Govanhill International Festival 2020


21-31 August

Govanhill International Festival is back for its 4th year consecutive year. Although the annual Carnival Parade (known locally as “Scotinghill”) will not take place this year due to COVID restrictions, there is still a lively programme of events online and on the streets.

The Festival opens tonight (Fri 21 August) with a screening of Rubikah Shah’s film “White Riot” which documents the Rock Against Racism movement and the first of it’s Carnival Against The Nazis in 1978. The director joins guests for a panel discussion after the screening, followed by Love Music Hate Racism Living Room after party, streamed live.

The theme of anti-racism continues throughout the 11 day programme and is a key part of the whole idea behind the event. Govanhill Baths Manager Fatima Uygun:

“Our festival is political through choice, each year we celebrate the diversity of our unique community and, through the events, we challenge racism openly.”

On Saturday 22nd Brian Austin of The Rum Shack hosts a discussion panel on being Black and Scottish in the BLM Era including Barrington Reeves (Too Gallus) poet and playwright Hannah Lavery (Lament for Sheku Bayoh) and Ira Osborne of Bass Warrior Sound System. Monday 24 Glasgow Zine Library will present an online Zine-Making workshop Community Building and Anti-Racism, Friday 28 sees author Stuart Cosgrove in conversation with Jim Monaghan and Beldina Odenyo (Heir of the Cursed) on his Soul Trilogy Detroit 67, Memphis 69 and Harlem 69, looking at them against the background of this year’s Black Live matter protests.

That event is the finale of The Govanhill Book Festival which also features Murray Armstrong talking about his new book “The Fight for Scottish Democracy: Rebellion and Reform in 1820”, Henry Bell, Hannah Lavery and Denise Mina.

Apart from the online events the festival does take to the streets. A survivor of the lockdown, and headline event of the festival, is Simon Murphy’s exhibition Govanhill Street Level. Murphys long-term portrait project Govanhill was due to be a featured exhibition at Streetlevel Photoworks but was cancelled due to lockdown. But it has been resurrected, with 20 large prints of his work appearing in 20 shop windows across the local area.

Marie – from Simon Murphy’s Govanhill

A special outdoor screening of Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bette will take place in Westmoreland gardens tomorrow evening (Sat 22 aug) and on Sunday 30 is the Street Music Festival, a partnership between Music Broth, Ando Glas and Big Noise. Dozens of musicians will play from their windows and doorways across Govanhill all afternoon, as well as on staged areas on Govanhills corners and parks.

The full programme is available here



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