In Solidarity: Program 3

June 5th, 2020, Black Lives Matter Protest New York City, Still by MM Serra

Program 3: Protest films by Francisca Sáez Agurto, Gina Peyran Tan, Antonia Hollmann, Andu Sowerby, Martin Del Carpio, David Anthony Sant, Sarah Friedland, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Heath Schultz, Mike Hoolboom, Frédérique Devaux Amarger, Isabelle Hayeur, Alexandra Bouge, and Jola Kudela.

In Solidarity: Protest Films in a Time of Crisis

Inspired by the omnibus protest film For Life, Against the War, which was produced as part of the 1967 anti-war protest festival The Week of the Angry Arts, “In Solidarity” updates a concept first enacted by the Coop in 1967, when filmmakers joined together at the height of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Rights Movement to assert the political value of freedom of expression. As we look to these protests of the past, and consider their relationship to the ongoing militarization of the police and contemporary protests against racial injustice, this series of films reflect the global importance of change, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, Climate Change, or Human and Animal Rights.

Organized by M.M. Serra and Rachael Guma - Oct. 2020

Program 3:

Letter to (Francisca Sáez Agurto, 2020, 3:30, Chile)

Letter to a body of pixels.

SQUEEZED (Gina Peyran Tan, 2020, 3:37, Portugal)

Violence, mayhem, urgency, ensues on the streets across the world. A CRY FOR JUSTICE: AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS.Pre-Covid 19, as I wrote my dissertation titled "Is this how we are living?", our society seems plagued with an insurmountable political, societal, climate emergencies, advancement of technology creeping into every fabric of our lifestyle- already threatened by forces we can't control. Covid-19 pandemic worldwide enters Year 2020 penetrating further into these layers of encroachment.

We have reached our limit - our only remaining weapon - revolt and rebel. "What is a rebel? A man who says no: but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes as soon as he begins to think for himself." Albert Camus, The Rebel. Camus continues "Rebellion, though apparently negative since it creates nothing, is profoundly positive in that it reveals the part of man which must always be defended". This video work is in solidarity with all the courageous and brave individuals who have taken to the streets for a collective humane voice. What does it take to be heard? To have rights? To have respect and dignity? Let's not condemn the violence these protests may sometimes bring, and instead ask why it is presented.- G.P.T.

The Unexpected Insurgency (Antonia Hollmann, 2020, 4:00, Colombia)

This experimental short film was made from found footage material and seeks to recreate the feeling of being immersed within a social protest. In addition to this, it suggests similarities and parallels between different social movements (from the “insurgency of Bogotá” from 1893 until the recent protests in Latin American countries this past year). These parallels allow the audience to perceive the reproduction and continuity of the mechanisms of social activism. - A.H.

Dios Ha Muerto (Andy Sowerby, Martin Del Carpio, 2017, 4:59, USA)

Dedicated to my motherland indeed, but also to every other place in this world struggling at the moment.

The world right now seems to be in turmoil politically speaking and also from a health perspective. We all have very sensitive feelings towards what we perceive as both correct and wrong. The title of this track isn't to abolish any form of spirituality and shouldn't be taken literally in that way. It's more to point out that sometimes following blindly leadership may be a detriment to us as a population and it's not wrong to either question or challenge that power. This is not about advocating any kind of political party but to showcase what should be essential in any culture which is basic human rights! - A.S & M.C.

TRANSMISSION (David Anthony Sant, 2020, 2:24, Australia)

Conspicuous facades amidst frequented streets and public spaces are garnished with moderate and subversive declarations that invite and are often accosted with repudiating appraisals. Meticulously edited excerpts align in an archetypal music video configuration. - D.A.S.

Her Own Time (Sarah Friedland, 2020,3:00, USA) 

Her Own Time reclaims the images of survivors of domestic violence who the media, especially during Covid-19, so often fetishize and white wash by sensationalizing the abuse and dis-empowerment of women and simultaneously centering whiteness. Through playful and painful animations, the film liberates these depictions from the confines of the magazines and newspapers they are trapped in, and places them in new landscapes to reshape their realities. I made this to honor the memory of my own trauma and in dedication to the memory of Oluwatoyin Salau. Rest in Power. - S.F.

Making America Straight & White Again (Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, 2019, 2:23, USA)

An abstract protest film that mimics the anger and horror of what it feels like to watch the news in America under Trump with the rise of retrograde racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and open hostility towards people of color, refugees, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and genderqueer people. A handmade film from 35 mm archival footage. - G.A.F.

Typologies of Whiteness: Sympathetic Cops (Heath Schultz, 2018, 4:47, USA)

Sympathetic Cops collages appropriated sounds and images from popular police television dramas, police press conferences and news interviews. The film searches for linkages between white reactionary politics, liberal apologetics for police, and structural violence of whiteness. - H.S.

The Bed and the Street (Heather Frise, Mike Hoolboom, 2018, 4:30, Canada)

A love story set in the global anti-austerity demonstrations. As citizens take back their streets, two women meet and fall in love. What geometry of desire will help overthrow the state? What micro-politics of sharing and communality will provide fuel for demonstrations that will remove and replace the neo-liberal consensus? Cast in a palimpsest of images and sounds, as if there were no way to separate inside and out, the street and the bedroom.

Capital(ism)e (Frédérique Devaux Amarger, 2020, 3:21, France)

When advertising, big brands and the economic market bombard us run away ? revolt ? to commit ? to be indignant? - F.D.A

Pulse (Isabelle Hayeur, 2015, 3:00, Canada)

This short video is inspired by the student strike of spring 2015 and the social struggles associated with it. It denounces the neoliberal austerity measures and the erosion of political freedoms. - I.H.

Modern Agriculture (Alexandra Bouge, 2020, 3:37, France)

Serves us Right (Jola Kudela, 2020, 2:00, United Kingdom) This video is a product of self-isolation during the coronavirus time, driven by the frustration of not being able to go outside, which for me was the direct consequence of our behavior as humans.

It’s about frustration with the consumerist race of humanity that pushes us towards a disaster. Coronavirus pandemic seems just like a rehearsal for the real end. So, while locked-in, I was trying to find some kind of peace and relief through creativity.- J.K.

Total Run Time: 31:52