Festival X 24
The Refugee Film Collection
There are some places bearing a famous name, but if one is looking clooser there is not much left of the fame. The small town situated on countryside of Lincolnshire in England, called Gainsobrough belongs to them. It would be not like that, that there would be no connection, at all, to the famous British painter Thomas Gainsborough, but nothing of his fame left any traces. Wilfried’s local collaboration partner has the well-chosen name “Slumgothic” – because it is related to a gothic church – out of ritual use – the x-Church, located in Gainsborough, the term “slum” gives the proper idea, that Gainsborough might be a place of social problems. Indeed, the x-church is trying to bring a diversity of cultural activities to the local community – festival x-24 – that’s the name of the event which is all about. One of the artists – Fenia Kotsopoulou, of Greek origin – Wilfried was collaborating with in his famous Refugee Film Collection, contacted Wilfired in early 2016, talking about her curatorial residency in Gainsborough and her idea to present the complete Refugee Film Collection (in its state of 2016) in the frame-work of a project she was curating “Festival – x 24. The name is already indicating that the event would run for 24 hours. Being honest, Wilfried would never have had the idea, to bring his ambitioned project to a provincial place in England, a country which had recently decided for the Brexit – and, by pointing to the problems of the refugees overwhelming Europe in 2015 looking for a shelter for a survival in Europe, organising the event was a reaction against the Brexit. So, there were good reasons for Wilfried to accept the invitation! But, this has to be stated (retrospectively) – even if the event and the cultural activities in Gainsbourough have the best intensions, how can such a short event have any sustainable effect on anybody?
Today, however the 24 hours festival is starting at the x-Church in Gainsborough, and Wilfried is sending his best wishes to Fenia and the co-curator Daz Disley – that the films of Refugee Film Collection may touch the hearts of the youth of Gainsborough!