March 28, 2017

It is time to say Good bye – Story of Solidarity! 

It is time to say Good bye – Story of Solidarity!

By Embassy MediaWarmsun streams through the high windows of the old Workers Film Association Media & Cultural Centermembers walking single file past cardboard boxes stacked along the walls. When the doors close this week, it will be for the finaltime and the building which is slated for demolition expected to be ready forfall in the next couple of days.

I’ve noticed that … it’s moreemotional,” Member of WFA – Mark Smith, after smiling to me who shrugged andsaid this March felt like any other. But It’s saying goodbye, and a lot of the membershave been here for at least a century , so it’s like an era.”

Sinceit was opened by members of Labour  in 1976, the Workers  Film Association inManchester, has been a place for debate, discussion and cultural activities. Itwas a building center and home to Eritrea Support Committee, people such as BasilDavidson, Mary Dines, Amrit Wilson, Abdurahman Babu, Prof. Lionel Cliffe, DavidPool, Prof. Richard Greenfield, George Galloway and  allthose who have  care for the interests ofEritrea and its people during the struggle for independence.

What a history we haveand what a friend and partner has been to the Eritrean struggle and nation. During the long years of struggle Eritrea was blessed withinternationalist support, film makers, researchers, academicians, trade andstudent unions.

Todaythe WFA Centre is a shadow of its former selfand stands as an history.
Asfar as we can see it is the only post-independence, post-liberation Africanheritage cente

r in UK. It is a place imbued with this incredible history and itjust feels important, even when it’s dusty and derelict, “It has been veryimportant to my generation and the generation before me,” Mark said. “I’vealways loved just walking down the halls of the WFA. I love history and I lovethat I’m so connected to it “It’ll be sad, certainly. If the walls couldspeak,” he added with a smile.
Mark shows me some of WFA documents such as AbdurahmanBabu’s article, “Eritrea: Its Present is the Remote Future of Others”after spending sometime in Eritrea in same article Babu himself writes: “Iam not ashamed to admit that I have been overwhelmed by what I saw, living,working and eating with these staunch revolutionaries”.
Iam tempted to echo the famous quote “I have seen the future of Africa andit works”. he added, Abdurahman Babu:- “Eritrea was not the present -It is the future”. on another Babu article,  Great documents from Workers Film Association archives on Eritrea.
It also included media coverage by John Pilger, written 12 January 1979 after visiting Eritrea, he described in the New Statesman the gruesome, heroic struggle of its people. John Pilger pieced together report from letters and eye-witness accounts. His articles appearworldwide in newspapers such as the Guardian, the Independent, the New YorkTimes, the Los Angeles Times, the Mail & Guardian (South Africa),Aftonbladet (NL), Il Manifesto (Italy). He writes a regular column for theNew Statesman, London.

The Embassy of the State of Eritrea toUK and Ireland, would like to thanks the (WFA) Workers Film Association, forits support during the struggle for Independence and to donate all itshistorical documents on Eritrea.  It has become clear that it is essential to compile adata-base of all the names of friends of Eritrea because they are part of ourhistory of the struggle for Eritrea Independence.

We know you didall this to show your support to the people of Eritrea. Youindulged our desire to have you all in one place at the same time.
The Embassy of the State of Eritrea believes that manyuseful historical documents remain in the hands of private individuals. Ouridentity, culture and heritage derives from such items. These can be in anyformat — maps, photographs, cassettes, written materials etc. welcomes giftcopies of any original and/or analytical work on Eritrea, whether published orin manuscript.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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