Strike Films → Discussion: Ad Hoc Vox & 16 Beaver

When: Friday April 27, 2012 – 7pm
Where: 16 Beaver, 16 Beaver Street # 4th floor, New York City
Who: Curated by  The Film Detective; organized by Ad Hoc Vox
What: Introduction and full screening program

Ad Hoc Vox and 16 Beaver Group are pleased to invite you to I Am Not Going Back!: an evening of films and dis­cus­sions. This event will take cin­ema as a spring­board to col­lec­tively rede­fine the mean­ings and tac­tics of strike in response to the inter­na­tional call for a Gen­eral Strike on May 1st, which in New York has also been named A Day With­out the 99%.

In 1885, the broth­ers Lumière’s 45 sec­ond scene enti­tled Work­ers Leav­ing the Lumière Fac­tory in Lyon marks the begin­ning of film his­tory. In 1995, film­maker Harun Farocki in Work­ers Leav­ing the Fac­tory metic­u­lously exam­ines this theme of work­ers leav­ing the space of pro­duc­tion. His case study spans fic­tion, doc­u­men­taries, news­reels, and indus­trial and pro­pa­ganda films. Farocki remarks that the fac­tory has become one of the most neglected film loca­tions since “most nar­ra­tive films take place in that part of life where work has been left behind.”

In our next film, we shift our focus to a blind spot within this mar­gin­al­ized genre, the moment in which work­ers return to the fac­tory. The moment after the strike is almost never included in strike nar­ra­tives. In this respect, Jacques Willemont’s La Reprise du Tra­vail aux Usines Won­der (Resump­tion of Work at The Won­der Fac­tory)—a doc­u­men­tary only of an ending—is very much against the usual nar­ra­tive pro­gres­sion. Willemont’s crew arrived at the very instance in which the resump­tion of work was decided after a three week-long occu­pa­tion. The cam­era focuses on a woman scream­ing again and again, “What­ever, I am not going back!”

The review of cin­e­matic strike end­ings imme­di­ately con­fronts us with the ques­tion: How do we define “vic­tory” in today’s anti-capitalist struggle? In addi­tion to Farocki’s Work­ers   Leav­ing the Fac­tory and Willemont’s Resump­tion of Work at the Won­der Fac­tory the clos­ing sequence of sev­eral strike films will be screened. A full description of the screening program can be found here.

The films have been curated by Mar­tyna Starosta, who will facil­i­tate the dis­cus­sion along with Colleen Asper.

 

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