In 1982 the American film maker Pamela Yates made a documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, about the civil war in Guatemala. An estimated 200,000 indigenous Maya people are believed to have been killed as the military regime clamped down on insurgents during 36 years of fighting. Now Pamela Yates has made a sequel film, Granito - part political thriller, part memoir - which charts attempts by human rights campaigners to bring those responsible to justice. She also explores how the international courts are using her original footage as evidence of genocide.Granito - Human Rights Watch
Granito and When the Mountains Tremble are playing at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London on 25 and 26 March.
“Nothing on the tundra rotted much...The whole history of human settlement lay exposed there, under that big northern sky. There was nowhere here for bones to hide.” The frozen wastes of Ellesmere Island in the Arctic is the backdrop for M.J. McGrath’s novel, White Heat. A place where nothing disappears and all clues are frozen on the surface provides an intriguing setting for a thriller. But this was also where, in the 1950s, Inuit families were forcibly relocated by the Canadian government, in an attempt to claim ownership of the island. Melanie McGrath has travelled extensively in this area, where temperatures rarely rise above freezing and regularly fall below -40C, and where the sun never rises for 4 months of the year. In both her fiction and non-fiction she is seeking to explore and understand a unique and precarious way of life.Melanie McGrath
White Heat is published by Mantle.
Next month the new Turner Contemporary gallery opens in the seaside town of Margate. J.M.W. Turner first visited the Kent resort when he was 11 years old and often returned there to paint: he told the critic John Ruskin, “…the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe”. This new arts centre will showcase his work alongside new pieces inspired by the artist’s legacy. Victoria Pomery, the Director of Turner Contemporary, discusses how the design of the gallery, perched on the seafront, seeks to exploit the light and reflect the influence of the sea. She also argues that the arts have an important role in regenerating an area and building community relations.Turner Contemporary
The new Turner Contemporary gallery opens in Margate on 16 April.
“My objective is to achieve freer, lighter, stronger and more sculptural forms better suited to their function… My passion is to create masterpieces that enrich people's lives and the language of furniture." John Makepeace has been designing and making furniture for the last 50 years. Influenced at first by the simple forms of Bauhaus, and then by the natural world, his sculpted chairs and cabinets always showcase the beauty of the material in which he works – wood. Makepeace believes passionately that the potential of wood has been severely neglected in the history of design in the last century, because of the drive for newer, cheaper and more malleable materials.John Makepeace
The exhibition John Makepeace – Enriching the Language of Furniture is on at Somerset House in London until 15 April and then goes to Farnham and Leeds later in the year.
Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…