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by Jessica Lawless
Monday, Dec. 03, 2001 at 12:02 AM
The following is a flyer for Jessica Lawless' Documentary on, among other things, anarchism and racialized imagery. She has screened it around LA post Sept.11th with related discussions. She has writen below on the nature of the post S11 conversations
image004.jpg, image/jpeg, 224x205
DESCRIPTION OF DOCUMENTARY
Paint it Black: anarchism, urban uprising, and the mainstream news media, is a response to the mainstream media’s portrayal of anarchists and anarchism since the international anti-corporate globalization protests captured media attention during the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in November of 1999. The video deconstructs KCOP’s newscast, “Anarchists in LA?” which aired in June 2000, two months before the Democratic National Convention and the protests against it were to convene in Los Angeles. It shows how the KCOP newscast racialized anarchists as “black” via racist constructions of “blackness” that are rooted in 19th century theories of Social Darwinism. While making evident these ideas still haunt contemporary culture, Paint it Black also addresses the anarchist use of black (black flag, black clothing, black masks, black bloc) to represent a revolutionary movement that is predominantly, but not entirely, comprised of white folks and is not fundamentally concerned with black liberation movements or racialized injustice. By looking at issues of representation in the public sphere and self representation within a marginalized group, Paint it Black offers theoretical frames for strategizing anti-capitalist resistance to the policing—both literally and socially—of the militant aspects of the anti-corporate globalization movements.
Paint it Black was funded in part by a grant from the Institute for Anarchist Studies
Paint it Black also served as Jessica Lawless’ MA thesis project at Claremont Graduate University in the Cultural Studies department.
For more info, to set up a screening, or purchase a copy, contact Jessica at
lawless @ anet.net
DESCRIPTION OF POST SEPT.11 DISCUSSIONS
Since 911 I've screened Paint It Black at Claremont Graduate University, Pitzer College, and Flor Y Canto. Part of the
conversations I've been interested in exploring is how 911 affects anarchist tactics and politics. ie: where
does anarchism fit into the scheme of things when the focus is anti-war vs anti capitalism and corp.
globaization? there haven't been answers per se, because they aren't any really, it's up to the different
affinity groups and individuals as to how the fit themselves into the new landscape, but the video is
helping to facilitate broader discussions connected to the arguements about race and racialization in
context of the current demonization of muslims, arab-americans, and middle east nationas than the
more task oriented meetings about anti war actions generally have space for. which is to say I think both
kinds of meetings/discussions are necessary and one isn't more signif than the other in moving things
The most positive part of all this for me is that I am now getting 1 or 2 e-mails daily from folks all over the
country-as well as canada, greece, and austraila- asking for more info on the doc, or to order it. I'm really
excited about a reading group in alberta who wants to order it for their discussions leading up to the G8
protests/meetings happening there in june. that means a lot of people are trying to figure out the same
questions and it's testemony to the powerful role art and visual culture has in politics and activism.
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