THIS WEEKEND (October 11-13): Signs of Change Weekend of Screenings and Discussion

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Signs of Change Weekend of Screenings and Discussion co-sponsored by 16beaver group
October 11-13, 2008
The Signs of Change Weekend of Screenings and Discussion brings together films and videos from the past 40 years that raise questions about what it means to participate in both cultural production and political action. The goal of the weekend is to provide a forum for sustained discussion of political documentary, its history, its uses, its aesthetics and politics. Taking as its focus the relation between moving images and social movements, we hope this weekend will prompt participants to think about the form and function of documentary images used in conjunction with left-wing movement building. Unlike a festival, each session is organized with equal emphasis on the screening and the analysis. We have invited a number of media-makers, scholars, and activists to engage with the issues and questions that the various programs raise in an effort to facilitate a discussion that will build over the course of this three day event. In addition, we hope all that all who are interested in the social use and impact of film and video and we hope that all who can will join us for films, food and excellent conversation. (For a more detailed description, see below).
Curated and organized by Dara Greenwald with Benj Gerdes and Paige Sarlin from 16beaver group.
Admission to the Saturday screening of Narita The Peasants Struggle is $5.
Suggested donation for screenings and food for Sunday and Monday at 16beaver is $5-10 per day.
For full schedule and details:
SATURDAY, Oct 11th
Exit Art
475 Tenth ave between 36th and 37th street, NY, NY
SUNDAY, October 12th
MONDAY October 13th
16 Beaver Group, 16 Beaver Street, Fourth Floor, New York, NY
SATURDAY, Oct 11th at Exit Art
4:00 Revolutionary Worker’s Struggles on Film (Featuring: Finally Got the News)
7:30 Peasants Struggles in Japan: introduction by Sabu Kohso, writer and activist, Barbara Hammer, filmmaker
8:00 Narita: The Peasants of the Second Fortress, 1971
SUNDAY OCTOBER 12 at 16beaver
12-1:00 Coffee and Bagels
1:00- 1:30 Introduction and Welcome: Re-Framing Signs of Change: Focus on Documentary Media
1:30- 4:00 Movement Media: Radical Form/Radical Politics (Featuring clips from DIVATV, Hour of the Furnaces, Grin without a Cat)
4:00 – 4:30 coffee break
4:30-7:30 Speaking Out Against War (Featuring: Winter Soldier)
8 pm Dinner and 2 Movies (Stronger than Before, 4th World War)
MONDAY OCTOBER 13 at 16beaver
12-1:00 Coffee and Bagel Brunch
1:00- 1:30 Re-Introduction: Discussion and Re-Cap
1:30 -3:30 Artists & Action: Documents of Creative Resistance (Featuring: What the Fuck are these Red Squares?
3:30- 4:00 coffee break
4:00 – 6:30 Dispatches from The Counter-Globalization Movement (Featuring: What would it mean to win?)
7:30 Dinner and One More Movie (Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance)
A. Revolutionary Worker’s Struggles on Film
Finally Got the News, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, 1970, rt 55 (Shown on 16mm)
McStrike-Paris, 4:05 min, 2005, Victor Muh, Precarity DVD -Magazine
B. Peasants Struggles in Japan
Narita: The Peasants of the Second Fortress, 1971, rt 143 min, Japanese w/English subititles
Introduction by Sabu Kohso, writer and activist, Barbara Hammer, filmmaker
Co-sponsored by Asian/Pacific/American Institute and Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU in conjunction with The Uses of 1968: Legacies of Art and Activism Symposium and 1968: Then and Now Exhibition
admission to this screening: $5
C. Movement Media: Radical Form/Radical Politics:
SUNDAY 1:30- 4pm at 16BEAVER
This session will examine some of the “greatest hits” of political non-fiction film that are frequently invoked when talking about social documentary or revolutionary cinema. Unlike a traditional screening, the program will consist of a series of clips from a number of “revolutionary” films and videos. Each of which has been chosen in order to raise a series of questions about the form and function of media in relation to movements.The discussion will be facilitated by Benj Gerdes, Dara Greenwald, and Paige Sarlin the organizers of this series of discussions. Scenes from: Solanas and Getino “Hour of The Furnaces;” Adam Curtis “The Power of Nightmares;” DIVATV; Chris Marker “Grin without a Cat”
D. Speaking Out Against War
SUNDAY 4:30-7:30 at 16BEAVER
This session will examine the relation between the documentation of various protests and speech acts and the role of documentary film in the dissemination and re-framing of these forms of political actions in relation to various specific social movements.
Queen Mother Moore at Green Haven Prison, 1971, Peoples Communication Network 15 min
Winter Soldier, Winter Film Collective, 1972, 96 min
Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, Big Noise Films, 2008, 30 min
Port Huron Project 4: Ceasar Chavez, Mark Tribe, 2008
E. Artists & Action: Documents of Creative Resistance
MONDAY 1:30 – 3:30pm at 16BEAVER
This session will explore the role of artists and artist’s actions in relation to protest and movement building. What role can artists and cultural producers play in relation to movements? How do aesthetic and alternative choices concerning form and content come to impact the development of these movements? How can artists offer critiques of various mainstream forms of political action and its documentation/presentation?
