Festival Launch and Exhibition Preview

The Launch and Exhibition Preview of AV Festival 2016 takes place on Friday 26 February from 6pm–1am.

Join us at The Mining Institute at 6pm for introductory speeches, information about the Festival programme and complementary refreshments.

The Festival exhibition open simultaneously at venues: The Lit & Phil, The Mining Institute, Workplace Gallery, BALTIC 39, The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema, Vane, NewBridge Project Space, NewBridge Bookshop, Gallery North. All are welcome.

Friday 26 February
6–7pm: Festival Launch, The Mining Institute Library
7–10pm: Exhibition Preview, all exhibition venues
10pm–1am: Late Night Bar, The Mining Institute

The Festival Launch is followed by a special Opening Weekend of artist talks, performances and screenings from Sat 28 – Sun 29 February.

This seventh edition of the biennial Festival of visual art, film and music takes its thematic framework from George Orwell’s polemical book The Road to Wigan Pier. A biennial in two parts, the Festival mirrors the structure of the book with Part 1 in 2016 followed by Part 2 in 2018.

Exactly eighty years ago in 1936, Orwell was commissioned by the Left Book Club to write about growing social injustice, poverty, unemployment and class division in the North of England. The book is his first-hand account of this experience and also an argumentative analysis of English socialism. It concludes that the basis of democratic socialism is equality and fairness. To make socialism work people of all classes need to understand about oppression and inequality.

AV Festival 2016: Meanwhile, what about Socialism? (Part 1) historically foregrounds the theme, featuring works by artist and filmmakers who situate themselves in relation to political struggle, social movements and propaganda. Presented in partnership with 14 venues the programme, curated by Festival director Rebecca Shatwell, includes a group exhibition of 12 installations, 48 film screenings and special events, with 17 UK premieres.

The Festival exhibition continues until 27 March. In addition, throughout the month we present three specially curated weekends focusing on the historical trajectories of radical cinema and artist film, including rare archive screenings, special events and discussions:

Two new live commissions also receive their world premieres at the Festival, both responding in different ways to the political context of the 1930s:

Tickets are now available for all special events and film screenings.

For more information about special ticket deals and Festival Passes see here.