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Still from Like a Prayer (DIVA TV, 1989) (image courtesy Interference Archives)

Today, many of us instinctively pull out our cellphone cameras to document the injustices that happen before our eyes. But activism using recording devices stretches back at least to the 1960s, from community access television to street tapes by Videofreex and other guerrilla groups. Author Chris Robé documents this rich history in his new book Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas.

Robé will be screening some of the films discussed in his book at the Interference Archive in Gowanus, which since 2011 has been dedicated to exhibiting and discussing political archival materials. Robé will show rare, lesser-known protest footage and contextualize the groundbreaking work of AIDS activist group ACT UP New York and the Mexican revolutionary group the Zapatistas. Moving into the present, the focus will shift to digital footage of protests around the world, from Egypt to Portugal to the United States. The goal, according to Interference Archive, is to show how “alternative media production serves a central location where new forms of collective resistance can be cultivated.”

When: Saturday, February 17, 7pm
Where: Interference Archive (314 7th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

More info at Interference Archives

Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.