Filmatic rebellion

CINEMA: Morgan Adamson's Enduring Images brings new life to the 1960s revolutionary film and reminds us of the need to fight the prevailing forms of representation.

Mikkel Bolt
Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: March 5, 2020
Enduring Images: A Future History of New Left Cinema
Author: Morgan Adamson
University of Minnesota Press, USA

Not only do revolutionary movements attack the prevailing representations, but they also create their own images. We saw it in 2011 during the Arab Spring, where social media played a key role in organizing and spreading the demonstrations against the despotic regimes of Ben Ali, Mubarak, Assad, and others.

Of course, it was the presence of thousands of people in the streets, who occupied, marched and protested while fighting the police and military, which caused the regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt, but social media was an important tool in the preparation and mobilization of the rebellion against the despots.

The movements that occupied large spaces across South Europe, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, which took over the baton in 2011, was also characterized by a combination of physical slowness in the occupation of places and public places and the rapidity of the new media. The protests were recorded directly with cameras in Cairo, Athens, and New York in 2011. Mobile phones and platforms such as Facebook enabled protesters to become a new Victor Serge, documenting and broadcasting the formation of new collective protest movements while taking place, outside the traditional mass media.


Game arena

Morgan Adamson’s book Enduring Images: A Future History of New Left Cinema provides a compelling analysis of an earlier cycle of protest in which cinematic representations played a central role in the fight against the ruling order. Late in the 1960s, film became a fighting arena for a whole generation of filmmakers who sought to use the medium in a revolutionary struggle against imperialism and the mass media (the spectacle).

Adamson constructs …

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