The return of Mental Health in Movies

Mental health focused film screenings are back at the Belmont Filmhouse after pandemic hiatus

Two Aberdeen mental heath nurses are bringing back their mental health focussed movie screenings after a 20 month Covid hiatus. Dan Warrender and Scott McPherson are the team behind Mental Health in Movies. The first screening with be the John Hughes thanksgiving classic comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. You can join them at the Belmont Filmhouse Kino Bar on Tuesday 30 Nov at 6:30pm.



Where did Mental Health in Movies start?

Originally called, Mental Health Movie Monthly, Mental Health in Movies was launched in 2016. Dan and Scott wanted to make mental health discussions more accessible and engaging. They achieved this by hosting film screenings, open to the general public. This was followed by a discussion of the mental health issues raised in the film. They created it with the intention of using film as a platform to encourage conversations around people's mental health experiences.

Scott and Dan stand in the glass roofed atrium of an office building. Scott (on the left) is is the taller of the two. Both are red haired, but Scott has a whitening beard. Scott is wearing a green t-shirt and Dan is wearing a blue polo shirt with a lanyard round his neck. Both are smiling.
Scott McPherson and Dan Warrender | Mental Heath in Movies

Dan told us, “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and discussing mental health in film with my good friend and the wider public. It never feels like hard work, but it always feels important that we have these conversations.”

Their last screening was Fargo on the 16th of March 2020, just before we all went into lockdown. It was a popular event for Robert Gordon University students, staff, and members of the public. Many were regular attendees until MHMM had to halt. The screenings created a safe and welcoming environment. This allowed people to talk about mental health by using films as a conversation starter.

Name change

During the pandemic, Dan and Scott decided on a name change, rebranding it ‘Mental Health in Movies’, or MHIM. With cinema spaces reopening in Scotland, MHIM has returned along with a brand new podcast. There are plans for semi-regular film events and discussions in 2022 in the Aberdeen area. You can find ‘Episode Zero’ of Dan and Scott’s new podcast on Anchor and Spotify.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/5hc3t9LOOKkkKHnzb8EwPV?si=cc9135e71ae4461e

Mental Health in Movies will be hosting a showing of Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987) at Belmont Filmhouse’s Kino Bar. The film starts at 6.30pm. Tickets are priced at £5 and it will be shown with English captions to make the event more accessible.

Scott is excited to share the John Hughes classic with the audience. He told us, "I can't wait to use one of my all-time favourite comedies to create conversations around mental health and to be able to do so in partnership with the Belmont Filmhouse in their Kino Bar is fantastic. The pandemic affected our ability to provide these sorts of showings for people. So we're really excited to be able to do this in-person again. We hope that the public will turn up to support the initiative and enjoy a great film in comfortable surroundings, followed by some judgement-free discussion."

What you need to know

Where: Belmont Filmhouse, Belmont Street, Aberdeen
Date: Tuesday 30 Nov 2021
Time: 6:30pm
Price: £5
Follow: Twitter | Facebook

https://twitter.com/aberdeencity/status/1463472234924843009

About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.


Vision Portraits director Rodney Evans sits on an underground train with the window behind him. His eyes are closed and the black handle of his cane is visible in front of him.

Caption This | New pop-up cinema dedicated to disabled audiences

A brand new accessible cinema experience launches to audiences this week. Caption This is a new series of pop-up cinema events with an aim to represent and engage disabled audiences. They aim to champion diverse stories both about and for those with a disability. Their first screening will feature the documentary Vision Portraits on 17-19 November.

The pop-up cinema strives to empower and prioritise Deaf and Disabled communities by reflecting this value in its programming and access measures. Audiences can look forward to a series of hybrid, virtual and in-person screenings throughout the year and across Scotland.


A red outline of three cinema seats, with a white rectangular outline depicting a screen. In the screen, the words "Caption This". Below, the words "accessible cinema".
Caption This Cinema Logo

Charlotte Little - The driving force behind Caption This

The driving force behind the project is Charlotte Little, a deafblind Aberdeenshire access consultant with a passion for curation. She campaigns for for a better experience for disabled audiences, drawing on her own experience as a moviegoer. Speaking ahead of the launch, Charlotte told us, “Growing up, I never saw positive, authentic on-screen stories about disabled people. I didn’t experience my first accessible cinema trip until I was 17. Also, I didn’t see myself on the big screen until I was 20. I want to change that for the generations of young disabled kids after me.

