For International Women’s Day the London Socialist Film Co-op is showing films documenting the lives of two significant women: Claudia Jones and María Zambrano Alarcon.

Photo montage.
The lives of Claudia Jones and María Zambrano Alarcon are celebrated in two films.

Hidden Herstories: Claudia Jones. Octavia Foundation Young People, UK 2010 [U], 15 mins. Claudia Jones (1945-1964), was a founder of the West Indian Workers and Students Association, started the West Indian Gazette, protested against the racist murder of Kelso Cochrane, and launched the first Caribbean carnival in the UK in 1959. It was Jones who inspired today’s world famous Notting Hill Carnival, an event she sadly never lived to see.

Maria Querida. Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez, Spain 2004 [U], Spanish with EST , 91 mins. In 1984, having returned to Spain after 45 years of exile, María Zambrano Alarcon (Pilar Bardem), philosopher and essayist was awarded the Cervantes Prize. A young journalist and daughter of a teacher, Lola (María Bottol), attends the press conference and becomes fascinated when she learns that Zambrano too was a teacher but had never practised professionally. Like Zambrano, many Republican intellectuals were forced into exile after the civil war. They suffered separation from their loved ones and their country and longed to return. Journalist and filmmaker Lola has questions to which she searches for answers, while María Zambardo’s wisdom helps Lola make decisions in her personal life.

The post-film discussion will be led by Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom, Research Associate, and Mary Davis, visiting Professor, both of Royal Holloway University of London, and Sara Callaway of Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike.

London Socialist Film Co-op, Sunday 8 March 2015. Doors open 10.20am for 11am start. Bolívar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, Fitzrovia, London W1T 5DL. Booking information: tickets are available from 10.20am on the day and may not be booked in advance. Admission £10/concs £8. Annual members £6/concs £4. No credit cards accepted.