Tuesday, 2 October 2012


Good Morning. This blog will run at one post per day throughout the month of October, 2012.

It is to document and celebrate the drawing activities that are (going to be) taking place at the Star and Shadow Cinema as part of 'The Big Draw'.

The Big Draw is an annual event, run by the Campaign for Drawing, which quite simply aims to get more people drawing: and especially in new and interesting ways.

The Star and Shadow Cinema is a rather unique place, an entirely self-managed cinema run by volunteers with no bosses - no management scheme - no profit motive beyond the paying of our rent and bills - and with a willingness every single week to welcome in new faces, new volunteers, new ideas and new collaboration. Everyone is treated as an equal at the cinema, on their own merits, and everyone's contribution is as valid as everyone else's. We run on the basis of mutual respect and a willingness to muck in. This involves a lot of dialogue, a lot of patience, and a lot of effort to share skills & ideas, and to run things in such a way that things will get done, but get done in such a way that anyone with the will is able to do them. 

Our involvement in the Big Draw will reflect this interesting situation that we place ourselves in every week : this open-ness and this many-headed-ness that relies on the ongoing creativity and autonomy of our volunteers. It will not, therefore, just be one advertised and promoted event. It will be a more diverse, a more day-by-day and a more open & spontaneous affair. Some things will be advertised, for sure, but other things will just emerge in the cinema on the day.

This is why a daily blog makes sense, to share, to invite, & to document.

As well as playful and illustrative uses of drawing, a particular focus of the Star and Shadow's Big Draw month will be to use drawing to make our collective decisions more transparent, our processes more accountable, and our dialogue more clear. More details on this will follow in due course.

Drawing is not just for the 'talented' - for the best drawer in the class - it is for all of us to express our thoughts on paper, to display our internal dialogues in order to be able to face them and answer them back, and to make our mark on the world in a visual, interesting way. So get involved. Drawing is free!

I am Mike, one of the many volunteers at the cinema, and I am taking the lead on the Big Draw as a particular interest of mine. Other volunteers at the cinema take a lead on what they are interested in (film production, english language teaching, french film, noise gigs etc..). But if you have an idea to do with drawing, you can talk to me: oldglen@gmail.com

Last year's Star and Shadow Big Draw is reported on my main blog at this link

Other local events for the Big Draw are listed at this link.

And what happened on the 1st October at the Star and Shadow Cinema? Well, like every Monday at 6pm, we sat in a circle, about 20 of us, and we talked about what we needed to, to make this venue run, and we introduced new ideas and we listened and we came to agreement about what to do. And the Big Draw was given the Star and Shadow's blessing!

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