Activism

This video collects public service announcements created by a number of independent producers, including Jem Cohen and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.  Powerful and provocative, these PSAs address issues such as organic farming, abortion rights, street harassment, and the environment. Included are:

They Have Dreams by Natalie Merchant and Abigail Simon which focuses on the plight of homeless children.

The third compilation in this series of progressive, creative public service announcements for under-reported issues. Featuring various styles and formats, from street photography to optical printing, from edgy black and white film to hand-drawn animation, the seven spots in this latest installment are:

The Breathing Tree by Eric Darnell and Doug Loveid, an animated easy-to-understand explanation of how forests contribute to life by producing oxygen.

An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a hyper-war waged on over 20 million children in the United States. Despite overwhelming evidence of its educational ineffectiveness, D.A.R.E. has gained a religious following among educators and parents, and is the only federally-funded drug education program. D.A.R.E.'s imagistic and psychological assault is based on the presence of uniformed gun-toting police officers in the classroom.

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a hyper-war waged on over 20 million children in the United States. Despite overwhelming evidence of its educational ineffectiveness, D.A.R.E. has gained a religious following among educators and parents, and is the only federally-funded drug education program. D.A.R.E.'s imagistic and psychological assault is based on the presence of uniformed gun-toting police officers in the classroom.

In this video, Brenda Sexual, Glennda Orgasm, and friends act out a drag queen murder mystery that takes place on their talk show. Later, they attend the Queer Fashion Army Invasion, a sit in of openly queer public fashion performance outside the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Then, the pair arrives at a video store to discuss queer undertones of Hollywood films, like Grease, Rocky II, and Yentil.

In this episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, Brenda and Glennda create a satire of 1990's infomercials. The video includes interviews and performances by Vaginal Davis, Bruce LaBruce, and Chris Teen.

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm.

In this episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, Brenda and Glennda comically debate changing the name of their show to Drag Queens for Jesus, in order to convert all the secular homosexuals to Christianity. They discuss topics like abortion and censorship from a drag queen perspective, exploring the hypocrisy and inherent bias of Christian ideals. Later, Brenda gets her nipple pierced in homage to Sandy Daley's Robert Having His Nipple Pierced (1971).

Cherokee-American artist Jimmie Durham has worked in performance since the mid-’60s. In the ‘70s, he immersed himself in activism, working for Native American rights as part of the American Indian Movement. In the ‘80s, his focus returned to producing art in multiple forms—performance, poetry, and mixed-media visual works—that consider Native American identity and critique American domestic colonialism. He has also published numerous critical essays.

The Earth Is Young takes as its starting point a series of interviews conducted with Young Earth Creationists, who find evidence of a six-day, six-thousand-year old creation in their reading of the fossil and geological record. The film frames these encounters with depictions of the slow and patient work of young paleontologists, and the strange, shimmering life in a drop of pond water, both of which point toward a world far older and more complex, if no less fantastic.

Ecstasy Unlimited is an engaging video essay on the social construction of sexuality. Kipnis attempts to historicize pleasure and politicize desire, to reveal within the current discourse on sex — and within an ensemble of current sexual practices — the production of forms of sexuality that work to guarantee social order, rather than subvert it. Through various narrative ploys and theoretical tactics, the tape attempts to recover traces of a "political unconscious" in contemporary social malaise.

Equal Rights for Unborn Drag Queens is a satirical short video in which Brenda and Glennda critique anti-abortion politics, homophobia, and religious fanaticism in the media. Interspersed between clips of right-wing news broadcasts is footage of Brenda having her nipple pierced, in an homage to Sandy Daley's Robert Having His Nipple Pierced (1971).

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm.

Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual subconscious of the nation. The Eternal Frame concentrates on this event as a crucial site of fascination and repression in the American mindset.

"The intent of this work was to examine and demystify the notion of the presidency, particularly Kennedy, as image archetype...."

— Doug Hall, 1984 

Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual subconscious of the nation. The Eternal Frame concentrates on this event as a crucial site of fascination and repression in the American mindset.

"The intent of this work was to examine and demystify the notion of the presidency, particularly Kennedy, as image archetype...."

— Doug Hall, 1984 

In Fagtasia Solstice, Brenda and Glennda attend a Radical Faerie event in New York City to commemorate the Summer Solstice. Through interviews with Faeries and footage of their walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, the group proposes to reclaim the city as a safe space for queer people, and discuss reorienting queer consciousness toward spirituality.

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm. Featuring the Radical Faeries. Thanks to Julie Clark and Dana Nasrallah.

A film for high school students and their teachers about the history of the Viet Nam War, composed of just photographs from that war, narration and, to help us through a damned disheartening story, lots of the Bach Suite for Solo Cello #1 in G.

To read the accompanying curriculum guide click here.

For the Least is a short documentary about American Catholics who marched to Guantanomo to bring spiritual comfort to the prisoners and an end to the torture they endure. In December 2005, Catholic Workers--people of faith following the tradition of Dorothy Day--marched over 70 km in the hopes of entering the prison. Ultimately, although they could not actually visit the prisoners, they camped outside the Cuban military limit, fasting and praying for the detainees. The video is in the format of a letter written to the U.S.

Forest Law underlines the persistent fact that we are yet to learn to live otherwise in an age defined by the colossal consequences of a new socio-geological order we ourselves have created through irresponsible interactions with Earth’s systems.

Forest Mind is a video work that emerges from the artist’s longstanding interest in the human interaction with the natural world. In a series of recent art projects, she has shed light on the cosmology of Indigenous communities and their political struggle to keep their forests alive.

The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was killed by the Chicago police.

Rare footage of a September 1970 rally honoring the late Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. One of the speakers leads the audience in a call and response.

Coco Fusco is a Cuban-American artist and author who investigates race, gender, politics, and identity through installations, performances, video work, and writing. In her second On Art and Artists interview, Fusco discusses her recent works with Romi Crawford — an art historian at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — and describes how she has evolved as a storyteller over her career.

This two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

The two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

In Glennda and Bruce Do Times Square, Glennda is taken on a night tour of Times Square by author Bruce Benderson. They observe the dynamic between forms of culture that would typically be identified as “underclass” in “suburbanite” culture within the economic and spatial landscape of New York City. Glennda and Bruce visit the apartment of performer Consuela Cosmetic, who was prolific within New York’s ball scene. She maps out the ways in which she believes gender can be expressed, and discusses the implications of ‘passing’.