‘I, Daniel Blake’ Screening


As a part of our weekly Thursday community dinners at Kinning Park Complex, we have been trying to incorporate themed events into the night. Our aim is to encourage new attendants to come along, chow down and get involved in this flourishing community space.

In line with this effort, our staff and volunteers organised a screening of Ken Loach’s momentous film, ‘I, Daniel Blake’. The film centres on the life of Geordie joiner Daniel Blake who has suffered a recent heart attack and is in recovery.  When Daniel applies for an eligibility test for ‘Employment and Support Allowance’ benefits, he is deemed fit for work even though he has been told by his cardiologist that putting his heart under physical strain could be fatal. The film is a discussion of the effect austerity measures in Britain have on the individuals. It is a heart wrenching and realistic portrayal of the benefits system in this country which is both educating to those who haven’t felt its effects and terrifying to the already vulnerable in society.

After the screening, a panel of local politicians, activists and charity workers came together to engage in a discussion concerning austerity measures, food banks and activism in Scotland. This was spearheaded by those below who had been invited to come and speak. From right to left:

Sarah Glynn from Scottish Unemployed Workers  Network, Paul McLaughlin from WestGap  Scotland, Matt Lygate from On The Corner  Glasgow, Charity Worker John Beattie, Activist  Darren Loki McGarvey & Chris Stephens Current  MP for Glasgow South West

The panel discussed a wide range of topics from the effect that needing food banks can have on the individual to how those banks could be a force for those to gather and mobilize themselves in the face of austerity. There was an enlightening talk about grassroots activism and the need to follow the path of the labour movement which was built by the individuals and not governmental organisations. Everyone was passionate, angry and hopeful about the state of affairs in the country.

As well as the panel we had a range of presentations on the night. Robert a volunteer from Castlemilk Against Austerity gave a personal account of the effect that benefits have had on his life and the nature of the work that happens at Castlemilk Against Austerity. A dedicated KPC volunteer Andy spoke about his time volunteering here and how it has helped him with his confidence when he has had addiction problems:

Robert from Castlemilk Against Austerity

Andy discussing his time volunteering at KPC

The evening was a great success and we hope to facilitate more important films to be screened and discussions like this in the future. More details can be found on all the organisations involved in the links provided, keep an eye on the KPC Facebook and calendar for all upcoming events.

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Author: KPC