Series Description

 
PROTEST
TRT 44:43 | 1970 – 2020

Primavera
Video Details
Adrian Garcia Gomez | 2020 | 00:05:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Primavera is a frenetic experimental animation that documents the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests as they intersect in springtime Brooklyn.

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Primavera
Video Details
Adrian Garcia Gomez | 2020 | 00:05:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Primavera is a frenetic experimental animation that documents the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests as they intersect in springtime Brooklyn.

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Passing Through
Video Details
Linda Montano | 2020 | 00:05:19 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | Video

A call and response to impermanence.

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Black Celebration
Video Details
Tony Cokes | 1988 | 00:17:17 | United States | English | Color

Subtitled A Rebellion against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966). 

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Fred Hampton: Chant and Demonstration
Video Details
Videofreex | 1970 | 00:04:30 | United States | English | B&W | Mono

Rare footage of a September 1970 rally honoring the late Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. 

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Take It Down
Video Details
Sabine Gruffat | 2019 | 00:12:37 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Film

Take It Down is a filmic day of reckoning for the Old Confederate South. 

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Protest is the culmination of years of unacknowledged demands for equity. It is the manifestation of the friction societal injustices inflict upon our most vulnerable kin. It is the expression of the unmet needs of the population and an urging towards a shift in public life and policy. The Video Data Bank stands in solidarity with the interests and unmet needs of our marginalized peers. Through our newest VDB TV program, we wish to amplify the voices of protest against the oppressive structures of white supremacy and capital, in hopes that we may take steps towards the achievement of substantial and lasting change.

Given the ongoing nature of the political events of last summer and a reemerging, emboldened culture of collective public action and gathering, the VDB would like to announce, PROTEST, now available on VDB TV. The feverish dissent present during the George Floyd protests of Summer 2020 continued a rich tradition of grassroots activism, mass public dissent and organizing, and societal reenvionsing witnessed throughout the history of the Black Power Movement, its historical subsidiaries, counterparts, and afterlife. Featuring work from Adrian Garcia Gomez, Linda Montano, Tony Cokes, Videofreex, and Sabine Gruffat, PROTEST, compiles work that interpretively and purely documents collective action surrounding the George Floyd protests, the Watts Riots of 1965, the Black Panther Party, and the recent, increasing efforts to critique and dismantle Confederate monuments. Each work exemplifies the potential of video as a medium of protest and the importance of video documentation in the collective memory of struggle.

 

Featured titles

Primavera, Adrian Garcia Gomez

Primavera is a frenetic experimental animation that documents the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests as they intersect in springtime Brooklyn. Shot during isolation on a phone, the video explores the effects of imposed distance on touch and intimacy, the proximity of an invisible virus and invisible deaths, and the revolt against the racist, corrupt systems that commodify, exploit and render their most vulnerable citizens disposable.

Passing Through, Linda Montano

A call and response to impermanence.

Black Celebration

Subtitled A Rebellion against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966). Along with additional commentary adapted from Barbara Kruger and musicians Morrissey and Skinny Puppy, the text posits rioting as a refusal to participate in the logic of capital and an attempt to de-fetishize the commodity through theft and gift. Cokes asks, “How do people make history under conditions pre-established to dissuade them from intervening in it?” 

Fred Hampton: Chant and Demonstration

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.

Take It Down, Sabine Gruffat

Statement

A last stand for the silent guardians of the old order. Take It Down is a filmic day of reckoning for the Old Confederate South. What is up must come down, like the Confederate soldier monuments standing in court house squares across the South. At long last, a grand inversion! Solarized film makes positives bleed into negatives. The South is renewed.

This film looks to North Carolina to describe the cultural fissure that runs through the South, a legacy of the Civil War. In the context of the divisive Trump presidency and the increasing visibility of white supremacist activism, these Confederate memorials have become sites of conflicting politics and historical narratives. 

Historians agree that a majority of Confederate statues were erected as propaganda tools legitimizing racism in the era of Jim Crow laws. For example, “Silent Sam”, a statue depicted in the film, was erected on the quad of the University of North Carolina campus. In an act of civil disobedience in Fall 2018, students and protestors tore down the statue in a statement against white supremacist oppression.