Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Interview with Rod Dixon

How long have you lived in the Upper Calder Valley?
Two years

Where is your favourite place, personally, in the Upper Calder Valley?
The War memorial above Hardcastle Crags near Pecket Well - great views of the woods and valley. My second favourite place is either The Trades Club or Organic House!!

Who, in the local community, is your "Local Hero"?
Sharyn who is working in Gaza - don't know her second name

What do you think this area should be most proud of?
Our 'alternative' and vocally radical community

If you could wave a magic wand and change three things in the area, what would they be?
To rejuvinate all the existing industrial archaeology and rebuild it as sustainable sources of energy - water power mostly. The valley has many pieces of Victorian and older civil engineering which could be rebuilt and modified very easily.

What is your general occupation?
Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company

What is the most satisfying bit about what you do?
When we make work which moves people to discuss social change (positively and optimistically)

What is the most frustrating part about what you do?
When we make work which aims to move people to want social change and they shrug and say ...well that's just the way the world is ....

What was your very first job?
Sewage Farm worker (Dronfield Sewage Works)

How do you relax?
Walking / strolling in the woods with Ella. Cooking and eating. Jogging. Reading.

What's the best film you've seen recently?
Not seen many that have been that good - but saw a great Italian film at the picture house called Caos Calmo (Calm Chaos) and I was moved by Angeline Jolie in The Changeling

What is your favourite food?
Stuffed aubergines

If you were Prime Minister, what’s the very first thing you would do?
Close down government as we know it - turn the House of Commons into a people's meeting hall - an old Moot Hall where Consensus would rule.

As cheap and easily available oil is expected to run out in the next couple of decades, what do you think will be the predominant form of transport in 2030?
Bring back the railways and the canals!!

Have you got any guilty carbon secrets?
We had to use two vans for our last national tour because the set was too big. I've given up flying.

What have you done, personally, that you were most proud of?
Linked young people from Plymouth to groups in Spain , Germany and France through their theatre making - when they came together they provoked the most exciting and radical debate I've heard for years with a local EU minister - they advocated no borders across Europe and the poor guy nearly had a heart attack!

What single issue are you most concerned about in the world at large?
That we are all oppressed by our exisitence within the Capitalist system which divides us all by rank, race, gender and materialism - we are all slaves to this whether we deliberately try to opt out or not - it is unavoidable and that is why social change has to be revolutionary and massive - or the human race is doomed.

That's quite a big concern isn't it....oh dear.

Which person in the public eye do you most admire and why?
Tony Benn - because he continues to open his mouth and speak total truth every single time I see him!

What are your three favourite websites of the moment?
Zeitgeist, Zeitgeist Addendum and Climate Camp - not sure if they are all websites - the first two are freely available and downloadable films.

Thank you Rod.

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