Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Review: Gypsy Fair Screening & Expo -Fri 12 Feb

Review: Gypsy Fair Screening & Expo -Fri 12 Feb

NOISELAB’s screening of Gypsy Fair set the mark for the rest of February’s impressive line up!

This captivating documentary revolves around the Appleby Horse Fair, an annual horse trade event which attracts more than 10 000 Gypsies and Travellers each June. Recorded by Gypsy and Traveller film makers Gypsy Fair reinforces Noise’s unconventional ethos and promotion of non-formal learning paths. The film demonstrates the creativity, individuality and enduring values of the Gypsy subculture.

With its roots in 1685, the Appleby Horse Fair boasts a durable life span. The documentary explores how this tradition has evolved since its inception. Interviews with older Gypsies reveal how the event, which began solely for the purpose of trading, has now developed into a parade, adorned with theatrical gestures.

Unification and community characterise the spirit of Gypsy Fair. The Appleby Horse Fair forms the base from which alternative groups assemble. It is where Gypsies from the South and West meet to trade horses, where older Gypsies regale their descendents with tales about the former way of life, where Travellers meet Gypsies, and where past meets future.

Gypsy Fair shows how Appleby Horse Trade draws out a strong sense of family value amongst the Gypsies and Travellers. It follows one family of young Gypsies to Liverpool University’s archive where they are shown photographs of their ancestors and uncover their Indian roots. The dwindling social aspect of the Gypsies is also reignited during this event as families are given the opportunity to interact with one another.

On top of the aforementioned sentiments of the film, Gypsy Fair is a visual feast! Scenes of horse drawn carriages like striking relics of the past amble along the roads of Appleby, Gypsies ride their horses through the River Eden, and old friends gather in merriment.

Gypsy Fair was greeted with an enthusiastic reception from viewers. The screening concluded with a Q and A session with the film’s producer Sebastian Peiter, which explored how the film challenged misconceptions about Gypsies and Travellers. Viewers were also given the opportunity to check out a photography exhibition by NOISEfestival.com Artist Liam Fawcett. His work offered an interesting perspective on the lives of New Travellers residing in Hackney, London.

BY ADELE MILLWARD

Gypsy Fair is available on DVD from NOISE Lab or by emailing projects@NOISEfestival.com

If you would like your review/ account of a NOISE Lab event to appear on the NOISE Lab blog please email Victoria, projects@NOISEfestival.com

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