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Literary Festival 2014: Gang Culture: on screen and in print


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Editor's note: This podcast contains some strong language.

Speaker(s): Andrew Davies, Penny Woolcock
Chair: Dr Gareth Jones

Recorded on 27 February 2014 in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.

Gangs are a familiar subject for films, books and news media. The panel will explore why gangs are a favoured subject of film and print, how they are portrayed, and how far these representations can be considered accurate or 'realistic', and how these presentations in turn affect public perceptions of young peoples' lives.

Andrew Davies (@AD1878) teaches modern social history at the University of Liverpool. His books include The Gangs of Manchester (2008) and City of Gangs: Glasgow and the Rise of the British Gangster (2013). In 2008-9, he worked with MaD Theatre Company on Angels with Manky Faces, a multi-media stage play set in 1894 with a 'Madchester' soundtrack and filmed cameos by members of The Smiths and the Inspiral Carpets along with actors from Coronation Street and Early Doors.

Penny Woolcock is a writer and director making documentaries, television fiction, feature films and opera. Her fiction feature film 1 Day (2009) about a day in the life of a gang banging street hustler led to One Mile Away (2013) documenting a peace process between the two notorious gangs in inner city Birmingham. She’s specially interested in the vibrant economy and culture of marginalised communities. Her trilogy about inner city Leeds Tina Goes Shopping, Tina Takes a Break and Mischief Night were street cast fictions based on real life stories. She spent eight months On the Streets (2010) making a film about homeless people in London and months in a hostel for street drinkers for The Wet House (2000). She’s directed a film version of the John Adams opera The Death of Klinghoffer (2003) and stage operas for the Met in New York and the English National Opera.

Gareth Jones is a reader in urban geography at LSE.

Penny Woolcock's film One Mile Away will be screened on the closing night of the Festival at 7pm on Saturday 1 March.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

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