the forgotten history of the reno: manchester’s original nightclub for mixed race youth

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-03-05 13:02Z by Steven

the forgotten history of the reno: manchester’s original nightclub for mixed race youth


Kamila Rymajdo, Northern correspondent

Image from @excavatingthereno

Thirty years after it closed, Manchester nightclub the Reno has been excavated by playwright Linda Brogan and a team of volunteers — now they’re taking over Whitworth Art Gallery to continue telling its story.

“We dipped our fingers in the fountain of youth,” is how Jamaican-Irish playwright Linda Brogan explains the 2017 archaeological excavation of The Reno, Manchester’s original nightclub for mixed-race youth. Opened in the early 1960s, and famously visited by Muhammad Ali, the funk and soul venue enjoyed a heyday in the 1970s, only to close in 1986, and be demolished a year later. Overgrown by grass in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Moss Side — where Manchester’s Irish, West Indian and African communities have traditionally lived — it was all but forgotten. Until now.

“Once you got in, it was like you were home,” remembers Barrie George, a retired Manchester City Football Club steward, who partook in the club’s excavation.

Stigmatised by the 1930 ‘Fletcher Report’ (a controversial paper that described children of mixed heritage as suffering from inherent physical and mental defects) people such as Barrie and Linda found themselves caught between two different communities. “When we’d go to town, white people would say, ‘black this, black that,’ then we’d go out in Moss Side and the Jamaican people would go, ‘you mixed race, two nation, people with no countries,’ so it was like we were battling with two,” explains another Reno regular, Steve Cottier, his words echoing around the vast expanse of Whitworth Art Gallery’s upper floor. We’re here because, starting on 15 March, the gallery will be the site of a year long residency, during which Linda, and twelve former Reno regulars, will explore the club’s historical context and attempt to strengthen its legacy…

Linda Brogan Contact interview from matt kowalczuk on Vimeo.

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race in Manchester – Intersections of Class and Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-03-03 19:11Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Manchester – Intersections of Class and Mixed Race Identity

Musings of a Mixed Race Feminist: Random diatribes from a mixed race feminist scholar.
Tuesday, 2015-03-03

Donna J. Nicol, Associate Professor Women & Gender Studies
California State University, Fullerton

I spent the last three months of 2014 living in Manchester, England helping my mother-in-law through chemotherapy and navigating the National Health Services bureaucratic red tape to secure caregiver support and the like. While I wasn’t able to keep up with this blog, I did manage to work on my first novel and make note of how I was perceived differently than I normally am in the U.S. Now these perceptions draw on my specific interactions so my observations are certainly not generalizable to all but I found the comparisons revealing.

In the African and South Asian (think Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian) community of Longsight, being mixed race (as determined by skin color, hair texture and physical markers of mixed race identity) was not as common as in other parts of Manchester which were predominantly white. In Longsight, I felt like the odd person out and though I have traveled to England many times before (mostly London and Manchester), I was not cognizant of being one of the few mixed folks in the bunch until I stayed more than a week in the area. Home to mostly first generation immigrants to the U.K., Longsight appeared to demonstrate a kind of “racial insularity” that I had not experienced in other parts of the city. Mixed race couples were, in fact, quite rare to find…

Read the entire article here.

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We Need to Talk about Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-12-05 14:37Z by Steven

We Need to Talk about Race

Volume 48, Number 6 (December 2014)
pages 1107-1122
DOI: 10.1177/0038038514521714

Bethan Harries, Research Associate
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity
University of Manchester, United Kingdom

It is not easy to name racism in a context in which race is almost entirely denied. Despite a recent focus on the ‘silencing’ of race at a macro level, little has been done to explore the effects of living with these processes, including how they might be resisted. Drawing from a study with 20–30 year olds in Manchester, this article addresses this gap. It examines how respondents disavow racism they experience when to do so is counter-intuitively understood to be associated with being racist or intolerant. These narratives demand that we ask the question, why is racism denied? Or, why is it difficult to articulate? To do this, the article argues we must access narratives in ways that reveal the embeddedness of race and contradictory levels of experience and bring attention back to the meanings and effects of race in everyday life in order to challenge racism and white privilege.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Runnymede film nominated for Limelight Award

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2012-05-21 18:54Z by Steven

Runnymede film nominated for Limelight Award

Runnymede Trust

Clench, a Runnymede short film written and directed by Riffat Ahmed, has been nominated in the Best Drama category at this year’s Limelight Film Awards, to be held on 14 June 2012.
Made as part of the Generation 3.0 project, the film tells the story of Ash, a mixed-race girl from Old Trafford, Manchester, who signs up to a one-week boxing course after a her social worker presents her with a final chance to turn her life around.
The film looks Ash’s own experience of racism and the preconceptions she holds about other people and places.

Read the entire article here.

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Clench: What are You Fighting For?

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom, Videos, Women on 2011-10-23 02:46Z by Steven

Clench: What are You Fighting For?

Commissioned By: Runnymede Trust-UK’s Leading Race Equality Think Tank
Written and directed by Riffat Ahmed
Produced by Shane Davey, Courtney Edwards, Riffat Ahmed and Fabien Soazandry of Davey Inc
Running Time: 00:15:39

Starring: Hussina Raja as Ash
With: Kevin Morris, Jeff Caffrey, Afreen Mhar, Allan Hopwood, and Danny Randall

Made as part of the Runnymede Trust’s Generation 3.0 project, which looks at how racism can be ended in a generation, this short film tells the story of Ash, a mixed-race girl from Old Trafford, Manchester.

On a youth referral scheme, we see Ash travel to the iconic Salford Lads Club where she takes up boxing as a way of dealing with her troubled past. By portraying Ash’s experience of the sport, the film highlights how the boxing ring can be a neutral space where race and neighbourhood politics are left outside.

The film looks at not only Ash’s own experience of racism, but also the preconceptions she holds about other people and places.

Clench demonsrates how boxing can become the ultimate visual tool for communication between generations, highlighting that every person has a story to tell regardless of how they look.

Music: Sam Baws
Director of Photography: Jake Scott
Sound Design: Ashley Charles
Editor: Vid Price

Supporting Cast: Ezzo DeVaugn, Billy Wain, Kane Hannaway, Charell Anerville, Philip Mulher, Adam Crosby, Sam Walker, Rico Stewart, Dan McCan, Anna Baatz, and Patrick O’Brien

Gaffer: Gwyn Hemmings
Focus Puller: Matt French
Second AC/DIT: Jan Koblanski Bowyer
Sound Recordist: Shaun Hocking
Make up: Sophie Mechlowitz and Leah Tesciuba
Red Camera: HH Films Manchester
Anamorphic Lenses: Nick Gordon Smith
Lighting: Arri Manchester
Colourist: Martin Southworth @ Nice Biscuits

Shot on location in Manchester, England

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