and the richly-hued, but always, open eyes and hands, with that ‘moral code’.

That we are not alone in this pursuit is obvious. That we are only a small part of a network of committed gleaners is clearly apparent. For our role in the trajectory we have many to thank: as ever our contributors, as ever our readers, and those who share their fine wares with us. Somehow things continue; steps forward are still made. Things that matter continue to be defended. May it be so for some time yet to come.

That’s it for this one: there are more pressing concerns to be voiced further down this page. We hope you enjoy this issue and find much on which to muse and maybe even act. If you can make it to our launch, we can raise a glass together to the pleasures and requirements of the chosen path. But if you can’t, let’s raise it now. To we the peoples, yes; to all still to be done, and to a certain, ceaseless love.

We The Peoples Film Festival 2008

Place: London, late November


Preparations are currently underway for the We The Peoples Film Festival 2008, which will take place from late November. Building on the successes of the previous two years, the festival attracts contributions from development agencies, UN agencies, international filmmakers, policy makers and think tanks, as well as committed audiences from the media and the general public.

Alongside an innovative screening programme of films from around the world, the festival will also feature panel discussions following film screenings. It takes its title from the opening words of the United Nations Charter and strives to raise the profile of the UN by promoting its aims and work in development, security and human rights to new and existing audiences by inspiring and educating them through film.

The festival also endeavours to raise awareness and support in the United Kingdom and the global film industry for the development work of the UN, its agencies and NGOs. It will comprise four principal elements:

The Three Pillars of Freedom: Films relating to freedom from want, freedom from fear and the freedom to live in dignity.

Young Filmmakers for Development: Films produced by young people from across the globe on these subjects; the world’s first such event.

London Schools Outreach programme: Films will be screened in many of London’s ethnically diverse schools and will be attended by expert speakers.

The ‘Best of the Festival’ DVD: This will be distributed to schools and key networks for use in 2009.

The theme of this year’s festival is the Three Pillars of Freedom. These ideals were raised in former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s United Nations Report In Larger Freedom, which describes the Three Pillars of Freedom as:

Freedom from want: Through the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Freedom from fear: Through efforts to bring about collective security and peace.

Freedom to live in dignity: Through the application of justice for all, as we mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In order to achieve this, Annan believed that we should aim, as he said when first elected, “to perfect the triangle of development, freedom and peace.”