Chris Robé: Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (2017)
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, aesthetics, aids, anarchism, autonomy, direct action, ecology, film, indigenous peoples, labour, marxism, media activism, neoliberalism, politics, protest, punk, social movements, strike, third cinema, video, video activism, video art
“Breaking the Spell offers the first full-length study that charts the historical trajectory of anarchist-inflected video activism from the late 1960s to the present. Two predominant trends emerge from this social movement-based video activism: 1) anarchist-inflected processes increasingly structure its production, distribution, and exhibition practices; and 2) video does not simply represent collective actions and events, but also serves as a form of activist practice in and of itself from the moment of recording to its later distribution and exhibition. Video plays an increasingly important role among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberal capitalism. As various radical theorists have pointed out, subjectivity itself becomes a key terrain of struggle as capitalism increasingly structures and mines it through social media sites, cell phone technology, and new “flexible” work and living patterns. As a result, alternative media production becomes a central location where new collective forms of subjectivity can be created to challenge aspects of neoliberalism.
Chris Robé’s book fills in historical gaps by bringing to light unexplored video activist groups like the Cascadia Forest Defenders, eco-video activists from Eugene, Oregon; Mobile Voices, Latino day laborers harnessing cell phone technology to combat racism and police harassment in Los Angeles; and Outta Your Backpack Media, indigenous youth from the Southwest who use video to celebrate their culture and fight against marginalization. This groundbreaking study also deepens our understanding of more well-researched movements like AIDS video activism, Paper Tiger Television, and Indymedia by situating them within a longer history and wider context of radical video activism.”
Publisher PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2017
ISBN 9781629632339, 1629632333
Interview with author: The New Architects (video, 2017, 43 min).
Reviews: Beth Geglia (Interface, 2017), Franklin Lopez (Fifth Estate, 2017), Patricia R. Zimmerman (Jump Cut, 2018), Allan Atliff (Anarchist Studies, 2017).
Filed under journal | Tags: · activism, art, contagion, ecology, feminism, food, internationalism, labour, lgbtq, migration, pandemic, quarantine, refugees, resistance, social movements, solidarity, virus
“The world is on fire, with both fever and flame. After a few months of lockdown, things are erupting in new ways. The movement for Black Lives is demanding an end to anti-Black racism and conversations about abolishing the police are on late night television. In North America, a new world appears to be dawning, one that didn’t seem possible even a month ago. Meanwhile, in the new centre of global capitalism, the long-standing Hong Kong movement seems to be on the point of succumbing to a new wave of repression.
Around the world, movements are strategizing about how to ensure that no one is left behind. In April we put out a call for short pieces on this theme. We could see that the imminent arrival of the virus had generated many different struggles – initially pressure to force some states to take action in the first place, resistance to cuts and demanding benefits. Then came struggles characterized by mutual aid, efforts to protect essential workers, and the most vulnerable, such as the homeless, prisoners, the elderly and the undocumented.
This issue contains pieces originally written for our rolling coverage of movements in the virus, as well as a few pieces written especially for this special issue. They represent reflective activists and engaged researchers trying to grasp what their movements were doing, and what they should do, in an unprecedented situation.
The contributions reflect on movements in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, the UK, the US and globally and are written in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.” (from Editorial)
Edited by Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Lesley Wood, and Laurence Cox
Publisher Interface, July 2020
Filed under magazine | Tags: · activism, anti-fascism, art, autonomy, avant-garde, ecology, internationalism, politics
“Corona, Fascism, Climate Break-Down. Headlines all, and very real crises felt everywhere– things whose concerns work over situations at every scale of possible experience. We are interested in many things in regard to them, including how their nasty effects demand that we put our home affairs in order. Capacities for solidarity, meaningful mutual aid and actual justice emerge from the most intimate of places – that is, from between people and between people and other meaningful things.
This issue’s aim was to facilitate such work in intimate places; to do so, this issue serves primarily as a compilation of autonomously produced and locally distributed newsletters aimed at situating non-fascist thought and/or avant-garde cultural activity. We begin working on it in late 2018 and are completing it in June 2020.” (from Editorial)
Contributors: Hammam Aldouri, Out of the Woods, Nick Thoburn, Tools for Action, @.ac (Lancashire), Antifascist Culture (Athens), Never Again/Anti-Fascist Year (Warsaw), Around the Table, The Field (London), Black Book (Hong Kong), Casual School Collective (Canberra), Center for Enchantment (Albany), Critical Practice (Los Angeles), DSA Ecosocialist WG (Santa Cruz), Evening Class (London), Five Years (London), La Foresta/Evening Class (Rovereto), Pro Art Gallery and Common (Oakland), RIVAL (Thunder Bay), Terra Critica (Utrecht), We, TBD (Los Angeles), Woodbine (Ridgewood), Museum Adjacent (Torrance), Zizi de Vitruve (Strasbourg).
Editors: Marc Herbst, Robby Herbst, Amber Hickey, Claudia Firth
Publisher JOAAP, Leipzig / Los Angeles / London / Berlin / Waterville, ME, Jul 2020