Sandra Lahire’s Anti Nuclear Trilogy – A Film Screening and Political Poster exhibition

At Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne as part of Revealing Women Series

Thursday 23rd May 2019 7:30pm

Women Artists of the North East Library and activist Penny Remfry present a screening of Sandra Lahire’s anti-nuclear trilogy of films: Serpent River (1989), Uranian Hex (1987) and Plutonium Blonde (1987). Made in direct relation to a feminist anti-nuclear movement of the 80’s, Lahire’s intricately layered images and sound unveil the physical threat of radioactivity on communities, the landscape, the earth’s resources and women’s labouring bodies.

The screening contributes to an on-going investigation at the Women Artists of the North East Library into the valuable contribution of artistic practice by women identifying artists in the North East region of England. Sandra Lahire (1950-2001) studied Philosophy at Newcastle University before studying film in London. Sandra Lahire’s essay ‘Lesbians in the Media’ was inserted into the Women Artists of the North East Library in Summer 2018 as a means to bring Lahire’s practice in connection with other individuals that make up the library.

Alongside the screening was an exhibition of political activist posters from Penny Remfry’s personal collection. Showing the role that visual art played in historic and more recent political campaigns, the posters provide the broader political context in which Lahire’s films were made.

Many thanks to Cinenova Distribution for the care of and access to Sandra Lahire’s films, and to Film Hub North for the support with Revealing Women Series.

Sandra Lahire was born in 1950. She studied Philosophy at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne (BA), Fine Art Film at St Martins School of Art (BA 1984) and Film & Environmental Media at the Royal College of Art (MA 1986). Her films have been shown nationally and internationally at cinemas and festivals including Creteil, Locarno, Berlin, Montreal, Sao Paolo, Turin, Jerusalem, Australia and the Philippines. Writings include Lesbians in Media Education published in Visibly Female (ed Hilary Robinson, Camden Press 1987) and articles for Undercut. She also wrote a musical score for Lis Rhodes’ film Just About Now. She passed away in 2001.

Penny Remfry was born in Birmingham but moved to the North East in 1973 and was involved in establishing a women’s refuge in North Tyneside and Tyneside Rape Crisis. She campaigned for the Working Women’s Charter – a trade union campaign for equal pay, equal opportunities, maternity leave, and childcare – and worked on producing the Scarlet Women newsletter in North Shields.

Penny Remfry and Holly Argent with the Women Artists of the North East Library previously worked together in 2018 for ArtHouses in Whitely Bay.