She went on to explain why this means so much to her. Telling us, “I want disabled people to feel valued as audience members. I don’t want access to be an afterthought or seen as a burden. Working as an access consultant within the film exhibition sector and having a personal perspective as a hard of hearing and partially sighted moviegoer, I’ve seen how far we’ve come but I’ve also realised how much work we have left to do in order to standardise inclusive cinema experiences.

Charlotte Little is standing at the back of an empty cinema. She is wearing a black face mask and is holding a blue and red box filled with popcorn.
Charlotte Little | Caption This Cinema

First showing | Vision Portraits 17-19 November

The first film showing as part of Caption This is the 2019 documentary Vision Portraits. It's a deeply personal documentary by filmmaker Rodney Evans in which he explores what it means to have vision while losing his own sight. Odie Henderson at rogerebert.com called it "an inspiring film. A funny and informative feature whose subjects were creative kindred spirits I’d never seen onscreen before."

Charlotte's passion for cinema is hugely infectious. A passion that she doesn't let go to waste. She's fighting to bring as many people into the cinema as she can, especially those who have felt under-represented. She told us, “I want more spaces and events that celebrate and prioritise representation and accessibility. I set up Caption This as my own contribution. Vision Portraits is our inaugural film because I’ve struggled with pursuing a career in the film industry as someone who’s losing their sight. I saw myself in Rodney Evans’ journey, and I hope that by showcasing this beautiful documentary, I’ll lend a hand to deconstructing the harmful misconception that blind and partially sighted people can’t be creative, that they can’t thrive and succeed in the arts, that they don’t have vision.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJzkxdUvWSI
Vision Portraits Trailer (Captioned)

What you need to know

Vision Portraits will be available to watch through the screening platform Eventive from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th November. The film will have English captions available as well as English audio description. Tickets will be on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale from £0, £2, £4, £6, £8. There will also be a live discussion over Zoom and live-streamed to Eventive on Friday 19 November at 7pm with guest speakers Theresa Heath and Tara Brown. The live discussion will have live captioning, BSL interpretation, and the host and guest speakers will provide visual descriptions of themselves to make the event more accessible for partially sighted audiences.

Get tickets now on Event Live
Follow Caption This on Twitter
Event page on Facebook


About POST

POST was founded by Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury. They have a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. We focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day.

Our recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.



Big Up the Doric | Aberdeen creatives' Christmas collab

Aberdeen creative businesses Big Up the Deen and Doric Skateboards are working together to form 'Big Up the Doric' a new collaboration which will pay tribute to those who have inspired and supported them.

Ica Headlam and Gary Kemp first met in 2018. They had known each other online for some time, but met in person for the first time when Ica invited the Doric Skateboards founder to be the first guest on his now highly respected Creative Me Podcast.



Both were regular faces exhibiting at North East pop-up events. Gary as Doric Skateboards and Ica as his clothing range, Big Up the Deen. They soon became good friends. While both had collaborated with a number of local artists, it wasn't until 2020 that they decided to work together on this new joint project.

In December of that year, arts organisation Look Again invited both to use the window of their exhibition space in St Andrews Street to display goods for sale over Christmas. While they set up, they started making plans as to what they would do if they had full use of the space. They used it as a springboard for a big collaboration event.

What is Big Up the Deen about?

Their hard work together will finally come to fruition on 9 December. They will open doors to the public in the St Andrews Street pop-up shop for a four day Big Up the Doric weekend extravaganza where they will launch their highly anticipated new skateboard.

So what is the collaboration about? Ica and Gary will celebrate everyone that has supported and inspired them over the past few years. The people who do things in Aberdeen that have made a big difference to them. People that brighten their streets, their minds and their social media feeds. They want to pay homage to those that challenge and stimulate them.

It's also about their relationship with the press. It's easy to criticise local media for being doom merchants. However, whenever they write something positive, we still manage to criticise them for that too. Nothing is ever perfect…but Gary and Ica see those that are making the effort to make this a better place for us all.

Big Up the Doric aims to throw a light on local institutions, from charities and organisations to retailers, crafters, printers, artists and writers. They'll do this in the hope that visitors will find someone they weren't previously aware of. It's an acknowledgement by two people that they are proud of their home city, and they want you to jump on board too.

Details

Where: Look Again Project Space, 32 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen AB25 1JA

Thursday 9 Dec 6-8pm | Big Up the Doric Launch Night with reveal of collab board. Then the Pop Up Continues:
Friday 10 Dec 10am-6pm
Saturday 11 Dec 10am-6pm
Sunday 12 Dec 11am-5pm

Selling the full range including Skate Decks, Tees, Prints and Tote Bags. Both will have their full range of 'Doric Skateboards' and 'Big Up the Deen' merchandise on sale.

