EVENT12.07.2014 / 10.00am6.00pm

Those Were The Decades – 1980s

Anything Goes
Heritage Learning Space, Level 4, Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2ND

A series of special events focusing on the five decades of Ikon’s history and the social, political and cultural context, including talks, debates and film screenings.

11am–12pm – illustrated talk
Vanley Burke
Since his arrival in the UK in 1965 Vanley Burke has taken photographs to document the experiences of African-Caribbean communities in a ‘post-Windrush Britain’. Here he shares remarkable images from Birmingham and Handsworth in the 1980s that challenge cultural assumptions of our national identity.

12.15–1.30pm – panel discussion
Ikon in the 1980s
Chaired by Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins, with artists Cornelia Parker and John Newling, and former Ikon Director Antonia Payne.

2.30–3.30pm – archive session
Exploring the Archives with Dr. Chris Upton
Join Library Archive Manager Rachel MacGregor and local historian Dr Chris Upton, Newman University, as they explore rarely seen material from the 1980s.

4-5pm – screening
Motorcity Music Years Part 3: Rude Boys and Wild Boys
Dir. Jonnie Turpie, produced by Roger Shannon and Chris Phipps, 1992, 30 mins
Motorcity Music Years Part 3: Rude Boys and Wild Boys looks at how Reggae, the emergence of Two Tone, and the phenomenon of the New Romantics dominated the music scene in Birmingham in the 1980s, most notably with bands such as UB40, Duran Duran, The Selecter, Steel Pulse and The Beat. Followed by Q&A with John Mostyn, former manager of The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals.

6-7pm – in conversation
Jonathan Coe & Roger Shannon
Meeting Room 104, Conference Suite, Level 1, Library of Birmingham
A special opportunity to hear Birmingham-born author Jonathan Coe discuss his novels with Roger Shannon, Edge Hill University, Liverpool. Coe’s work includes The Rotters’ Club (2001), set in 1970s Birmingham and What a Carve Up!, (1994) set in Thatcher’s Britain of the 1980s. “After more than a decade of Thatcherism in the UK, I thought it was a good moment to write a book about some of the changes imposed upon the country in that time”, Jonathan Coe.

7.30-9.30pm – screening
Sans Soleil
Dir. Chris Marker, France, 1983, 100mins, cert 15.
Meeting Room 104, Conference Suite, Level 1, Library of Birmingham
A landmark film from the 80s, Sans Soleil is a docu-fiction that combines travelogue, documentary and film essay in a poetic journey across the globe. It is a vision of a transforming landscape during a time of exponential change, intercutting contemporary film footage with imagery and reflections drawn from the past. Hugely influential, Marker paved the way for documentary essayists such as Patrick Keiller and Adam Curtis, and Sans Soleil continues to be an important film for both fiction, and non-fiction filmmakers all over the world. This event includes an introductory talk by Dr Jon Kear, University of Kent.

Booking information:
Book online or call Ikon Shop on 0121 248 0711 (please provide full name, telephone number and email address at time of booking). Also available on the door (cash only).

Day Passes (includes evening film screening)

£15 / £12 concessions

Evening film screening only (Sans Soleil)
£7.50 / £5.50 concessions

Future events:

Saturday 11 October
1990s: The March of Globalisation

Saturday 29 November
2000s: The Age of Turbulence

Organised in collaboration with Flatpack Film Festival, The Library of Birmingham, University of Birmingham and Writing West Midlands.

Those were the Decades - 1980s - Illustrated talk by Vanley Burke

Ikon in the 80s - Panel Discussion

Exploring the Archives with Dr Chris Upton

Motorcity Music Years part 3: Rude Boys and Wild Boys

Jonathan Coe and Roger Shannon in conversation

Event Date

This event has passed

Library of Birmingham

Centenary Square
Birmingham B1 2ND

Image Credits
1. Young men on a see-saw in Handsworth Park, 1984. Photograph courtesy Vanley Burke 2. Vanley Burke 3. Cornelia Parker 4. 1980s archive session 5. 1980s archive session


See more
As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s
A survey of Ikon’s programme from the 1980s, As Exciting As We Can Make It, is a highlight of our 50th anniversary year. A comprehensive exhibition, including work by 29 artists, it features painting, sculpture, installation, film and photography actually shown at the gallery during this pivotal decade.


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