Wonderland.

Eyes On: pARTy at VDF

We’ve got your Friday night sorted: and it ain’t the usual.

Get out of your bedroom and off of your Facebook feed, here’s the place where a status update or shared links really could give you more than likes and a comment from your weird aunt. VFD’s – film and party night is the place to be inspired, get drunk and discuss important matters with friends, friends of friends, strangers – well, any one really (apart from that aunt maybe…).

So tonight is the night! The cultural centre Vogue Fabrics Dalston (VFD) is yet again about to transform itself into an eccentric exhibition space and a glorious party place with their first ever VFD film and party night. Ok, two previous film nights have been hosted, only this time you get to strap your heels on and dowse yourself in glitter before benching in front of the big screen. Yes, the film screening is followed up by one big old party, proper Dalston style.

Doors open at 8 o’clock tonight and the screening starts at 8.30 – party ’till late.

Every film night hosted by VDF looks at relevant cultural, social and political issues. They seek to involve all young and enthusiastic creative souls – whether it’s to party, discuss or make and digest arts off all kinds. The venue has been around since 2008 when creative director and founding member, Lyall Hakaraia, decided to turn an empty basement in his house into a creative hub that has nurtured the Dalston and London art scene in the past years.

Head on over, get a drink in you left hand and pen and paper in the other, as tonights screening features up-ad coming independent film collective Guerrera films. Guerrera films mainly produce documentaries that seek to communicate both artistically and informatively about social issues around the globe. Having already had a peek at this exciting film dus’s previous projects we can assure you will feel both enlightened and inspired. And the best bit is if have any questions or opinions, just look around and you’ll be surrounded by hungry, bright minds ready to talk. And If you’re lucky, maybe even the film duo themselves…

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the event is charitable. VFD has recently started working with the charitable organization Refugee Community Kitchen. As the wave of media attention around the refugee crisis has passed, the organizers are helping Refugee Community Kitchen to maintain funding of their work. Actually, you would too just by turning up tonight!  Thanks to the fabulous efforts of everyone involved, door money will be put towards this amazing charity so they can go on and save the world as we save ourselves from getting too immersed in the night.

We’ve gotten a chance to talk with Lyall Hakaraia and curator and event hostess Eilidh Nuala Duffy to get some more info about them, the venue – and most importantly – this evening!

What best describes the spirit of VFD in three words? 

Love – Art – Magic.

What makes you organize events like this ‘film and party’ night? 

With the polarizing and sometime frightening nature of society and politics at the moment we thought that it would be beneficial to bring people together and to talk about the pressing issues of the day. Humans are after all social creatures and we wanted to make an event that people felt that they were able to explore, question and hopefully be further informed about their own ideas and beliefs.

As we are constantly being bombarded by visual imagery it seems logical to look at film and video that is both personally and corporately generated as a basis for further discussion for our times. Where possible we ask the featured maker of the films to talk about their work to give deeper understanding and also invite academics with a special interest in our topic to talk and contextualize the material we are looking at.

The party is a natural extension of the earlier part of the evening with people wanting to talk , have a drink a great dance and relax.I suppose what we are really saying is that this sort of informal event, as a opposed to a party political rally, feels right for now.

Who can be involved, and how do you find the people that gets to join the VFD crew? 

We invite film makers be – they student / professional / amateur – that has a clear idea of what it is that they want to share with us. To get involved, contact us direct via the Facebook group or through our website (see below).

Will there be more nights like this?

Yes there will be. Everyone working on the ‘ VFD film night ‘ is doing so as a volunteer. While we would love to make these night more regular, we are currently going for every other month.  Look out for the next one in early November.

What/who is your favourite documentary, and/or, artist? 

Too many to choose from. Wim Wenders has always had a special place in my heart since I first saw Wings of Desire. David Bailey’s portrait of Andy Warhol is also really cool. There’s also a BBC documentary from the ’70s about the Chelsea Hotel which is amazing but I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head.

Have you seen a change in the community and crowd it takes part of since you got involved with VFD? 

When we first opened there was no other queer bars in Dalston and we got an eclectic crowd who all lived with a 15 minute walk of the venue, which meant that they could all get smashed and stagger home without having to pay for hefty cabs fares home from the West end…for the price of a cab to and from Soho you could get completely drunk with us. As people moved out of the area and people stopped going out as they now had mortgages and children to feed, the dynamic of the crowd changed with the average age of the people coming to VFD falling from 25 to 45 to 18 to 30 … What that means is that with a younger group of people attending the parties and events are much more dynamic. While a younger crowd can be more lippy and not handle their booze so well they do make up for it by being very sweet when given the chance and ready to accept new ideas, which an older crowd sometimes are not able to do .

Finally, what do you as a collective find most important with throwing events like these, where party and ’real talk’ are not separated? 

The thing is that just by turning up to a night like this you are being political, taking part means that you are putting yourself out there and being counted. It is is a very simple way to be visible and create change. Yes, coming to the film part of the evening is really important. To experience ‘real talk ‘ about issues that affects us all can be profoundly moving and leave a lasting impression on you. But really by coming to either part of the evening means that you are effecting change and today with a disempowered majority you cannot underestimate how good it feels to be part of something positive. This is the real magic.

Event: http://vfdalston.com/2156-2/

VFD website:  vfdalston.com

VFD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1661516330776142/

Eyes On: pARTy at VDF

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