I Am Not Going Back!

FRIDAY 04-27-12 7:00 PM
I Am Not Going Back!

Ad Hoc Vox and 16 Beaver Group are pleased to invite you to I Am Not Going Back!: an evening of films and dis­cus­sions. This event will take cin­ema as a spring­board to col­lec­tively rede­fine the mean­ings and tac­tics of strike in response to the inter­na­tional call for a Gen­eral Strike on May 1st, which in New York has also been named A Day With­out the 99%.

In 1885, the broth­ers Lumière’s 45 sec­ond scene enti­tled Work­ers Leav­ing the Lumière Fac­tory in Lyon marks the begin­ning of film his­tory. In 1995, film­maker Harun Farocki in Work­ers Leav­ing the Fac­tory metic­u­lously exam­ines this theme of work­ers leav­ing the space of pro­duc­tion. His case study spans fic­tion, doc­u­men­taries, news­reels, and indus­trial and pro­pa­ganda films. Farocki remarks that the fac­tory has become one of the most neglected film loca­tions since “most nar­ra­tive films take place in that part of life where work has been left behind.” In our next film, we shift our focus to a blind spot within this mar­gin­al­ized genre, the moment in which work­ers return to the fac­tory. The moment after the strike is almost never included in strike nar­ra­tives. In this respect, Jacques Willemont’s La Reprise du Tra­vail aux Usines Won­der (Resump­tion of Work at The Won­der Fac­tory)—a doc­u­men­tary only of an ending—is very much against the usual nar­ra­tive pro­gres­sion. Willemont’s crew arrived at the very instance in which the resump­tion of work was decided after a three week-long occu­pa­tion. The cam­era focuses on a woman scream­ing again and again, “What­ever, I am not going back!” The review of cin­e­matic strike end­ings imme­di­ately con­fronts us with the ques­tion: How do we define “vic­tory” in today’s anti-capitalist struggle?

In addi­tion to Farocki’s Work­ers Leav­ing the Fac­tory & Willemont’s Resump­tion of Work at the Won­der Fac­tory the clos­ing sequence of sev­eral strike films will be screened. The films have been curated by Mar­tyna Starosta, who will facil­i­tate the dis­cus­sion along with Colleen Asper.


MARTYNA STAROSTA, aka The Film Detective, is a media maker and media thinker who investigates the interdependence of image politics and political movements. Her short documentary Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution (directed with Iva Radivojević) was the first professionally produced film chronicling the emerging Occupy Wall Street movement. Starosta teaches in the Film and Media Department of Hunter College.

16 BEAVER GROUP is a space initiated/run by artists to create and maintain an ongoing platform for the presentation, production, and discussion of a variety of artistic/cultural/economic/political projects. It is the point of many departures/arrivals.