Amidst – reimagining how we do conversation

Ten years ago, we started Take One Action in response to a UK-wide mood of post-Iraq disillusionment and political apathy. Voter turnout in some elections had slumped well below 50%. And our film choice was limited.

But since then, we’ve travelled with growing optimism alongside the most surprising social movements focussed on more wholehearted ways of living. From the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, to inroads against hierarchy in the private sector.

Locally and globally, more and more films have spotlighted extraordinary uprisings against individuation, consumerism and authoritarianism. Movements which have foregrounded collaboration, sustainability and human integrity. And locally: from the rise in community gardens and participatory budgeting, to the growth of restorative justice and emotional literacy in schools – the impact in Scotland has been abundant.

At the same time, anyone who is intelligently on that learning curve knows that we are still in our adolescence. Progressive movements have remained as vulnerable to “us and them” narratives as anyone. Combined with other forces, those narratives have derailed dignity on all sides this past year.

In Scotland, we have an opportunity to show greater leadership here – as we face the issues raised by Brexit and the prospect of Indy Ref 2, as well as the role we play in propping up inequality (and its universal fallout).

For Take One Action’s own part, we commit today to fostering deeper connections among our audiences, no matter their political starting place. Our inspiration remains those hundreds of films which show that when people receive an good invitation to create relationships amid division, they grab it – from every corner of the globe. So over the coming months and years, as we honour a decade of incredible stories about global social change and resistance to injustice, we’ll be creating more spaces where people can kickstart better conversations, across division, for wiser and longer-lasting effect. The inspiration is there. It’s up to all of us to take it further.

Those experiments kick off this spring. Amidst (Edinburgh) is a six part conversation series starting Tuesday 18th April, 5.45pm and running on a fortnightly basis, which asks how we can help to get the ball moving.

If you’re in the city, you can register here right now (free; a few spaces left). If you’re not, and you’d like to bring it to another city, get in touch []. Kindly supported by Seedbed Trust & The Bertha Foundation.

Alongside Amidst, we’ll be screening more films – new and old – which will inspire braver conversations: wherever you live, work or play. Stay tuned.