Archives for posts with tag: community

I’m so pleased and proud to say that BABYHOOD has won an Award, after being part of Culture Unplugged Festival.

“To share with you in brief, a different guest panel of visionaries is invited for each festival to watch a small selection of films and identify the film that is most conscious in its selection of story, vision, and art of filmmaking—that awakens the global citizens and helps them usher life toward a new direction. ”

As well as making me literally jump for joy, it has propelled me into my next film with a deep sense of commitment.

This time I want to make a film that looks at childhood, in particular the process of being a child, and how the modern world is stealing so many elements of growing up from our children.

It has grown out of my questioning of the systems in place around schooling. As my 5yr old revels in the wonder of the world around him, I strive to keep that wonderment in place and have chosen not to send him to school.

Schools are testing children at younger and younger ages, and failing children at every level. Nature is being branded as a commodity, along with technology replicating real life experiences.

I want to question all of this and more.

Its complicated.

I will be uploading small clips here soon, let me know if this appeals to you, or if you have a story to tell.

peace and joy x

DVD

I have just made a new batch of DVD’s that are now ready to buy for £9.99 plus P&P. Get them while you can!
email me: katejangra [at] gmail [dot] com

FTDYWB

It seems like this year has whizzed past. My second little one is now reaching his first birthday, and so it is exactly a year since i finished making Babyhood.

I can’t believe how much my life has changed, but also how much my film seems to have resonated with people throughout 2012, so much so that I am involved in a pilot scheme in my area which sets out to improve the life of children.  I am part of a government funded “co-design” group, and we have decided to create a series of drop-ins specifically focused on pregnant women, new mums and mums with little one’s under a year. We are also creating an alternative Bounty Pack, which will have a copy of my film in it.

As I live in Westminster in London, we are a very densely populated ward, and therefore we are trying to help all kind of women from different backgrounds. Some of them have great attitudes towards babies, some have forgotten how to listen to their instincts. It is a great challenge, but fascinating, as what is clear from every angle is that attachment theory is something that everyone needs to be better versed in. And that gives me great joy. We are at last starting to make a difference to the lives of our children and their lives as adults if we can help them at this vulnerable and so important stage of life.

🙂

So it’s World Breastfeeding Week, and by chance I happened to take my LO’s to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and we then popped over to the V&A to paddle in their lovely courtyard. On our way into the V&A there was this statue that seemed (there was one at the top and one at the bottom) to show us the way we could go using the ramps – we had buggies and slings on!  Nicely timed I thought. Its made by a french artist called Jules Dalou in around 1873…long time ago. I wish i could breastfeed this confidently in public!!

Anyway Babyhood is also showing as part of the Breastfeeding Festival on the 11th August. If you are in the area! Hope to write a bit more soon, but don’t seem to get more than a minute to myself these days!

I just had my first local community screening. A small group of parents, who are active in the community running local children centre’s and working for charities like Homestart, took a couple of hours out of their busy lives to watch and give me some feedback on my film Babyhood. I was nervous about how it would be received by professional parenting and child support workers, and felt a huge sigh of relief to receive a round of applause when it finished!

We then animatedly discussed many of the issues raised in the film, from smacking and the need for non-violent discipline to technology and whether real life is boring in comparison, to the isolation of new mothers, and the rampant consumerism we are surrounded by. We also discussed the fact that there are so few decent male role-models for children and the impact this has.
Fittingly it was shown at Tell It Parents Action Group headquarters which has a lovely hand crafted sign outside that reads: “it takes a community to raise a child”. I will post a picture of this when i next walk past!

From the discussion I also realised that on a campaigning note the film could be used to highlight our terrible government policies towards maternity and paternity leave and pay, in fact just for being a parent.

It seems so obvious to me that the government is missing a huge trick. In the name of economic growth they want women in work, and yet they know that bringing up our children well in the first 3 years of their lives is now scientifically proven to be essential to a person’s well-being. We know that the better a child’s early years, then the more rounded an individual will join society in their adulthood. With teenage children being penalized by the media and the government, it really is time for us to “hug a hoodie” (thank you Plan B). Alienating our children is not going to fix the problem, we need to show them some love.

I would be very interested to know how many women and men would choose to stay at home for the first few years if there was a way of making those ends meet.  It seems so wrong that the responsibility to raise our children effectively is left to the devices of our poor economic policies.

In our modern lives, what really is essential? Do we have to pay £50 per month to watch TV? Do we have to buy our children the latest gadgets and video games? Is a ready meal really all we can manage, when to buy the ingredients fresh would be healthier and cheaper? (another thank you here to Jamie Oliver) Are our mobile phones so important that we need to spend hundreds of pounds on them? Not to mention the monthly fee’s. Do we have to surround ourselves with stuff, stuff, stuff?

What also struck me was when one parent said the thing with letting small children, i.e. under 3 play with technology was that once they had seen and experienced all that stimulation on a screen, they were effectively hooked. “you can’t take it back”. So while we have a tiny amount of control in their lives (0-3), can’t we keep them away from these devices and allow their stone-age brains to grow without short-circuiting from all that stimulation before they have had a chance to develop the other crucial bits…?

i took both my boys, and have to thank them for yet again allowing me the space to pursue my passions! peace x