Saved events

Farewell to the Welfare State + Welcome to the Spiv Economy (18*)

Filming Welcome to the Spiv Economy

A double-bill of abrasively radical films by two workshops – Trade Films and Newsreel Collective – with strong links to local labour movements.

The films of Gateshead-based Trade Films tackled issues directly affecting working-class communities in the North East. Farewell to the Welfare State, an early production, examines the birth of the welfare system in the UK and its future under the Thatcher government. The first of a three-part season on the welfare state, it was controversial; the government demanded a ‘right to reply’ in a fourth programme.

Down in London, Newsreel Collective also made films about working-class life. Intended for use in political campaigns, their subjects included abortion, housing, and industrial action. Made during the industrial decline and rising unemployment of the 1980s, their Welcome to the Spiv Economy is a study of the burgeoning numbers of people in casual and temporary jobs – a reminder that the ‘gig’ or ‘spiv’ economy is not a new phenomenon.

UK 1986 Trade Films 53 min

UK 1986 Newsreel Collective 52 min

*This film has been locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.
Photo of Barbican Cinema red seats

Podcast: Cinema

Subscribe to our fortnightly podcast for interviews and discussion about our film programme, from the iconic to the independent, art-house to the award-winning - plus our incredible archive of ScreenTalks.

Available on iTunes, Spotify and Acast

Barbican Cinema 3