1st June 2016: Above Us, The Sky; A Documentary by Lin Li
Come along to the community hall on the side of St John’s Church Edinburgh at 6.30pm for a talk and film screening by Lin Li
Title of talk:
Above Us, the Sky – a documentary by Lin Li
Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:
- Screening of Above Us, the Sky (39 minutes 10 seconds) – a short film which I completed last year with support from Creative Scotland
- Sharing of what I have learned in making this film, including some of the issues involved in documentary filmmaking which involves people
- Discussion of any questions raised by the audience
A few paragraphs on your subject:
Above Us, the Sky is a portrait of a retired teacher in Glasgow who has been campaigning against nuclear weapons since the 1970s, and has been arrested numerous times for his non-violent direct actions. Whilst focussing on an individual and his peace activism, the film raises questions which have more universal significance, such as: the issue of nuclear (dis)armament; an individual citizen’s responsibility and ability in influencing state policies; the relationship between personal and social peace. At a different level, this film also touches on more psychological and philosophical questions – what constitutes a person and is the person a coherent, unitary subject?
The film includes my conversations with Brian, which consider the meaning of his actions and what constitutes peace. Extracts from these conversations are combined with clips of Brian’s direct actions, his interaction with his son, and the objects in his home. Brian’s colourful and uniquely decorated domestic space was one of my main reasons for wanting to make a film about him. His home reflect the core of his identity – his religious faith, his political views, and his family relationships. Our conversations, while focusing on Brian’s activism, move from Brian’s public personal as an anti-Trident activist to his more personal concern and regret.
With the support of Creative Scotland, the film was completed in August 2015 and first shown in the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, and then in Gayfield Creative Spaces in Edinburgh. It has also been screened in New Delhi and New York. For more information about the film, please refer to www.linli-art.com/above-us-the-sky.
A few paragraphs about you:
Originally from Hong Kong, I have been living in Britain for over 30 years and now reside in Glasgow. With an educational background in Psychology, I had years of employment experience in teaching at different institutions, and also in academic research in Glasgow University and Dundee University before gradually changing my vocation to fine art, while being employed by Renfrewshire Council as an information worker for visually impaired people.
My art practice started with a focus on painting, but over the years I have experimented with diverse techniques and a variety of medium. In 2011, I started making videos, and moving image and sound are now the core elements in my work. My videos cover a wide range of subjects, some of the themes being: the ephemeral elements of nature; the concept of peace; and the interpretative and selective process involved in perception and communication.
What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?
About the film: http://linli-art.com/above-us-the-sky
There are a number of links on this page such as this – www.creativescotland.com/explore/read/stories/film/2015/lin-lis-above-us-the-sky
The following website about documentary filmmaking covers some of the issues which I had considered myself when I was making my film: films.nfb.ca/capturing-reality/