Our first Music Video! with some un-schooled kids from our town.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Yep. Cars are here to stay (actually, we never said they weren't): yes sir, cars are out there everyday wreaking havoc for (other) motorists (traffic jams, accidents resulting in thousands of annual fatalities, pollution, noise, drunk drivers, even drivers with dementia.
[The...] self-righteous cyclists in a Critical Mass rally that began in Hess Village. The cyclists filmed themselves as they rode around city streets, disobeying traffic laws and wreaking havoc for motorists.
We see cops handing out tickets to the group*. Face reality, one officer tells the bunch. Cars are here to stay.
Disobeying traffic laws? you mean like the 70% of drivers who admit to speeding, or the vehicles who fail to stop at all-way stop signs (most drivers) or who run red lights? or who race other cars and end up crashing into houses?
[*In fact the police did NOT hand out any tickets at Critical Mass, just a card with traffic violation fine prices on it.]
You'd think Critical Mass in Hamilton must be a big concern for the cops: yet they didn't come to the next month's ride, nor the one after that, or the one after that, and so on. Yes, they actually may have more important things to do for that one hour a month...
So, yes, it's hard not to be a little self-righteous, after all.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The festival, Re-membering Nai Taleem: Real Learning for the 21st Century' is sponsored by the very good people at Shikshantar - The Peoples' Institute for Rethinking Education and Development.
We are honoured to have received the invitation, and it fits well with our support for positive alternatives to some of the institutional forms that have lost relevance or legitimacy - mass education in this instance.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Enjoy, and take part!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Critical Mass bike rides, since 1998 in Hamilton, through the camera lens of mobile videographers (on bikes) - get the street-side view of the monthly bike ride in this short video that made it into the Art Gallery of Hamilton's PHOTOPHOBIA annual juried exhibition of short video in 2003. (DIVA's second entry in photophobia, the other being War Games in the Park.)
How You See It, Critical Mass is a collection of footage taken over a period of several CM rides in town, including the Pedal for Peace, which strangely (or not) drew a police presence.
Critical Mass is still going on in town, the last Friday of the month at Hess and George Streets, at 5:30pm.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Noam Chomsky in a small group discussion on the subject of Anarchism at McMaster University.
There were several local self identified anarchists in the group, and a bunch of people who were there for interest sake.
There are other segments of this discussion that I might put on the site at a later date, but this short video gets a nice general sense of anarchism, stripped of any excess theory, the kind of anarchism that an anarchist might feel comfortable with (in contrast to overwrought ideological groups with everything figured out on paper).
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Catholic Workers at the Hamilton International Air Show, 2000.
Busted during a "Litany of Resistance."
Peace versus Militarism, aided by Police. Criminal charges of Mischief, eventually dropped by the state.
The Air Show also dropped by the state: after three years of peaceful demonstrations and 27 arrests the air show folds up its operations in Hamilton.
"What was the mischief, officer? the singing? the praying?"
Our very first video, back in '99, before we learned to spell independent, apparently, and before DIVA Dave came fully out in the credits (he credited himself as David Wayne, rather than use his last name, Fordham.)
This is pre-digital camera DIVA, and Murray Lumley, who shot much of the video when we were doing recon at the air show, had a shaky hand that forced DIVA DAVE to use gravol(tm) to get through the editing!
Drugs nothwithstanding, we activists were extremely pleased with the end result, and the beginning of a years-long collaboration born out of neighbourliness and an interest in issues and working with video. DIVA DAVE, we couldn't have done it without you!
Long story short: five arrested went to trial, only to see the charges "quashed" on a technicality - next year, bigger demonstrations featuring a "Festival of Life" and 22 arrests for non-violent civil-disobedience (some of the arrests by coincidence, almost replicated the '99 arrests, with prayer vigils in front of the same plane - A-10 - but with criminal charges rather than provincial trespass tickets that were handed out in '99)
One more year of actions and the air show (re-dubbed the War Show for its overt militarism) folded.
We learned a hell of a lot in those three years, and it is great that we had access to video equipment to make a visual record.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
We used it to try and push Car Free Day, then (in 2001), still new to the milieu of sustainable transportation in the city.
We showed it to city hall that year, and now, in 2007, the city is starting to get the idea that Car Free is something worth supporting. The city's new mayor is proposing a car free area in the city core!
The film probably had little impact in 2001, but it is instructive if only as a record of the time it takes to move something worthwhile forward.
