“Cities, Labor, and Culture: Present Crises, Past Documents”: 4 screenings on labor and community organizing@15 Nassau St.

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Date/Time: 04/04/2006 12:00 am

“Cities, Labor, and Culture: Present Crises, Past Documents”
4 screenings on labor and community organizing
April 4, 11, 18, 25
7:30 PM
The film and discussion series is an attempt to connect past and
present struggles of the labor movement and community organizing, as a
way of considering what has changed, what is still the same, and more
importantly, what can we learn in terms of past successes or
failures—especially questions of how we organize, how we negotiate
issues of race, class, gender, different labor sectors, changes in the
labor market or housing/urban development issues. The series is also
an attempt to counteract historical amnesia: of how we are conditioned
to think that any hard-won victory for working people was handed to us
on high, rather than being the product of struggles. But also, the
films are experiments in participatory documentary filmmaking. The
film series is about trying to remember those struggles, and
hopefully, to bridge different generations of activists, and allow for
discussions between labor and social justice movements and arts
April 4, 7:30PM
“Blow for Blow/Coup pour coup”
16mm color film, 1972, 89 mins.
Dir. Marin Karmitz
“Coup Pour Coup” is a film about a worker’s strike at a textile plant,
and is written and enacted by the actual striking workers. This film
was a collaborative and collective effort. Videotapes of upcoming
scenes were discussed by the workers, and camera angles as well as
dramatic refinements were agreed on before any film was exposed. Given
that the film presents the worker’s point of view and is a largely
amateur effort, reviewers found it surprisingly effective as a
dramatic piece. One interesting feature of the film, and of the strike
itself, is that it was organized and led by women. While there had
been male union leaders, they were bypassed or ousted for their lack
of leadership, understanding, or negotiating skills.
The screening will be followed by a discussion of the present labor
conflicts in France and parallels between the situation there and the
one here in the US (for example, are there similarities between the
“flexicurity” measures being introduced by the French government, and
the “Right to Work” legislation present in certain US states)?
Location: 15 Nassau St. between Cedar and Pine.
Train: near Wall St, Fulton St and Broadway/Nassau (A, C, J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The film series is organized by CAMEL, a NYC collective working
around the issues of labor, culture and economics, and, in general,
attempting to build bridges between arts communities and social
All screenings will be held at 15 Nassau St. between Cedar and Pine,
are free and open to the public, and will start at 7:30PM (please note
that the April 18 screening will be held in the LMCC offices at 125
Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor. See listings for more information.)
Contact information: info@thewatercarriers.org
Website http//www.thewatercarriers.org
Acknowledgements: “Cities, Labor and Culture: Present Crises, Past
Documents” is made possible by Swing Space, a program of the Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council, generously supported by the September 11th
Fund. Space is donated by Silverstein Properties. The films are from
the Film and Video Lending Library of the American Friends Service

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