Headroom is thrilled to host a presentation of NOW!, originally curated by Kelly Sears and screened at Collective Misnomer in Denver, CO
Residing at a crossroads between film journal and radical newsreel, Now! A Journal of Urgent Praxis foregrounds films and writings made in rapid yet eloquent engagement with the here and now of political and cultural life. In the age of YouTube, the radical newsreel awaits a spectacular, transformative re-birth. Now! is digital flint and steel. It is important to note that urgency has nothing to do with “newness.” There are urgent documents that have existed for hundreds of years or more. Urgency is defined by Now! in the simplest possible manner. Now! foregrounds work, new or old, that has an urgent value for the present moment. Work that needs to be seen, read, and confronted Now!
Work presented at this screening at Headroom, made in the past three years, urgently responds to the murders of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, “Grab them by the Pussy”, election discourse, the Standing Rock Sioux resistance, the white supremacist march on the University of Virginia campus, and peaceful protest of the anthem through taking the knee. This screening also functions a series of radical GIFS made in response to social and political actions, exploring a new form of rapid response and circulation.
For Michael Brown, Travis Wilkerson, 4:30, 2014
Out of respect for his parents’ request, four and one half minutes of silence for Michael Brown Jr. One minute for each hour his body lay in the streets of Ferguson, MO after he was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson. Please watch in darkness. Please watch in silence.
Now! Again!, Alex Johnston, 4:37, 2014
NOW! AGAIN! is a reenactment of a classic radical film, “Now” by Santiago Alvarez, staged this summer in Ferguson, Missouri by the cops themselves. Playing themselves, the cops reenact their own vicious history as if they were checking their performance in a mirror shattered by gunfire. NOW! AGAIN! blows up at the intersection of an avant-garde film act and an urgent manifesto for militant action, demanding an end to police violence NOW!”
One Document for Hope, Margaret Rorison, 7:15, 2015
Margaret Rorison’s One Document for Hope, pits the sterile and procedural narratives of a Baltimore City Police Scanner against images from the collective moments of gathering, celebration, mourning and protest in response to the 2015 death by police of 25 year-old Freddie Gray. The juxtaposition of these elements, institutional dispassion versus community action, makes legible the power of the latter to confront and resist the former.
Baton Rouge to Jackson ’63, Dan Albright, 1:41, 2016
A historical juxtaposition of police terror in the aftermath of Alton Sterling’s murder in Baton Rouge July 10th, 2016 and during the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, MS June 13, 1963.Baton Rouge to Jackson ’63 is an exceptional illustration of a growing sub-genre of urgent political cinema: the radical re-enactment of historical violence, echoing one another with a jarringly precise confluence.
Repeat: Justice for Alton Sterling, Kelly Sears, 1:24, 2016
The murder of Alton Sterling was followed by another devastating press conference, where Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Alton Sterling’s oldest son, speaks about the trauma of having their children learn about their father’s death through repeated video replays, news sound bites, and social media circulation of the killing of Alton Sterling. This quote featured in this short work comes from this press conference.
July 8th, 2016, Jason Halprin, 3:30 2016
Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. 5 police officers in Dallas. The Civil Rights Movement isn’t a part of history. It is a fight that is happening now. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & HUMAN DIGNITY. Which side are you on?
Forty Years, Irene Lusztig, 12:15, 2016
For the past two years, Irene Lusztig has been filming people (mostly women and mostly strangers) reading letters sent to the editor of Ms. Magazine––the first mainstream feminist magazine in the US–in the 1970s, in the cities where the letters were originally written. In this short film, four women read letters about sexual violence that were sent to Ms. Magazine between 1974-76. This is happening now, but it has also been happening forever. This project was edited and released right after the presidential debate, where Hilary Clinton was interrupted and stalked on stage, which occurred right after the pussy grabbing offense and millions of women sharing their experiences of sexual assault on Twitter.
Quiet Time, Ryan Harper Gray, 2:32, 2016
Quiet Time intervenes in the reactionary rhetoric from the Presidential debates. Employing the strategy of erasure, the militarist, imperialist, and misogynist discourse is rejected, removed, and thrown out. The silence that remains still carries the trace of the eliminated declarations. The absence of speech is a false respite as the focus is shifted toward the formation of the next distorted refusal and rebuttal.
Land of the Free, Vanessa Renwick, 3:01, 2016
Up above the land, in the clouds, borderless, a meditation on the legacies of colonialism and borders. Made in support of the Standing Rock Sioux resistance.
The Forcing (No. 7), Lydia Moyer, 2:21, 2017
A powerful tribute to the students who stood their ground against the “many sides” of white supremacy in Charlottesville. One in a series of works responding to current political and social events in the US.
The Forcing (No. 8), Lydia Moyer, 4:53, 2017
Meditations on modes of resistance through taking the knee and peaceful protest. One in a series of works responding to current political and social events in the US.