Afterall Journal Reading Group: Disobedient Video

A black and white photograph of a white woman behind the bars of a gate. She is reaching up to attach a hand-painted banner that reads: Les Ouvrieres Occupent L'usine [translation: workers occupy the factory].
Cathy Bernheim, Ned Burgess, Catherine Deudon, Suzanne Fenn and Annette Levy-Willard, Grève des femmes à Troyes (Womens Strike in the City of Troyes), 1971, black and white video, sound, 55min. Courtesy Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir

To mark the publication of issue 48 of Afterall journal, Beth Bramich invited The Camera: Nous, an intermittent film club led by Lauren Houlton, to lead a collective reading of Stéphanie Jeanjean’s essay Disobedient Video in France in the 1970s: Video Production by Women’s Collectives accompanied by a screening of Grève des femmes à Troyes (1971). The screening and reading group took place at Arts Catalyst, London.  

SCHEDULE

6.30 –7.30pm: film screening (55 minutes)

Grève des femmes à Troyes (Women’s Strike in the City of Troyes, 1971) is a video shot at the Bessin and Salson hosiery factory in Troyes during the first strike by its female workers in 1971. After initially showing apprehension about speaking to camera, the workers discuss the threat of redundancy and their shrewd strike tactics, having outsmarted the factory management through a legal loophole and occupying the building in shifts 24 hours a day. Shot in real time by co-directors Cathy Bernheim, Ned Burgess, Catherine Deudon, Suzanne Fenn and Annette Levy-Willard, this interview captures the warmth, wit and determination of the women strikers on the picket line.7:30pm: Short break followed by discussion.This event is free but booking is essential

Lauren Houlton is a curator and writer based in London. She programmes screenings as The Camera: Nous, an intermittent film club which has been held at Close-Up Film Centre. Her writing has been featured in Art Agenda, Art Monthly, MAP Magazine and DISPATCH. In 2017 she was awarded the Michael O’Pray Prize for new writing on moving image with Art Monthly and FVU. She works at Jerwood Arts where she develops exhibitions and projects with early-career artists.

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