Screening & conversation with Louis Schwartz.
The film will be one departure, the text another , a mid air collision , a soft landing, bits of debris, a lively evening.
La Commune, Paris 1871 (Watkins, 2000) tends to reactivate the insurrectionary spirit of the Paris Commune. By weaving the past of it's historical story with the present of the experience of it's cast, the film uses the events of 1871 to illuminate the conditions under which we organize today. Watkins and the other filmmakers pay special attention to splits, rifts and swerves within the revolutionary milieux. In our time, class belonging has become an external constraint, something to be abolished and the working class has radically decomposed. Under such conditions, organization and direct action must come out swerves and splits among activist groupings.
We hope we can respond to the film with a discussion on working with rifts within the terrible communities in which we find ourselves, with an emphasis on gender and race.
Some useful reading for the la commune screening:
"...The present moment In the course of revolutionary struggle, the abolition of the state, of exchange, of the division of labour, of all forms of property, the extension of the situation where everything is freely available as the unification of human activity – in a word, the abolition of classes – are ‘measures’ that abolish capital, imposed by the very necessities of struggle against the capitalist class. The revolution is communisation; it does not have communism as a project and result, but as its very content.
Louis Schwartz teaches Film Studies at Ohio University and helps to organize the Appalachia Free Skool. He researches images and insurrections and his current work focuses on the force of rifts in activist communities. The rift project finds academic,” political” and “personal” expressions of which this screening is one. Schwartz wrote a book on the use of film and video in US Courts, Mechanical Witness (Oxford, 2009) as well as several articles on film theory.
Hosted by the L.A. Anti-authoritarian Marxist Network & The Public School L.A.
Special thanks to Ken Ehrlich for bringing this together