The Socialist Forum in Stockholm is the largest forum for leftwing debate in Sweden, drawing a couple of thousand visitors. This is the third year in a row in which we’ve arranged a panel at the Socialist Forum. The general theme for the forum this year was discussions about solidarity, and for our panel we brought up our regular theme of artists and filmmakers working within and at the service of various political collectives. This year we’d prepared by going through books like Arbetarna lämnar fabriken (Workers Leaving The Factory) by Carl Henrik Svenstedt, and found some interesting examples of films and filmmakers in those chapters. We started off the panel with a very brief introduction to the Rhodiaceta-films, which involved Chris Marker and The Medvedkin Group, as an example of a shift in attitude – from filmmakers expressing solidarity through a documentary about workers struggles in a specific site, to assisting the selfsame workers in making their own films about their own struggles. We wanted to use this as a quick introduction to the theme, and thought of it as a very basic example of re-distributing power over the image.
Next, the participants in the panel were introduced: Michele Masucci, artist, activist, writer, and Corina Oprea, curator, producer. They both took turns talking about working with films together with activist groups. Michele has participated in militant workplace investigations involving precarious workers, and Corina is producing a film with artist Saskia Holmkvist made together with a number of anti-racism groups in the Stockholm area. We got some background history on militant workplace investigations, beginning in 1960’s Italy, and how that could be translated onto current-day Swedish precarious workers’ conditions, from Michele. We also got some background from Corina, involving the 1967 film I Am Curious Yellow by Vilgot Sjöman and The Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal as templates to evolve a current day film on Swedish racism from. Both had thoughts on the role of the audience, or the need for one.
Time ran short at the forum. We hope to return to both these panelists for further discussion in the future. We will also update this post with links continuously as we encounter them.
More on Militant Investigations in a book edited by Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber (PDF)
A bientot, j’espere on Youtube
Classe de lutte on Youtube