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A special screening and Q&A with film makers Teresa Murjas and James Rattee
March 24, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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March 24, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Reading Biscuit Factory
Unit 1a, Broad Street Mall
Reading, RG1 7QE United Kingdom
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A still from Unsweetened: Ode to Biscuits

Join Museums Partnership Reading for this special screening, including a Q&A with the film makers and a chance to see archive and collection material.

About this event

In 1822, one of the most famous names in baking, Huntley & Palmers biscuits, began life as a small baker’s shop in London Street, Reading. Within 40 years, the company that created Nice biscuits, the Gingernut and Bath Olivers, was exporting its goods across the globe and Reading became known as Biscuit Town, home to the largest biscuit manufacturer in the world with cakes and biscuits still known today. While the company is no longer located in Reading, biscuits have left their mark on the town.

This screening is part of a joint programme of events and activities celebrating 200 years biscuit heritage at The MERL and Reading Museum, as part of Museums Partnership Reading, and funded by Arts Council England. The town of Reading is re-discovering its biscuit heritage with a series of events and visitor opportunities focusing around summer 2022. More details will be announced soon.

Join us for this special events which includes the screening, a Q&A with the film makers and a chance to see archive and collection material.

And maybe a drink and a biscuit or two…

About the film

Unsweetened: Ode to Biscuits is a film commissioned by the AHRC funded First World War Research Engagement Centre Everyday Lives in War. This large-scale endeavour was co-ordinated by Sarah Lloyd at the University of Hertfordshire. During the conflict’s recent centenary, the Centre generated numerous community focused and internationally networked projects relating to its histories and impacts. Themes focused on included: local and global hidden histories; social attitudes to conscientious objection; health, disability, and medicine; children’s working experiences; food supply. Teresa and James collaborated with the Centre through their work with the food historian Rachel Duffett, Reading Museum, and The MERL, to produce Unsweetened, a meditation on Huntley & Palmers Reading Biscuit factory at the dawning of the First World War.

About the film makers

Teresa Murjas and James Rattee have been working collaboratively for 10 years, producing diverse performances, films, and mixed-media installations. They have worked extensively with heritage organisations in Reading, including The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) and Reading Museum, using Reading-based archives and collections. Some key projects include: Surviving Objects, an installation shown at Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker as part of the Essex Book Festival; The First World War in Biscuits, a mixed-media installation that drew on the Huntley & Palmers business archive and was shown as part of the Reading at War exhibition and at The Minories gallery in Colchester; War Child, a digital resource that explores the establishment of the Evacuee Archive at The MERL; I, Sheep, a poetry film drawing on the sheep farming collection held at The MERL, screened at the Nature & Culture film festival in Copenhagen, the REELPoetry film festival in Texas, and at the upcoming Ag&Art film festival in North Carolina. The film also received an honourable mention at the Video Art and Experimental Film festival in New York.