Find out more on the Big Up the Doric event page.


Aberdeen musicians represent at SAMA

Organisers of the the 12th annual Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) have announced that four Aberdeen and NE musicians are on the shortlist for victory. Winners will be decided by a public vote which ends on 10 November. Following that, on 27 November, nominees will find out if they have won an award at a ceremony in Glasgow. The SAMAs celebrate the rich creativity and innovation of musicians across Scotland.

Aberdeen has a strong and varied representation at this year's awards. We think this points to a thriving music scene in the city. This is especially important because of the months of pandemic lockdowns.



SAMA - Best Electronic - Kavari

Best Electronic - Kavari

Kavari is a musician from the left field. Her work takes the listener on a journey from abrasive electronica to etherial soundscapes. As an artist keen to experiment with new sounds and to tell new stories, Kavari is escapism encapsulated. She's a new find to us here at POST, thanks to her SAMA nomination. We should have been looking harder to find this super talented artist right here on our doorstep.

The nomination means a lot to Kavari. When we reached out she told us this was "Mainly due to me being an independent female artist." While she's not signed, or under obligation to anyone, she paid tribute to her friend. "Eve assists me with emails and legal matters but it's very informal so everything you see of mine; my music, visual art, merchandise, creative direction. It's all me. I've grown up being told that my work was always 'too extreme' or that it 'doesn't have a place', so it's very validating having years of hard work being seen and acknowledged, especially on this scale."

Show your support for Kavari

SAMA - Best Newcomer - Chef

Best Newcomer - Chef

Rapper Chef has been making waves beyond Aberdeen over the past couple of years. His smooth flow and tight bars gaining him fans throughout Scotland and further afield. This year he has already been the subject of BBC Scotland's TUNE along with go-to producer Louis Seivwright.

He's enjoying the recocognition, telling us, "It’s great to be recognised and get the chance to win such a great award." But in terms of the future, Chef said that he's "Just looking to stay focused and keep working hard to get more and more opportunities and hopefully bring more light to what we do."

Give Chef your SAMA vote

SAMA - Best Newcomer - Aiitee

Best Newcomer - Aiitee

Aiitee takes her influences from soul and R&B, and filters them through afrobeat to create a fantastically listenable sound. She has sung since she was a child in church, but only started releasing music in 2020, making an immediate impact on the Scottish music scene.

The Scots Nigerian received recognition earlier in the year, earning a Scottish Album of the Year nomination for her 2020 album, Love Don't Fall. She regularly works with fellow Best Newcomer nominee, Chef.

Help Aiitee win Best Newcomer

SAMA - Best Metal - Hellripper

Best Metal - Hellripper

Hellripper is a speed metal outfit who have earned a growing following in the underground metal scene over recent years. After signing with the legendary 'Peaceville Records' for the release of their second album 'The Affair of the Poisons', the one-man band achieved their first appearance on the US Billboard Charts.

Speaking about the nomination, James McBain, the man behind Hellripper, told us, "It’s great to be nominated for an award at the SAMAs, and it’s always nice for your work to be recognised, especially alongside a selection of amazing artists! I really appreciate everyone’s support over the past year and the SAMAs for doing their bit in showcasing Scotland’s music scene over the past decade or so. It goes to show you that there’s a lot of cool stuff coming out of Scotland right now!"

Vote for Hellripper to win

Nominations in full

Best Acoustic 
Christy
Constant Follower
Lizabett Russo
Lizzie Reid

Best Electronic
AISHA
Barry Can’t Swim
KAVARI
Macka

Best Hip Hop
Bemz
Chef
Clarissa Woods
K4cie

Best Live Act
Andrew Wasylyk
Bemz
Rachel Aggs
Tom Spirals

Best Metal 
Dvne
Frontierer
Godeater
Hellripper

Best Newcomer
AiiTee
Bee Asha
Chef
Danny Cliff

Best Rock/Alternative 
Dictator
MEMES
Spyres
Swim School


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


Aberdeen lens heroes: Chris Henderson

In the first of a new series, our Lens Hero is Aberdeen photographer Chris Henderson. His project to share portraits of swimmers and surfers is a big hit with fans on Instagram.

Those that have been following us long enough know that we started out as a photo sharing group on Instagram. We’ve been racking our brains to honour that history in a new and different way. After speaking with a few local photographers, we thought it would be pretty cool to introduce photo essays. A way for us to highlight local photographers who we think you’d like to follow.

