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Insurgent Images: Screening 5 Decades of Video Resistance with Chris Robé

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16 Sherman St Theater

16 Sherman Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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Insurgent Images: Screening Five Decades of Video Resistance

Join Incite/Insight and the CIIS Anthropology & Social Change Department for a night of video resistance by Chris Robé, from 8:00pm - 10:00pm, including discussion with Chris.

Video plays an increasingly important role among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberal capitalism. Subjectivity itself becomes a key terrain of struggle as capitalism mines it through social media sites, cell phonetechnology, and new “flexible” work and living patterns. As a result, alternative media production serves a central location where new collective forms of subjectivity can be created to challenge aspects of neoliberalism.

Using a screening and discussion of shortform films and videos, Chris Robé will illustrate the rise of video activism from the 1960s to the present,based in part on his newly released book Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas.


About Chris Robé

Chris Robé is an associate professor in Film and Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. His research concerns the use of media by various activist groups in their quest for a more equitable world. In the twenty-first century, media does not simply offer a representational platform for disenfranchised voices, but more importantly serves as a material practice to engage in collective struggles for equity, justice, and more sustainable systems.

He has published essays on radical media in journals like Jump Cut, Rethinking Marxism, and Journal of Film and Video and written a monograph titled Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Radical Film Culture. He is also a frequent contributor to the online journal PopMatters: http://www.popmatters.com/archive/contributor/312/ . His current work concerns state repression and video activism regarding animal rights campaigns, copwatch and community organizing among working-class communities of color, counter-summit protesting, and anti-Muslim-American surveillance and resistances to it. In his spare time, he is an organizer for his faculty union.


His newest book, Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas, was recently published by PM Press in 2017.

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.

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16 Sherman St Theater

16 Sherman Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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