Our video library, containing all material produced by Spectacle on and with the Exodus collective, will be free to access from 10th December – 10th January. This includes both Spectacle produced TV documentaries: Exodus: Movement of Jah People and Exodus From Babylon along with extras and bonus material including an anti crack song and music video made by members of the collective with Spectacle and an appearance on Swiss youth culture TV show ZEBRA.
Spectacle is excited to launch a new video library on Vimeo on Demand containing material produced on and with the Exodus collective. This includes both Spectacle produced TV documentaries: Exodus: Movement of Jah People and Exodus From Babylon along with extras and bonus material including an anti crack song and music video made by members of the collective with Spectacle and an appearance on Swiss youth culture TV show ZEBRA.
We will continue to add matierial from the archive and organise online screening events.
The Luton based Exodus Collective came into existence in 1992 as part of the growing DIY culture which arose in response to unemployment, poverty and frustration amongst young people. They organised free ‘rave’ parties, renovated derelict homes, set up a community farm and a community centre. Their philosophy had a strong spiritual strand, appealing to notions of community and natural justice in its struggle for survival and renewal. Their utopian project, whilst always peaceful, presented a challenge to the status quo and was met with powerful opposition.
Exodus offered working, viable solutions to many of society’s stated ills, poverty, crime, drugs, unemployment and the break down of community.
Exodus was a unique urban phenomenon which did not simply confront but intelligently challenged societal assumptions and values. Exodus blended a volatile mixture of rastafarianism, new-age punk and street smart politics. “We are not drop outs but force outs.”
EXODUS: MOVEMENT OF JAH PEOPLE
Exodus, Movement of Jah Peopleinvestigates the group’s quest to regenerate their disaffected community by squatting and renovating decayed buildings. Their regular raves brought ex-army, ex-estate agents, ex-shop assistants, and ex-criminals together as Exodus, a dance collective with a new direction, an attempt to offer viable solutions to many of society’s stated ills such as poverty, crime, drugs, unemployment and the break down of community.
“This remarkable film is an antidote to the dereliction and paranoia on Britain’s streets. Squatting and renovating decayed buildings, Exodus pursue a mutually agreed quest to regenerate their disaffected community… For anyone interested in a street relevant discussion on drugs, criminality, spirituality and community, this film is a must see.” – Squall Magazine 1995
EXODUS FROM BABYLON:
Exodus from Babylon investigates the intricate web of opposition to the Exodus group, from aggressive policing to local government obstruction. It reveals the shift in policing from reactive peace keeping to proactive intervention, involving a series of special operations by Bedfordshire Police.
The programme looks in detail at a number of police actions against Exodus, including the prosecution and acquittal of collective member, Paul Taylor, for possession of Ecstasy and for murder. It asks why the strategy of getting tough with Exodus emerged and identifies a number of interlocking interests at play.
Exodus from Babylon contains original music by the Exodus Collective and some great reggae tunes.
Broadcast on Channel 4 as part of the Renegade TV series.
Please contact Spectacle directly if you are interested in screening any of the films in this collection publicly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Prime Minister David Cameron said he is determined to do more to tackle alcohol abuse, which he has called “the scandal of our society”. Addressing the crowd at an hospital in north-east England today, Mr Cameron also said that recent figures show that binge drinking costs Britain 22 billion pounds a year when taking into account the whole range of issues related to it: road accidents, crime, lost productivity and, of course, health problems.
There is nothing new about the negative impacts of the alcohol industry on our society, health and culture.
Drink abuse: a not-so-new problem for youth (painting by W.P. Frith)
Spectacle’s film Exodus Extended Mix explores, among other issues, the hypocrisy of a profit driven drinks industry being a licensed dealer of a legalized, but extremely harmful drug – alcohol and the prohibition of the far less harmful cannabis which criminalizes vast swathes of young people and forces the consumer to the hands of gangs who have interest in promoting the harder, more anti-community drugs like heroine, cocaine and its derivatives.
Exodus from Babylon exposes the role of a beleaguered alcohol industry that was losing the youth market to free parties. The film documents how the alcohol industry set up a powerful lobby group to push for more relaxed laws and licences, how it had a role in the shutting down, commercialization and take over of rave culture and music festivals and how it sought to win back and target the youth market by presenting beer as a cool psychoactive drug.
The recently published Alcohol Inquiry by The House of Commons Health Committee criticises the power and political influence of the alcohol industry and its lobbyists and their role in creating and profiting from a binge drinking (youth) culture.
Our documentary Exodus from Babylon (1997) details how the alcohol industry feeling under threat from the teetotal rave culture that was emptying pubs used its power and influence at national and local level to demonise and criminalise the free rave movement, to expand into club ownership, and to promote drink as a cheap legal psychoactive high.
All of the few, but very highly publicised, rave related deaths occurred not in the free “illegal” raves but in the commercially run venues where a bottle of water cost up to £3.00 and, to ensure market monopoly, the cold water taps in the toilets were switched off.
Once the free rave movement had been destroyed the alcohol industry successfully lobbied for more lax premises licences, longer drinking hours and produced cheaper and more youth targeted alcohol such as alcopops. Soon banks and cinemas on UK high streets were converted into bars and clubs and the excessive drinking culture of the predominantly young clientele became a major public order and health problem.
The media is happy to blame the victims, the young, but this binge culture is not cultural or “natural” it is about profit. Sales ‘would fall by 40%’ if we all drank responsibly. The drinks industry thrives and survives on binge drinking, it spent £800million on marketing alcohol while the Government spent £17.6million on alcohol awareness in 2009/10.
The drinks industry exerts power via its lobbyist such as the Westminster Beer Club the Portman Group:
“The drinks industry can depend on harmful drinkers because it has more power over Government policies than health experts” the MPs added.
The drinks industry, meanwhile, hit back. Simon Litherland of Diageo GB, which produces Guinness, Bell’s whisky and Smirnoff vodka, said he was ‘extremely disappointed by the committee’s divisive approach’.