So first up is the hugely talented Chris Henderson. He’s a wedding photographer for his day job, but also shares outstanding portrait photography on his personal Instagram account. We love to see his photos on our timeline. One of our favourite projects has been to photograph local photographers and wild swimmers on the waters edge at Fittie. Maybe out of their comfort zone, but always in a hero pose, catching that early morning light. Over to Chris to explain.


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Chris Henderson

I started this project largely by accident. I’d been sitting at home, yet again contemplating buying a Leica. Instead, however, decided I needed to actually get out and use the gear I already had. Generally speaking, any time I find myself contemplating a new piece of photography gear, it’s because I’m not taking enough photographs with my current set-up.

So to give me something to photograph, I put out a request for portrait volunteers on my Instagram stories and was very pleased when Victoria got in touch. She said if I didn’t mind getting down to the beach for 7am, I could photograph her in her wetsuit. It sounded interesting, so we arrange to meet up.

– Victoria

The light at that time in the morning was really interesting. It was also great being outdoors in the fresh air, especially after numerous lockdowns and being unable to travel outside of Aberdeen. I took my Pentax 67 along with my Fuji X100s as backup. In the end I actually preferred the look of the images I got on the wee Fuji.

– Freya

I was really pleased with the results, so I decided to carry on with the project and arranged to meet another group of swimmers around sunrise. In the end they were running late. The light was amazing though, so I ambushed a couple of other swimmers who were coming out of the sea and asked if they’d be up for it. Thankfully they said yes. Those are still some of my favourite photos from the series. Once my original subjects arrived we had about 30 seconds to get their photo before the blazing sun broke over the horizon and the flattering light was gone.

– Thalia

Once I’d photographed a few swimmers, the word seemed to get out about who I was. It became much easier to find willing subjects. I kept an eye on the forecasts for clear mornings that coincided with the tides being right. I wanted to have some sand to stand on to take the picture. And so I’d head down to the beach for sunrise without pre-arranged subjects to photograph, just to see who I’d run into.

– Erica

That pre-sunrise light was unlike anything else I’ve worked with, and I was hooked. On mornings where the light was particularly special, it pushed me to approach complete strangers and ask for portraits. This is something I’m usually quite shy about. It was also really refreshing to be photographing people who were coming out the sea. People who where not looking their best in a conventional sense, but were still really open to being part of the project.

– George

This project really helped me keep creating through a difficult winter where almost all of my paid work had been postponed into next year or cancelled. It also opened me up to approaching total strangers for portraits, something I still struggle with but it’s getting easier, and I’ve met so many interesting, lovely people. Because I’m a very weak swimmer, I’ve still not ventured into the water myself yet. However I plan to continue documenting Aberdeen’s swimmers and surfers this winter too.

Campbell –


Thanks very much to Chris Henderson for his time and for sharing his wonderful photographs. Please go follow him on Instagram. This is the first Lens Heroes, a series of photo essays highlighting the work of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire photographers. We’re going to share more of these photo essays over the next few months. We’re always interested to find out what you like, what you don’t like and your ideas for new projects. Get in touch.

About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


Watch: Aberdeen goes wild for Grampian Pride parade

https://youtu.be/aZAkPUTMwCo

Aberdeen has proudly celebrated Grampian Pride's 2021 Winter Parade. Grant Martin was there to share the wonderful spectrum of love in the city centre! Organisers held the 2020 and 2021 festivals online. Grampian Pride wanted to take advantage of the city opening up. They devised the Winter Parade instead of waiting until next year to get people together.

The parade was a huge success thanks to the glorious crowds bringing a splash of colour to the city centre. The sound of drums, whistles and cheers were followed by balloons, rainbow flags, wild outfits and startling make-up.

It's been two long years since the last Grampian Pride parade in Aberdeen. Grampian Pride aims to bring the people of Aberdeen together. It's also a chance to celebrate and provide a safe space for al LGBT+ people and straight allies. Four Pillars and other partners have organised Grampian Pride. As a local charity, their mission is to provide mental, physical, emotional and sexual health support to the LGBT+ communities.

Presenter: Grant Martin
Editor: Grant Martin
Titles: Kevin Mitchell


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.



Jane Spiers to step down as APA Chief Exec

Jane Spiers, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, is to stand down in the spring of 2022.

Janes time in charge of the cultural charitable trust has been one of great highs and lows. Perhaps the biggest project in her time was the 10M redevelopment of the Music Hall. Her team also launched three city festivals. True North, Granite Noir and the Blue Light youth arts festival all brought new cultural opportunities to the city.



