Global Village

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Global Village (Global Village Video Resource Center) was founded in 1969 on 2nd Avenue in New York City by John Reilly and Rudy Stern. One of the first independent video groups in the United States, the group became “the center in New York for documentary video.” Ira Schneider, a psychologist who for a few months partnered with Reilly and Stern to found Global Village, told The Boston Globe in 1970 that the goal was to create a gestalt, or total environment. The name Global Village was itself coined by media theorist Marshall McLuhan to convey how modern communications were connecting people across the world. The new availability of Sony’s portable video camera and recorder greatly expanded the capacity of independent video creators from all walks of life to express alternative voices and visions. Later moving to Broome Street in SoHo, Global Village became a hub for counter-cultural art, often showcasing controversial subjects for the time, including a video documenting the lives of trans-identifying individuals that included scenes of a sex-change operation, along with videos on childbirth, climate destruction, women’s sexuality, and material critical of corporatized, profit-driven media.

From the early 1970’s through the late 1980’s, directors John Reilly and Julie Gustafson showcased a weekly video and film series and started the first major documentary festival (first at Global Village and later at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater). Between 1976 and 1981, they also collaborated on “The Independent Producer, Public Television and the New Video Technologies,” a national series of workshops bringing information on new video technologies, as well as networking opportunities to public television programmers and independent producers. Considered a pioneering team in documentary video, Reilly and Gustafson also produced an expansive, experimental, and collaborative body of work, many of which aired on national public television. Using a video-verité approach, their documentaries scrutinized trenchant political and social issues in American society—challenging concepts of subjectivity and innovating literary narrative technique in their documentaries. (Source)