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Nightcleaners and ’36 to ’77
Discussion and Launch

Sat 17 Nov 2018 / 2.30pm - 8pm

Raven Row
Free, booking required
Book online

Raven Row and LUX invite you to an afternoon of discussion, on Saturday 17 November, at Raven Row, to mark the launch of Nightcleaners and ’36 to ’77.

The event is free, but places are limited. Please click here to book for one or both discussions.

Nightcleaners (1975) by the Berwick Street Film Collective has long been recognised as a landmark of British experimental film and political cinema. To mark the first digital release of Nightcleaners and its companion film ’36 to ’77 (1978) a special box set has been produced containing the two films on disc, facsimiles of historical material, including newsheets of the women’s movement, four commissioned texts (by Kodwo Eshun, Dan Kidner, Sheila Rowbotham and Sukhdev Sandhu), and contributions from the filmmakers.

Two panels will convene during the afternoon.


2.30 – 4pm
Recent cleaners’ campaigns for more rights and better conditions resonate with those chronicled in Nightcleaners. Alongside Sally Alexander and Sheila Rowbotham from the campaign represented in the films, activists from current struggles will discuss the working conditions of cleaners now and the processes of organising and campaigning.  These will include Alberto Durango, national organiser Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIWU); Lydia Hughes, trade union organiser, Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB); and representatives from Justice For Cleaners – Goldsmiths. The panel will be chaired by the publication’s co-editor, Dan Kidner.

Tea break

4.30 – 6pm
This panel will consider the relationship between political filmmaking, activism and contemporary art. What discourses support the production of independent political film then and now, and what is the connection now between artistic production and radical politics? Contemporary practitioners Petra Bauer, Kodwo Eshun and Andrea Luka Zimmerman will join James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan from Berwick Street Film Collective in discussion.

Nightcleaners and ’36 to ’77

Published by Raven Row, LUX and Koenig Books, London Nightcleaners and ’36 to ’77 is a box containing two books and two discs (DVD or Blu-ray). Book 1 contains commissioned essays by Kodwo Eshun, Dan Kidner, Sheila Rowbotham, Sukhdev Sandhu, and Humphry Trevelyan, plus a new interview with Mary Kelly, published material on Marc Karlin and excerpts from James Scott’s 1972 production diary. Book 2 includes newsletters of the Cleaners Actions Group (1971), pages from Red Rag (1973) and Spare Rib (1975), a 1977 transcript of Nightcleaners, and an issue of Shrew (1971) designed by Mary Kelly dedicated to the cleaners’ struggle.

Edited by Dan Kidner and Alex Sainsbury
Designed by John Morgan studio

Nightcleaners, Berwick Street Film Collective, 1975, still