Of course the Covid-19 pandemic was a huge challenge for the former book publisher. She worked tirelessly to make sure that APA remained solvent and to safeguard jobs. It reopened it's venues in recent weeks, and its great to see it in a relatively healthy state.

She spent a great deal of time as chief executive working to increase diversity. Both the work shown on stage and the increased engagement. Her work to further engage with the city's varied communities has been hailed by Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson, Marie Boulton. She said, "Jane’s commitment to inclusivity in the arts is exemplary. She has significantly increased the range and diversity of people we reach through education and community programmes."

In 2019 Aberdeen Performing Arts was named Business of the year at the AGCC Northern Star Awards. Furthermore, Jane Spiers became the first woman to win a Lifetime Achievement Award.

"If I listened to my heart, I’d never leave Aberdeen Performing Arts"

On announcing that she was moving on, Jane seemed torn on the decision. She told us, "If I listened to my heart, I’d never leave Aberdeen Performing Arts but after a lifetime working in the arts, my head is telling me it’s time to step away. I’ve lived my dream job for the last ten years and it will be hard to say goodbye to my wonderful work family especially after what we’ve been through together in the last 18 months."

Craig Pike, Chairman of APA was keen to point out her leadership skills. He said, "She has been an inspirational and compassionate leader, never more in evidence than during the pandemic, tirelessly advocating and fundraising to keep us solvent, safeguard jobs and always with the welfare of her work family in mind."

Aberdeen Performing Arts will now being the search for Jane Spiers' replacement. If you like to know more about their recruitment process, check out the APA website.


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


What legacy will BAS9 leave the people of Aberdeen?

British Art Show 9 (BAS9) finished its run at Aberdeen Art Gallery this weekend. And so, gallery staff will carefully pack up the show for now. Then soon, organisers with ship the show to Wolverhampton for its next leg. It has faced challenges over the past few months, opening during a global pandemic doesn't help. The themes of healing, care and reparative history have maybe not always been obvious to a public with Brexit and Covid-19 weighing heavily on their mind. However, the work was bold and undeniable.

We wanted to speak to a few people about BAS9. Have a think about what legacy we hope that the show will leave our city. It costs us a lot of money to put on grand shows like this in Aberdeen. I think it's reasonable for us to expect a lasting legacy. Artists, fans, local venues and the city's communities should feel we have all gained something permanent from our experience.



What legacy should BAS9 leave?

Artists and fans should feel a greater connection with Aberdeen Arts Gallery. Smaller galleries should see a surge in interest from a public keen to see more modern art, particularly from local artists. Communities should feel seen and included by the gallery. A gallery that in earlier years may have not found the need to reach out.

One of the things that we've enjoyed is being part of is the community of ambassadors for BAS9. Not everyone loved everything about the show. We loved the video and documentary work, but it's been brilliant to talk to talk to other ambassadors about their views. We've all had very different experiences of the show, and that divergence has been fascinating. It feels like the beginnings of something very exciting in the city. A group of people confident enough to say what they like about art. But perhaps more interestingly, to enjoy hearing others speak about their experience. This should not be wasted.

Reema Shoaib

First of our contributors is Reema Shoaib. Reema runs ChaiTime a Facebook community which she created to build inclusivity in arts and the creative industry between Britain and Pakistan. It was amazing to hear her experience. She was able to use the work of artists from minority communities from the show to engage with some of Aberdeen's communities.


The British Art Show 9 exhibition commenced just when Aberdeen was waking up from the hibernation of the Covid-19 pandemic. BAS9 is perhaps the biggest thing to happen in the city, since the lockdown. Aberdeen is the only Scottish location, and also the host city selected to launch the tour. The prestige of the exhibition along with the theme of contemporary art exhibits, something never before seen at this scale in Aberdeen, all garnered interest and curiosity from locals. I am truly honoured to play my part part in the Ambassador’s group. It was wonderful that Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum’s City Coordinator recruited me for the show.

ChaiTime founder and BAS9 ambassador Reema Shoaib

My list of tasks included creating a collaboration and understanding for the show within the ethnic communities and foreign nationals living in Aberdeen. A city that houses the highest number of ethnic minority communities than any other city in Scotland. I view this task as a nod to the council’s Cultural Strategy 2018-2028 of creating engagement in arts and culture that truly reflects the cultural diversity of Aberdeen.

My job was made easier by the sheer magnitude of the exhibition. Couple this with the fact that I was promoting something backed by the City Council and the Art Gallery. Furthermore, it had names attached to it like Hayward Gallery Touring. Finally the honour that we were the first city to host the exhibition. This all joined together to make a compelling case to take to Aberdeen's communities.

