Activists on Screen: Black Documentary Shorts

10 Feb (15:00)
Activists On Screen: Black Documentary Shorts
Activists on Screen: Black Documentary Shorts

⌚️2024-02-10 15:00:00 –
🏢Museum of the City of New York

Join scholars and filmmakers at the Museum during Black History month for a series of short films and post-screening discussion. Films explore topics such as unemployment, police surveillance, struggles for safety, and Black joy in spaces across the city. This screening includes rare 16 mm films as well as digital projections. Selected shorts include Black Faces, We Need A J-O-B So We Can E-A-T and Kameron Neal's Down The Barrel (of a Lens).

A conversation with artist Kameron Neal and scholar Johanna Fernández moderated by Kazembe Balagun follows the screenings.

About Down the Barrel (of a Lens):
What does it mean to be seen and documented in public space without your consent? Kameron Neal, Public Artist in Residence with NYC’s Department of Records, explores this all-too-relevant concern with Down the Barrel (of a Lens), a film of charged imagery culled from the NYPD’s declassified surveillance film collections from 1960 to 1980. Each scene captures the moment when civilian targets realize they are being taped by a 16mm police camera and choose to stare back at their watcher. Down the Barrel (of a Lens) is an empowering and chilling collection of historical portraiture that poses questions about policing, acceptable intrusion, personal privacy, and quiet protest. Originally conceived as a two-channel video and audio installation, this screening will feature a single-channel version of the film.

Activists on Screen is a new documentary film series examining NYC’s longstanding engagement with social activism, inspired by the Museum's centennial and our ongoing exhibition Activist New York. The series is programmed by Sarah Seidman, MCNY's Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism, and film curator Melissa Lyde, founder and creator of Alfreda's Cinema.

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