Critical Mass is still going, we are still having parking meter parties, and people and organizations have stepped up to work for improved transportation options to get us beyond car-ownership (TLC, TUG, RTH for example) and DIVA is still there to cover the grassroots actions that the local mainstream media ignore.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
WAR GAMES IN THE PARK
We couldn't have scripted a more damning exchange between civilians and the military who wanted to play war games in the park.
You can read all about it in a previous post, but watch it and wonder...
This was also our first film to be shown at the annual, outdoors, juried short-video show at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, PHOTOPHOBIA.
BUY NOTHING DAY (2000)
When we show our early videos, this one is always a crowd pleaser. And the guy stopping traffic in the movie (Tony Lombardo) has never seen this. So I keep promising him when I run into him that I will put it on You Tube. Fait accompli!
Tony and his crew have gone on to create a name for themselves in the imponderables.
Tony's always been a guy with a creative and comic flair and a willingness to apply it to "activist" issues, as evidenced here.
This is also an example of work created for video by the shadowy and talented "DIVA DAVE" AKA David Fordham, who edited all our first videos. I haven't seen Dave for a while now: we used to live side by side in, well, Dundas, thus the DIVA designation.
One final comment: Since this movie (made in 2000) we've learned to spell "Independent"...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We filmed this on 15 May, 2006. There were several arrests at the site, but the mood remained peaceful throughout, even when head of security and the property manager drag one protester across the parking lot...
I've had to split the video in two to post it on the web. This web version has some minor editing quirks that kick in about half way in (starting near the end of part one) - I don't know how they got there, extra cross-fades, but it is still watchable.
To read more about the group behind the (ongoing) demonstrations, visit www.homesnotbombs.ca
Homes Not Bombs has screened the film at several events to raise awareness of what Wescam is doing, and to illustrate what a peaceful but civilly disobedient action looks like (something you won't see a lot of in the media)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Car Free Day in Hamilton featured a colourful PARKING METER PARTY on King Street East on September 22, 2007
This may be my first activist music video but a two minute record of the event featuring a live performance by Brian and Natalia on Guitar and Violin respectively is complete, almost - just waiting for some credit checks (i.e. proper spelling of names for the credits).
I'll be posting the video to the web in the next week or so (barring any blips) but in the meantime, check out the organizing group's web at tlchamilton.blogspot.com for photos, etc.
Monday, August 20, 2007
- Mothers' Day at Wescam (May 2006) - creative resistance and civil disobedience with Homes Not Bombs and the Mother's Day Coalition for Peace at Burlington Ontario's L3/Wescam war production facility. 16 minutes.
In August 2003, DIVA's CRITICAL MASS: HOW YOU SEE IT was selected to be part of PHOTOPHOBIA 5, making two-years in a row that DIVA has shown at this free, open air art festival in our home-town! (see below for previous year's entry)
DIVA documented much of the resistance to the destruction of the Red Hill Valley, helping found and then contribute footage to a collection of activist video (The Red Hill Video Collective resulting in the feature length Grass Through Concrete) on the struggle against the expressway.
DIVA Celebrates Hamilton-based activism and activist culture with a screening of, you guessed it, activist video with the NOT ONTV showcase at the Staircase Cafe Theatre. Click here to read the VIEW Magazine article.
DIVA's WARGAMES IN THE PARK made the cut in 2002, in the Art Gallery of Hamilton's annual PHOTOPHOBIA SHORT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL! Read our media release, see the photos and articles about the original encounter between DIVA and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry as the RHLI attempts to occupy Bayfront Park for their war games.
Our first work was the 1999 production "Target Audience: Children, War and the Hamilton International Air Show" which aired at public gatherings and helped bring to light the militarism of the HIAS.
In 2000 we produced the entertaining "Buy Nothing Day," a glimpse of local culture jammers working Limeridge Mall as they donned construction worker costumes and warned potential shoppers of the outbreak of "affluenza."
2001 saw the completion of "Car-Free Day" which was used by local transportation activists to try and convince Hamilton City Hall to support the concept of car-free areas in the city; featuring exclusive clips of car free day 2000, critical mass bike rides, and a downtown parking meter party, the video will help to open up the world of sustainable transportation activism in Hamilton.
DIVA has collected footage from the FTAA demonstrations in Quebec City involving local Hamilton activists (A.K.A. the satiric singers "Cash-Happy Bastards"); the Hamilton War Show "Festival of Life demonstrations;" exclusive footage of the Catholic Worker "Litany of Resistance" demonstration at the 2000 War Show; local peace marches, and more.