Sharing with all Aberdeen's communities

There were 33 artists in the show at Aberdeen, presenting a mix of film, photography, painting, sculpture and live performances. Another significant factor of BAS9 was the healthy inclusion of international work as well as artists from minority communities living in the UK. The knowledge that people can view art work from their own region or community upped the interest of our local communities. It definitely encouraged them to come and enjoy the exhibition.

The knowledge that people can view art work from their own region or community upped the interest of our local communities
Reema Shoaib

The fact that the exhibition was free to view was an essential difference. BAS9 had no tickets attached, except to check-in with the QR Code as per the safety guidelines. I feel that also helped motivate people to easily come and check it out.

BAS9 has indeed proven to be a source of inspiration for most of the city’s arts and cultural activities, now and moving forward. Already we can see the offshoot in the form of the splendid LookAgain series Beyond BAS9. This is a series of events, workshops, exhibitions, talks and tours all taking the art scene forward.

The legacy of BAS9 will and should converge into more such activities and people. Additionally, Aberdeen Art Gallery should keep in touch with the communities jolted by the show. There should be more reaching out to them through such engagements. Contemporary art shows are definitely something new to the city. However, in my opinion, the people of Aberdeen have graciously accepted this opportunity. The gallery should develop this interest further.

Rita Kermack

Next up we hear from Rita Kermack. Rita is an artist, graduate of Gray's School of Art and a member of the Aberdeen Artists Society. She thinks that the last three months have proven that Aberdeen is well able to host massive shows like the British Art Show.


One of the successes, in my opinion, was the network of support and associated events that were organised on the local level. The fact that this was possible shows that Aberdeen’s art and culture scene is alive and active. Despite this, the city is often referred to as a cultural desert by those who are not directly involved in the various initiatives. There is a lack of visibility. A lack of presence on a day-to-day basis, compared to what’s going on in Dundee for example. The engagement with BAS9 has brought the various agencies into the foreground. It has made them more visible to the general public. Hopefully, BAS9 is a catalyst for further growth in that direction.

Artist and BAS9 ambassador Rita Kermack

In terms of visibility, BAS9 has encouraged us all to come together to collaborate, support and debate. Some of that had been going on already in the background but having this common focus, maybe, added strength. A stronger network and mutual support amongst AAGM, collectives, agencies and individuals as well as Gray’s School of Art and NESCOL has been built. This could advance the creative industries in the city and shire to a level that attracts not only visitors but also sponsors.

Hosting prestigious exhibitions on a frequent basis can create a fertile environment for art education in the city and shire
Rita Kermack

Hosting prestigious exhibitions on a frequent basis can create a fertile environment for the art education in the city and shire. Collaborations with Gray’s School of Art, NESCOL and schools will help raise the profile and recognition of art and design as a valuable career path within the Northeast. This is necessary to grow the creative industries here. To provide jobs to encourage new graduates, emerging and early career artists to stay in the city.

The ambassador program

The ambassador program created many varied opportunities for community members and local artists. I was able to be involved and get to know the people behind AAGM. This experience gave me a great boost, having just graduated from Gray’s. Also, the work experiences I gained are invaluable.

Reaching out to communities in such a personal, tangible way will break barriers. It will promote the gallery as an interactive place for learning and exploring. A place for everyone.


We're adding more to this article soon

We'll be adding thoughts from more people over the next few days. Follow our social media channels for updates. If you would like to read more about British Art Show 9 and where it's going next, you could check out the exhibition website.


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


Take One Action is back to inspire a better world

The Take One Action film festival returns to Aberdeen on 22-24 October, hoping to inspire us to push for a fairer and more sustainable world. The Scottish charity, founded by film lovers, aim to bring audiences together through film screenings and conversations. They also hope to inspire audiences to take action for themselves.

This year they'll present challenging and urgent international cinema exploring social and environmental justice. And so, the hope is that audiences will have deeper conversations about the world we live in. Also, and perhaps more importantly, this could make people feel able take actual action to improve lives.

Belmont Cinema will play host in Aberdeen this year, and films have been made available on a pay-what-you-can basis. Organisers are keen to make the festival as accessible. Therefore all films are captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences



Tamara Van Strijthem, Take One Action's Executive Director, spoke of how pleased they were to be back presenting the festival. “After so many months apart, we are excited and grateful to be inviting audiences to celebrate the power of community and connection through world-changing cinema. COP26 in November represents such a crucial moment for our planet’s future. Subsequently, our programme offers a much-needed opportunity to pause and reflect – and to question just how we’ve arrived at the topsy-turvy reality we call our own.”

