Before YouTube and Indymedia: Cultural memory and the archive of video collectives in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s
Author: Brunow, Dagmar
Source: Studies in European Cinema, Volume 8, Number 3, May 2012 , pp. 171-181(11)
Abstract:Collective film-making practice in Germany is still a blind spot in film historiography. During the 1970s and 1980s independent film and video workshops established a nationwide network to provide `counter information' (Negt/Kluge) in order to challenge dominant media representations. Therefore, the works of the video collectives can become a relevant source for historians and journalists alike. While the videos can be perceived as an important contribution to left-wing cultural memory, this memory of the various media practices of the last decades is currently fading away. The videotapes slowly disintegrate and as digitization is costly and time-consuming, many video productions will not survive. This has consequences not only for historiography, but also for the visual iconography of cultural memory. This article focuses on the archival practice of three workshops in Hamburg, the stronghold for German independent film-making after 1968: the Medienpädagogikzentrum (Centre for Media Pedagogy, 1973-), bildwechsel (1979-), the umbrella organization for women in media, culture and art, and die thede (1980-), an association of documentary film-makers. The examples show how archival practice can be conceptualized not only as part of the hegemonic national archive alone, but also as an act of counter-memory.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2012-05-18
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