March 4, 2013 Dr. Craig A. Hammond Lecturer University Centre Blackburn College “Academia Transformational Shifts”

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“This important outside-broadcast comes from Accrington in the North-West of England. Dr. Craig Hammond lecturer at University Center Blackburn College, shares a vital and transformational journey charting the early beginnings and history of Britain’s industrial backyard to modern-day times. An incredible dialogue talks to the rapidity of a man-made implosion of industrial society in the 1980’s and profound effects on the traditional working class culture. Parallels are drawn with the evolution of a technological emergence and those of an industrial revolution some 300 years earlier. As the program seeks progression and transformation, it becomes evident that in order to eliminate the economic roundabouts and misery of many decades and centuries, a new paradigm should be seeded at academic grass-root foundations. In turn this leads to a world of conscious commodities, conscious service and a re-giving corporate philosophy with its beginnings in the learning grounds of society. The basis and outcome of this transitional dialogue engages inspired ideas and authentic common goals in preparation for academia’s transformational shift.” David William Gibbons March 3, 2013.

Dr Craig A. Hammond

University Centre Blackburn College (UCBC)

Awarded PhD at Lancaster University; thesis title: ‘Towards a Neo-Blochian Theory of Hope, Complexity and Cinematic Utopia’, (awarded with minor amendments 3rd July, 2012) Lancaster University.

Born into an archetypal working-class family in Blackburn, Lancashire, UK, and, growing-up in an environment of ‘Working Men’s’ Clubs, 2nd Division football, and, eventually, Manchester-based ‘indie’ music and associated local gangs, I fared abysmally at school. With little other option, at the age of 16 I joined the Army – the Life Guards (as part of the Household Cavalry Ceremonial Mounted Division). I can look back now, and, meditate with the safe distance of hindsight, (but not regret), upon the dark times that followed me into the brief stint as a teenage soldier; and, beyond this, working on rotating 3-shifts as a weaver in a local textile mill, until my early 20’s.

Fascinated with film, I harboured an undisclosable ache. I was a dreamer, a day-dreamer, an introspective and sensitive thinker, and nothing at school, or indeed, my immediate environment provided a creative or productive outlet for these secret and expectant day-dreams and aspirations for adventure, exploration, and possibility. I wasn’t much of a reader either, but could always make time for The Magic Faraway Tree, fairy tales, and, later, Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

My working class life had been pretty much mapped, that was my lot, and therefore, was expected to get on with it (and I did, without really thinking about it).  But, in my secret inner world, I still had dreams, romance, and aspiration in my filmic and creative inner-world escapes. As part of the strident and aggressive ascendency of my working-class youth, Rocky, First Blood, and Warriors were all to be added to my filmic-escapology, alongside the reflectively spatial The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, and Elephant Man.

Whether real or not, a filmic gap then appears to traverse my late teens and early twenties – until Shirley Valentine pierces through, and in, to my world of frustrated and disappointed hopes; this was followed by a very public catharsis in response to my first viewing of The Shawshank Redemption. Alongside subsequent revisitations of Watership Down I started to remember; a sense that something had been abandoned somewhere, a once aspirant adventurer, a dreamer, who believed in possibility, and, the transformative and creative power of certain ideas.

I was never much of a philosopher – that came much later – but through the redemptive metaphors, nostalgic traces and, cathartic encounters embedded within these popular films, my life journey was to become strangely and bespokenly signposted. More than this, these films have in some way sporadically guided and empowered me, over many years, against often brutalist and overwhelming odds to dream, remember, hope – and ultimately (eventually) dare to stretch and reach-out towards something potentially better.

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