Take One Action is funded by The National Lottery and Scottish Government through Screen Scotland and also supported by Film Hub Scotland.

We're looking forward to this year's festival, so thought we'd let you know what to expect.

What films are on show for Take One Action 2021?

Living Proof

Emily Munro | UK | 2021 | 95min | English | Ages 8+ | World Premiere

Fri 22 Oct | 20:00 | Belmont Filmhouse | Tickets

A stunning new archive documentary that looks for the roots of the climate crisis in Scotland’s post-war history.

In the year that Scotland hosts COP26, the film asks was climate change inevitable? Director and curator Emily Munro searches for the roots of the climate crisis in our postwar history. In this new documentary, archive footage from the National Library of Scotland portrays a country shaped by demands for energy and economic growth. In addition, the eclectic soundtrack amplifies the voices of the past in powerful, and sometimes unsettling, ways.

150 years of moving image heritage can only offer us a glimpse of human history. However, the proliferation of video today makes the moving image a crucial way to document our impact on the planet. Are we heading into new territory, or are we caught in a cycle of familiar promises?

https://youtu.be/6J29qHOMm8k

The Ants and the Grasshopper

Raj Patel & Zak Piper | USA | 2021 | 74min | English/Tumbuka | Ages 8+ | Scottish Premiere

Thu 23 Oct | 17:30 | Belmont Filmhouse | Tickets

How do the roots of change grow?

Anita Chitaya seems unstoppable as she works tirelessly to transform farming practices in her village in Malawi and turns gender discrimination on its head. But in her battle against drought and extreme weather events, she takes on her greatest challenge yet: persuading Americans that climate change is real.

She visits rural farms and urban food cooperatives across the US, navigating deep national divisions. In addition, she appeals to those in a position of privilege to embrace change with the urgency the climate crisis demands.

The Last Forest

Luiz Bolognesi | Brazil | 2021 | 76 min | Yanomami | Ages 12+ | Scottish Premiere

Sat 23 Oct | 20:00 | Belmont Filmhouse | Tickets

A mesmerising journey into the heart of Brazil’s Amazonian forest, in the footsteps of the Yanomami.

From missionaries to gold miners, the Yanomami people have endured centuries of violence at the hands of white colonisers. Developed in collaboration with the community itself, The Last Forest blends observational footage and dreamlike staged sequences to explore the Yanomami’s creation myths, their relationship to nature, and their ongoing struggle to preserve their natural environment.

Co-scripted by Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa, the film unfolds in lush cinematography, multi-layered soundscapes and ethereal musical sections. The film exposed the environmental and political threats affecting Indigenous Peoples in present-day Brazil. However The Last Forest is first and foremost a homage to the strength of a community coming together. People honouring its traditions and stand up for its rights - and its future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LKBRCaUUc0

The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel

Joel Bakan & Jennifer Abbott | Canada | 2021 | 106 min | English | Ages 12+ | Scottish Premiere

Sun 24 Oct | 17:30 | Belmont Filmhouse | Tickets

An urgent takedown of corporate greenwashing that pulls no punches.

Finally, the filmmakers behind 2003’s global hit “The Corporation” return after almost 20 years with their “Unfortunately Necessary Sequel”. They investigate how the corporate takeover of society is being justified by the sly rebranding of corporations as socially-conscious entities. Furthermore, The New Corporation lays bare the disturbing realities of companies’ desperation to achieve profit at any cost. From the climate crisis through to racial injustice and surging inequality.

Far from a sigh of despair, however, this punchy documentary celebrates the groundswell of movements taking to the streets in pursuit of justice and the planet’s future. It also provides a providing a rallying cry for social justice, deeper democracy, and transformative solutions.

What you need to know

Where: Belmont Filmhouse Cinema
When: 22-24 October 2021
Price: Pay what you can (£0 to £10)

Living Proof | Fri 22 Oct | 20:00
The Ant and the Grasshopper | Thu 23 Oct | 17:30
The Last Forest | Sat 23 Oct | 20:00
The New Corporation | Sun 24 Oct | 17:30


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


We Are Here Scotland in the spotlight

Back in late 2020, we interviewed Aberdeen creative and podcaster Ica Headlam. He had just established We Are Here Scotland, a creative fund designed to practically support creative people of colour (POC) throughout Scotland.

