[HacktionLab] Idea in formation for a possible session

ekes ekes at aktivix.org
Wed May 11 15:29:48 UTC 2022

I've got another idea for a session forming, so I thought I'd throw the 
idea here and see if anyone has interest or input... or maybe copies of 
media to help?

Clara and me are both reading
Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape 
Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas by Chris Robé
at the moment, and we have the idea collect some films to screen to go 
with the argument/s being presented in the book. Partly just for us to 
watch, but we'd show them here in our social space as a bit of a season 
of films and discussion.

I've not finished the book yet - just got to the Indymedia chapter 
funnily enough - but I can already summarise the form. He's making cases 

* The obvious: Access to technology changes how activists are making and 
distributing material, for example, the presentation style of 
third-cinema with film cameras to the porta paks of Videofreekx. And 
things like the knowing use of rough footage or simple camera work 
exposing the production and editing, for content by likes of Paper Tiger TV.
* But also: How the groups reflect the society they are in. The 
developing, often implicit anarchist ways of organising which starts 
with the example along side the explicit Marxism-Leninism of of the 
'League of Revolutionary Black Workers'; the recurring, but growing 
awareness of patriarchy; and the basic white middle class bias and 
relation to other groups, or white-saviour-ism. Peoples Video Theatre 
get an interesting mention there.
* And: How they are presaging some of the changes in the capitalist 
economy, for example Videofreex as part of the fore-forefront of 
flex-capitalist employment in the media sector. And how the methods of 
organising sometimes integrate with changes in the economy.

For films to screen the example of 'The Battle of Chile' seems a long 
one in the chapter on Third Cinema; but 'Finally Got The News' made with 
a group that split off Newsreel NY about/together with the 'League of 
Revolutionary Black Workers' in Detroit isn't, and it has a great 
political organisational backstory.
I can already see that there are some films about, and by, the 
Videofreex, but films by Peoples Video Theatre seem to only have access 
   for media studies academics.
Moving into Act Up, Paper Tiger TV, Deep Dish TV: I'm sure some folks on 
this list will have ideas about their films and/or where to get them. 
And then - getting to the point where I am in the book - there is output 
from the early Earth First, Cascadia Free State, Cascadia alive... and 
of course then this thing called Indymedia in Seattle...

So as you can see a rough idea of films. A mixture of films about the 
movements and activists made later, and films made by them (some of 
which then usually need some context for presenting). Lots of them a 
pain to find, some easy.

Sure some of you have opinions about good films to fit such a list, and 
might even have copies of them? Folks might also be interested in 
discussing the ideas, or arguments, that Robé is making in the book too. 
So a bit of a discussion.

So something forming around that. Most certainly a discussion, and 
sharing of knowledge and media; not a presentation :-P

More information about the HacktionLab mailing list