Saturday, December 08, 2007

Something to do next Wednesday night

I haven't posted for a couple of days because I've been tied up with the Australasian sociology conference which has just been held in the brand new and rather hideous Business School at Auckland University. A lot of the Marxoid ratbags at the conference were ghettoised into a 'Political Economy' stream yesterday, and at a hurried lunch plans were made to establish a long-overdue national network of lefty scholars. It was nice to catch up with the work of veteran Marxist researchers like Bryan Roper, and to meet other lefty pointyheads for the first time. I particularly enjoyed chatting with Evan Poata-Smith, whose studies of contemporary Maori history I've long admired.

I gave a paper yesterday which began in Venezuela before plunging back into the nineteenth century and Marx's smoky Hampstead study (you can see the template in this blog post). Afterwards, an Aussie academic told me about the adventures of a couple of her students who travelled through Venezuela last year. They had wanted to see what all this Bolivarian business was like for themselves, and they ended up getting involved with a group of Kiwis making a documentary film which focused on the role of indigenous peoples in the revolution. By coincidence, I got an email yesterday advertising a new doco on Venezuela:

Now the People Have Awoken

New Zealand Film makers tell the story of the changes in Venezuelan politics

Except for beauty queens and oil, Venezuela has never been on the international stage. Now Venezuela is at the centre of international controversey: to some it has been stolen by a populist dictator, while for others Venezuela represents the centre of a continent wide democratic revolution. There is much at stake.

Venezuela sits atop the biggest oil reserves in the world which are used to foment a new order. President Hugo Chavez, who survived a military coup in 2002, has supported a number of contreversial social programmes which have pushed Venezuela onto the US Government, and media, enemy radar.

This is a film by Kiwis about what makes this country we know little about tick.

One chance only - Wednesday December 12 - 8.15pm at the Academy Cinema - film screening (rated E Exempt) and a Q&A session with film maker Julia Capon.

There's a little preview here. Sounds like there'll be some pretty good music, too...


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