James Swinson, John Cumming, Jane Madsen: ‘First Time Tragedy: Second Time Farce’

Screening

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First Time Tragedy - still

First Time Tragedy Second Time Farce was co-directed/produced/written by John Cumming, Jane Madsen, James Swinson

It is 20 years since the Australian and British Governments decided to celebrate the Bicentennial of the European settlement of Australia. At the time, we collaborated as London and Melbourne based film-makers to produce a 75 minute essay documentary film critiquing the celebrations. We set out to give a profile to the Aboriginal opposition to the events and raise questions about colonial history and national identity.

Aboriginal activists were able to use the Bicentennial to draw worldwide attention to Aboriginal culture and politics. A review this year of the impact of the Bicentennial has coincided with recently elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apologies to the stolen generations. With the renewed focus on Aboriginal politics, our film has been digitised and screened again in Australia.

Jane Madsen and James Swinson will present and discuss the film with Pratap Rughani and Prof. Deborah Cherry

Jane Madsen is a filmmaker, writer and Lecturer at Camberwell College of Arts and is currently studying for a PhD at the Bartlett with practice at the Slade.
Pratap Rughani is a documentary filmmaker, photographer and film and video artist and Course Director MA Documentary Research for Film and Television at the London College of Communications.
James Swinson is a film and video maker, writer and Lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
John Cumming (who unfortunately will not be with us) is a filmmaker and writer who Lectures at Deakin University Melbourne.

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    Speakers have included Gayatri Sinha, curator and critical writer on art, based in New Delhi, Paul Domela, curator of the Liverpool Biennale, Ingrid Pollard, photographer based in London, Judy Freya Sibayan, artist and curator based in Manila, Charles Esche, curator and Director of the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; and Jonathan Martin, filmmaker based in London.
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    I studied in the UK (Edinburgh and London) and I have worked in the UK, the USA, and in Europe, where I am now at the University of Amsterdam. Following my PhD I have written extensively on art in Britain in the nineteenth and early twentieth century with two books, Painting Women (1994) and Beyond the Frame: Feminism and Visual Culture (2000) along with exhibitions such as ‘The Edwardian Era’ (co-curated 1987).
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