We’re told we all have the right to roam in the countryside, but does that apply to everyone equally? Right of Way is a new feature-length programme that mixes stunning new artists’ commissions with historical archive films to examine and debate who is welcomed into the great outdoors and who is excluded.
Three new short films challenge the enduring image of the rural idyll where time stands still. How have Black, Asian and other ethnically diverse people perceived these landscapes? Who tells the stories of protest, trespassing, activism and raves that found their home in the countryside?
These new works are paired with a programme of archive films from the 1930s to the 1980s that allow us to reflect how different people and groups have always enjoyed and accessed our rural spaces in myriad and sometimes contested ways.
Father Thames (1935) Courtesy of BFI National Film Archive
Pilgrims Way (1956) Courtesy of BFI National Film Archive
Holiday on the North Norfolk Coast (1952) Courtesy of the East Anglian Film Archive at the University of East Anglia
Norfolk 1986 (1986) Courtesy of the East Anglian Film Archive at the University of East Anglia
Eastbourne (1958) Courtesy of Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton
The South Downs Way (1975) Courtesy of Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton
Country Ways: The Ridgeway in October (1988) Courtesy of the Wessex Film and Sound Archive at Hampshire County Council