Nearly a year later, having achieved funding through a successful GoFundMe campaign, We Are Here Scotland are just about to close applications for their first round of funding of creatives. We wanted to chat to Ica further about We Are Here Scotland. We wanted to know the background behind the fund, some of the challenges he has faced, and what he can offer creative people of colour. As always, Ica was keen to share his experience.



What is We Are Here Scotland?

Tell us a little about We Are Here Scotland. How did the idea came about and develop into a real life fund?

The idea for We Are Here Scotland came from my experiences of presenting Creative Me Podcast. And also, of course, being a person of colour here in the north east of Scotland.

Being born in the early 1980's I've always recognised the importance of representation. However I didn't see much of that in Scotland across the artistic and creative industries. I wanted to create something that not only allowed for there to be recognition of black and POC artists and creatives, but also as a means of supporting the community in practical ways too. This is where the Creator's Fund comes into play.

I had numerous private conversations and a number of Instagram Live events. After that it became very clear to me that many people in the community needed help. Both in terms of funding and practical support. However, getting this from larger organisations always seemed like such a daunting and monumental task.

Bearing that in mind, I felt that there should be a fund that not only made it easier for people to apply for, but also provided some follow through in terms of practical support via mentoring and guidance from industry professionals to help those who are awarded funding.

What are some of the challenges you've faced in launching the fund?
Well we launched the fund in mid-November last year whilst still in the pandemic. Given the climate it was a slow burn, however we eventually reached our target of £6000 in June this year. Recently that amount has grown to £7,490. This has allowed us to support more black and POC artists and creatives across Scotland.

What advice would you give to creatives of colour starting out just now? In particular, advice about raising funding and dealing with the challenges that their industry may throw their way?

With regards to funding, I think it's important to explore all the viable options available to you as a creative. It's about finding out what opportunities are happening in your local community as well. For example, does your local authority have funding opportunities for creatives? Is your local art space/gallery looking to commission artists etc?

In terms of the challenges you may encounter? For me I always find that it's important to have a good support network around you. This industry isn't easy to navigate. Over the past year I've heard from people in my community who have had horrible experiences within Scotland. So, I would say it's also important to hold people accountable. We can't minimise problematic attitudes and behaviours in the hope that it'll all be forgotten about. Especially in the current climate.

Systemic misrepresentation in the arts

Do you think there's a genuine willingness within Scotland's creative industries to actually stamp out their systemic representation problems once and for all?

Well I'd like to think so. But the past year has shown me that within Scotland's creative industries the conversation of representation and systematic change can easily turn into a tick box exercise. It's becoming on trend now for some predominantly white led businesses and organisations to be seen to be amplifying black and POC voices. The thinking is in doing this, organisations show evidence to potential funders that they are actively engaged with supporting the community.

In all honesty I do think that some people prefer the status quo of things. Some people don't want to be challenged. They don't want to reflect on certain issues that requires them to actively engage in meaningful conversations or progressive thought.

Is there anything people working in creative industries can do to pressure their organisation to be better?

I think people need to be more vocal about the systemic issues within the creative industries. However, it shouldn't just be black and POC doing this all the time.

I think we have gotten into this mindset in society that if it doesn't personally impact on you or your mental health then do you really need to say anything. Yes ,you absolutely do need to challenge and hold people accountable especially in this industry. People need to ask important questions within their organisations. Ask about meaningful representation and what that can look like for marginalised groups.

Who in benefiting?

Who are some of the creatives that you have helped? Tell us a little about them and the work they do.

When I first started We Are Here Scotland. I used to do a lot of Instagram story shout outs. We've given this a little more structure with a spotlight feature on our website. This feature will introduce people to a number of talented artists and creatives across Scotland. The first artist in our spotlight is the acclaimed Scottish-Caribbean poet and performer Courtney Stoddart. You can check out her interview here.

What are your future plans for WAHS?

We have a number of projects that I'm really excited about beyond the Creator's Fund. Hopefully we'll be in a position to secure funding to develop these projects. We ant to provide more opportunities for black and POC artists and creatives in Scotland.

The Creator's Fund is still live until Sunday 31st October at 11:59pm you can apply for the fund here: https://www.weareherescotland.com/creators-fund


Thank you so much to Ica for again taking time to talk to us. He has a special ability to focus on his project and achieve his lofty goals. That has always been an inspiration to us here at POST, so it's great to catch up with him again.

We Are Here Scotland | Find Out More

You can fine We Are Here Scotland at a number of places around the web. Please go follow them to stay up-to-date on their progress.

We Are Here Scotland | website | Twitter | Instagram

We also very much enjoyed this episode of Just a Chat With...Ica Headlam

https://youtu.be/7sI4vD0oO5Q