Commentary ED Berman

ED Berman talks about how he founded Inter-Action in the late sixties in London. The Council of Europe described the Inter-Action Trust as ‘the most exciting community education/arts organization in Europe’ in the 1970s. In the interview with Ed Berman I was particularly impressed by his early biography. Born in Maine, USA, he was only a student when he developed his Inter-Action Game Method, on which he based his community arts approach for Inter-Action (see ED Berman, Video 09.11: Getting Into Community Work). It is an amazing story.

Be sure to take a look at the film The Big Red Media Van: The large van was modified to show video from the side, back projection film viewed from the rear with a theater platform on the roof. It had a copying machine to instantly produce leaflets and a sound system to announce its arrival and purposes. Perhaps the most unique feature was the radiotelephone system, one of the first ones in the UK, which was installed and used to ring mayors and council leaders/officers, enabling locals to put questions to the usually distant authorities: an experiment in doorstep democracy.

Wishing you an inspiring viewing session,

Heinz Nigg

In the 1970s and 1980s, young activists discovered video as a new medium and used moving images in their struggle for access to cultural expression for the many, not the few. They were researching and developing new forms of independent and participatory media work. This was an important step towards realizing the utopian promises of the digital age.