Families of Sheku Bayoh and Allan Marshall discuss the impact of state violence with renowned filmmaker and media activist, Ken Fero at GMAC Film

On Friday 30th September, GMAC Film were delighted to host a screening event and panel discussion with renowned filmmaker and media activist, Ken Fero, and the families of Sheku Bayoh and Allan Marshall.  

Two decades ago, the police tried to silence Ken’s fearless documentary Injustice. Twenty years later, his follow-up film  Ultraviolence goes further than to document deaths in police custody, it follows the families who have lost loved ones on their heroic, if thwarted, fights for justice.    

The screening of Ultraviolence was followed by a discussion with a number of guest speakers, including: 

Aminata Bayoh – Mother of  
Kadi Johnson – Sister of Sheku Bayoh 
Sharon MacFayden – Aunt of  
Graham Campbell –  
Chaired by Layla-Roxanne Hill – trade unionist and co-author of Black Oot Here: Black Lives in Scotland   

Sharon MacFayden, Aunt of Allan Marshall said: 

“Allan died in 2015 after a group of prison officers in HMP Edinburgh violently restrained him, dragged him around face down with a towel around his head and stamped on him. No one has ever been charged or disciplined. We as a family are fighting for accountability for this horrific act, and we see this as part of a bigger fight for justice for all those who died at the hands of the state, as shown in Ultraviolence.” 

Kadi Johnson, Sister of Sheku Bayoh said: 

“My brother died 7 years ago here in Scotland. [This event at GMAC Film] helps to raise awareness, and by bringing us, his family, in to speak about what we experienced with the police force people will know that this is happening here in Scotland and that it needs to stop.” 

GMAC Film is an open access media centre that delivers a creative and artistic programme for all people to realise their ambitions in film and the creative sector. Its growing programme spans across youth work, film education, training, film commissioning schemes, open access screening events, outreach work and office hire. As well as its offer to filmmakers, GMAC Film also runs a series of youth programmes, ranging from summer school workshops to targeted outreach events for those at risk of offending. 

Ken Fero commented:

“There are groups of filmmakers and political activists, there are people who are suffering, and people who are fighting – we need everybody to come together. Events like this happen all over the country all the time; you learn a lot more, you get to meet people and build relationships, and the only way things can change in a positive way is if people come together and talk and organise.” 

“When you make a film, you don’t make it just to be watched you want people to talk about it as well, and having a screening where the people in the film are present for the audience to ask questions and have a debate is really important. GMAC Film is a centre where you can develop your own filmmaking skills but you can work with people – as a filmmaker you can’t do it all on your own, it’s a collective effort and if you’re one of them or if you want to be one of them you should come to GMAC Film.” 

Sheku Bayoh Inquiry: https://www.shekubayohinquiry.scot/ – watch/read what has taken place during the inquiry so far. This is also where you can register to sit in the inquiry when it is taking place, which is due to restart on 21st Nov. 

Allan Marshall Campaign: website providing info a timeline of the incident, legal case and campaign: https://justiceforallanmarshall.com/