It has been a while since I have blogged about the making of my second feature length documentary, the title of which I just cannot decide. I am happy to report that the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming bright enough to warrant sunglasses.
A film by an activist for activists.
The film starts by explaining the nebulous power of the City of London, why we were there and what we were protesting for. This has not altered in all three drafts of the film
In my the third draft I finally emboldened myself to place my voice in the film’s theme. The creative impulse to make this film was to lay out Occupy London’s prefigurative element, in particular it’s practice of consensus. My voice over enabled me to weave together odd bits of footage and communicate succinctly about the power pools that transpired within the movement, ironically due to this ‘no leaders’ agenda.
Such power paradigms are prevalent in many movements and if there is no avenue available to challenge them, movements implode. Mistakes do not need to be re-lived over and over again and in activism they are. I have made this film so that other activists can use it to be more aware of the pit-falls of activism which can be addressed if caught in time.
100% consensus with a centralized GA system should never be attempted again as it guarantees a stunted success.
Although Occupy London was essentially an important public relations manifestation about economic injustice (the 99% vs 1%) it fell short of being able to demand change by virtue of it’s power. The film proposes hat the idealism embedded in the use of the consensus model prohibits any chances of achieving, at least some, comprehensive wins. Activists have grown a bit to used to losing.
One does not need consensus of any kind to ensure horizontality.
The lesson we learnt through the Occupy London experience are still being discussed in workshops on activism currently. The academic study of social movements uses the Occupy movement as a staple example. Occupy did achieve a shift in consciousness within social change circles, that is starting to make its mark now. Many businesses and co-ops are embracing the challenges of horizontality in an effort to lead by example in radical democratic manifestations.
Update January 2018
Until then, peace, love and role rotation!