The Militant Image

The Militant Image - Film screenings and discussions

Fri 25, Tue 29, Wed 30 November from 6:30pm & Sat 26 November, 2:30pm

The Militant Image programme of film screenings and discussions engages with militant filmmaking practices of late twentieth century liberation struggles. Films by José Filipe Costa, René Vautier, Robert Kramer and Margaret Dickinson explore politics and revolution in Portugal, anti-colonial guerrilla war in Mozambique and acts of resistance across several other African countries. Curated by Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray, the programme is presented by Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) at Rivington Place in collaboration with The Otolith Group.

The point of departure for The Militant Image is the special issue of the journal Third Text entitled The Militant Image: A Cine-Geography edited by Eshun and Gray in 2011. The four day programme explores aesthetics, affiliations and strategies of militancy in the production and circulation of the moving image.

Director José Filipe Costa introduces and discusses his documentary Red Line (2011) about the making of the 1975 film Torre Bela by Thomas Harlan. Torre Bela documented the occupation by impoverished workers of a vast hunting estate owned by one of Portugal's aristocratic families, following the Carnation Revolution of 1974. Costa's Red Line explores how the making of Torre Bela became critical to the unfolding of the event. (25 November, 6:30pm)

Robert Kramer's Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal (1977) also responds to events in the region. The film documents the Left's intense fight with a variety of class barriers, paying attention to politics in everyday life. The screening is introduced by Luís Trinidade, Lecturer in Portuguese Modern Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London. (29 November, 2:30pm)

Nicole Brenez, Professor of Film Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle University, presents a selection of films by director René Vautier, whose body of work constitutes one of the most significant cinematographic contributions to anti-colonial and anti-capitalist struggle. Vautier's 1950 film Afrique 50 was made under conditions of severe political repression and censorship and has been hailed as the first French anti-colonial film. Other films by Vautier will include Frontline (1976) and Le Glas (1964). (26 November, 2:30pm)

Margaret Dickinson will introduce her film Behind the Lines. Made in 1971 in a ‘liberated zone' in Niassa province in Northern Mozambique, the film was one of the defining films about FRELIMO's (The Liberation Front of Mozambique) armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism. (30 November, 6:30pm). For the schedule and bookings visit:
£5 (£3 concs) per day, £15 (£9) - 4 day pass.

Editors' notes

Kodwo Eshun founded The Otolith Group in 2002. He studied English Literature at University College, Oxford University and teaches Aural and Visual Culture at Goldsmith's, University of London.
His published work includes critical analysis, catalogue essays and magazine articles. His art projects include film and video compositions that coalesce around the notions of the audiovisual archive and archaeologies of futurity.

Ros Gray is Lecturer in Fine Art Practice, Goldsmith's, University of London. Her interests include evolutionary cinema and its global film making networks; the screen as site of radical gathering; postcolonial and political theory; urban cultures and spatial theory; and contemporary film and video art. She has an MA in visual cultures from Goldsmith's.