Happy Anniversary San Francisco, March 20-21, 2003, 2004, Benj Gerdes, 4:30 min
What the Fuck Are These Red Squares? Kartemquin Films, 1970, 15min
Five Days for Peace, Nils Vest, 1973, 37 min, US Premiere
More works TBA
F. Dispatches from The Counter-Globalization Movement
MONDAY 4pm-6:30 at 16BEAVER
This session looks at various strategies and examples of documentation from counter-globalization movements.
Crowd Bites Wolf, Guerrilla Vision 2001, 30 min
A Very Big Train called the Other Campaign, Chiapas Media Project, 2006, 39 minutes
What Would It Mean to Win?, Zanny Begg & Oliver Ressler, 2008, 40 min, US Premiere
Finally Got the News
(1970, 55:00 minutes, 16mm, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner, courtesy of the American Friends’ Service Committee)
A Newsreel crew heads to Detroit to document the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. The League decides to take the means of production into their own hands to represent themselves and their struggle. The League of Revolutionary Black Workers came out of the autonomous organizing of Black unions in Detroit-based automotive plants which included DRUM (Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement) and CRUM (Chrysler Revolutionary Union Movement). The League critiqued the racist practices of the United Auto Workers and called for an analysis of the role of the Black working class in revolutionary struggles in the United States.
McStrike-Paris, 4:05 min, 2005, Victor Muh, Precarity DVD -Magazine Made In collaboration with: P2Pfightsharing Crew www.fightsharing.net, Greenpepper Project, Amsterdam wwww.greenpeppermagazine.org, and Candida TV, Roma www.candidatv.tv
McDonald’s workers go on strike in Paris, occupying their workplace (a McDonald’s restaurant) for six months.
Narita: Peasants of the Second Fortress / Sanrizuka: Dainitoride No Hitobito
(1971, 02:23:00 minutes, Shinsuke Ogawa/Ogawa Productions, Japanese with English subtitles, courtesy of the Athénée Français Cultural Center)
Introduced by Sabu Kohso, Japan-born writer and activist, and Barbara Hammer, filmmaker.
“In Japan, guerilla film activity reached high intensity during the war (Vietnam).The use made of Japan as a conduit for Vietnam war supplies generated strong anti-government feelings and many ‘protest films.’…It now saw such powerful films as the Sanrizuka series- three feature length films. The heavy air traffic through Japan-swollen by the war-hap prompted a 1966 decision to build a new international airport for Tokyo.The area chosen, Sanrizuka, was occupied by farmers who were determined to block seizures of their lands. For four years, the film maker Shinsuke Ogawa documented their struggle, which reached its climax in the third film, The Peasants of the Second Fortress. Here we see resistance turning into a pitched battle with riot police as farm women chain themselves to impoverished stockades, and students join the struggle for anti-government, anti-war motives. Ogawa, patiently recording the growth of resistance…achieved an extraordinary social document, and one of the most potent of protest films.” – Erik Barnouw, Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film, (Oxford University Press, 1974)
Ogawa Productions was a Japanese filmmaking collective that was founded in the 1960’s, It was directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. After making films about the student movement, the collective moved to Sanrizuka to cover the struggle against the building of the Narita Airport. While there, they made eight films covering the struggle.
Screening co-sponsored by Asian/Pacific/American Institute and Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU in conjunction with The Uses of 1968: Legacies of Art and Activism Symposium and 1968: Then and Now Exhibition.
For full schedule and detailed film descriptions:
We will be providing coffee, tea, bagels, etc. during the day. In addition, we will make dinner on Sunday and Monday nights (Chili on Sunday, Pasta on Monday). Please BYOB for the dinners (and whatever you are willing to share).
This weekend coincides with the exhibition Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now at Exit Art and covers film and video works from the same time period. We plan to screen projects by artists and activists made with a number of intentions: tools for organizing, documents of political actions, commentaries, and critiques. These projects come from disparate moments and geographic locations, and reflect work from within or alongside many movements: from national liberation and labor struggles to identity politics, to movements for racial justice and global economic justice. The range of aesthetic strategies and distribution methods taken up by these works indicate a similarly broad set of approaches to reaching and interacting with audiences.
In juxtaposing these films, putting them into dialogue with one another (and us into dialogue with each other), we hope to provoke in-depth discussion about the questions these materials raise for media-makers and activists. We would like to consider the consequences of these works in terms of the decisions and strategies centered on effect or utility within particular contexts, but also in terms of the operations of the media themselves, how they help us to reconsider our own practices as political. Finally, this space for viewing and discussing together is meant to bring together a diverse group of practitioners and thinkers. It is a time and place to consider models for media- and movement-making, perhaps to view history with an eye toward history-making, ultimately framing the very question of producing change, not as innovation but as a radical re-organization of the status quo. The concrete activity of this weekend is thinking about the various options and choices that politically engaged and committed media-producers have and the consequences of these choices.