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Steve Clayton

Mixed Media: Mary Barnes

Earlier this year there was an exhibition of paintings by Mary Barnes (1923-2001) at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow in East London. The works came predominantly from the collection of psychiatrist Dr Joseph Berke, who is 'Boo-Bah', Mary's therapist and friend. Mary was an Army Nurse in the Second World War, in 1949 she converted to Roman Catholicism which was a rebellious and unusual step, representing a break from staid and bourgeois Anglicanism. But when she was 29 she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. With her condition seriously deteriorating, in 1963 she read RD  (‘Ronnie’) Laing's The Divided Self, and contacted and began regular therapy sessions with him.

Neither Westminster Nor Brussels But World Socialism

The European Union (EU) is an institution for the economic interests of the European capitalist class, and their mantra is 'free movement of capital, goods, services and labour.' It was the European Round Table of Industrialists which included the chief executives of Daimler-Chrysler, Fiat, Nestlé, Renault, Siemens, BP, Rio Tinto and Rolls Royce who promoted further European integration in the 1980s and which led to the 1987 Single European Act.

The dominant elements of the capitalist class in Europe see an advantage in organising the economy of Europe on a continent-wide basis because the EU is an attempt to overcome the limits of developing the productive forces within Europe's nation-states. The EU comprises 28 states and 500 million people, trades as a single market with eventually a single currency, and represents one-fifth of the world’s GDP. The EU enables Europe to compete better with other global capitalist powers such as the USA, Russia, India, and China.

Peter Watkins: A Revolutionary Film-Maker pt.2

In the second part of our study of the work of Peter Watkins, we look at how his career as an independent film-maker challenged conventional trends.

Frustrated by the poor reception to Privilege, Watkins left Britain for Sweden to make his next film. The Gladiators (1969) continued the theme of the elite using the media to divert aggression, but instead of music, as in Privilege, here violence is the catalyst. Soldiers representing different states are sent to arenas to fight and compete against each other in missions. These ‘Peace Games’ are televised to massive international audiences. From the comfort of a country mansion, the generals of each side sit together watching the battles and amiably take turns to influence what their soldiers do. One of the strongest messages in The Gladiators is that soldiers of any side have more in common with each other than they do with their leaders.

Mixed Media: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-75) was murdered forty years ago on 2 November 1975. He was a heterodox Marxist, a poet, novelist, and film director of exquisite poetic cinema where he showed a natural sympathy for the sub-proletariat and peasantry.

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