Meanwhile, what about Socialism? We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is impossible to be honest and to remain alive.’ – George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937 

Artists: Masao Adachi | Amber | Lindsay Anderson | Bianca Baldi | Eric Baudelaire | Berwick Street Collective | Tim Brennan | Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo | Kris Canavan | Hugo Canoilas | Cinema Action | Jack Common | Oleksandr Dovzhenko | Arthur Elton and Edgar Anstey | Claire Fontaine | Luke Fowler | Ranu Ghosh | Peter Gidal | Ruby Grierson | Humphrey Jennings | Marc Karlin | Mikhail Kaufman | Stuart Legg | Sergei Loznitsa | Madhusudhanan | Oleg Mavromatti | Ken McMullen and Stuart Brisley | Naeem Mohaiemen | Pallavi Paul | Dan Perjovschi | Karel Reisz | R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space) | Mykola Ridnyi | Roee Rosen | Paul Rotha | Felix Sobolev | Haim Sokol | Thomas Spence | Test Dept | Robert Vas | Dziga Vertov

AV Festival announces the full programme and theme for 2016. The curatorial framework of the Festival responds to George Orwell’s polemical book The Road to Wigan Pier. Eighty years ago in 1936, Orwell was commissioned by the Left Book Club to write on the depressed areas of the North of England. Leaving London on 31 January, he spent the next two months travelling and living in the industrial North.  

The Road to Wigan Pier is his searing account of working-class life amidst growing social injustice, poverty, unemployment and class division; it is also an argumentative analysis of English socialism. Orwell concludes that the basis for democratic socialism is equality and fairness; to make socialism work people of all classes need to understand about oppression and inequality. 

Mirroring the structure of the book the 2016 edition of AV Festival is Part One followed by Part Two in 2018, representing a new way of curating a biennial Festival and enabling ideas to develop towards 2018. AV Festival 2016 directly responds to Orwell’s original 1936 commission, by historically foregrounding the theme and inviting several artists to live in Newcastle during the Festival. 

AV Festival 2016 presents work by artists and filmmakers who situate themselves in relation to historic political struggle, revolution and social movements, creating new forms of resistance to neoliberal capitalism. Presented in 14 venues the curated programme features a Festival exhibition of work by 12 artists and archives, 48 film screenings, nine artist talks, four performances, and includes 17 UK premieres. 

Details of the programme strands including the Festival exhibition and series of special weekend events is online now

The Festival Launch and Exhibition Preview takes place on Fri 26 February from 6pm–1am in Newcastle and Gateshead, all are welcome. More information about the launch and opening weekend programme can be found here.

Most of the Festival takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead and all venues are within walking distance. More information about visiting the Festival can be found here.

There are many special ticket deals and film passes to enable you to see as much work as possible over the Festival month. More information about booking tickets and passes here.