Videos A-Z

1 Lovesong
, Videoladen, Zurich 1984
Documentary about the history and eviction of the squatted building on Badenerstrasse 2 at Stauffacher in the context of the City of Zurich’s housing policies. The focus is on the political debates with the council and the demands of the new urban movement. Apart from the political issues, the scene culture is reflected in masks, happenings, and music. > Thomas Krempke

Aktion Hellmutstrasse, Projektgruppe Community Media, Zurich 1979
Documentary about the occupation of houses. The first part shows the squatting of Hellmutstrasse by the action group Luft & Lärm. The video became popular due to the pithy remarks councilman Max Koller made about the “ameba-like groups,” that hindered him in going about his governing duties. > Christian Schmid

The Amazing Story of Talacre, Inter-Action, London 1971
The film tracks the development of a derelict site left vacant for a decade by the Local Council in central London. It shows how the urban co-operative Inter-Action Trust challenged Camden Council and encouraged the Council tenants to form the Talacre Action Group (TAG). Inter-Action and TAG were running summer play schemes on the site. It involved creating a giant adventure playground (a Dinosaur Drama Scape), community barbeques, door-to-door leafleting, meetings, teaching local youth to make videos along with participatory theater visits, including a living newspaper, by Inter-Action’s street theater company Prof Dogg’s Troupe. > ED Berman

Anarchie & Disneyland, Universitätstrasse 89 with Christian Schmid, Zurich 1982
This is the story of the fight for Universitätsstrasse 89, a private property in Zurich, including its occupation in the early 1980s. Impressions from the apartments, interviews with passersby and residents, as well as public representatives. Discussions inside the house. > Christian Schmid

Babette, Fränzi Madörin, Muda Mathis and Sus Zwick, with Babette Zaugg, Basel 1996
A collage of images, conversations, poems, and music. Babette Zaugg talks about her experiences in a war zone. The video juxtaposes war and art, fiction and documentary, facts and fantasy. > Sus Zwick

Battle of Trafalgar, Despite TV, London 1990
The film is an account of the anti-poll tax demonstration on March 31, 1990 in London and raises questions about public order, policing, the independence and accountability of the media, and the right to demonstrate. Eyewitnesses tell their stories against a backdrop of video footage showing the day’s events as they unfolded. > Mark Saunders

Being White, Albany Video Deptford, London 1987
An educational tape made with racism awareness coaches, designed for use with (mainly) white audiences to focus on the (at the time) hidden issues of whiteness and white privilege, and how these are reflected across class and ethnicity. > Tony Dowmunt

The Big Red Van (Inter-Action Media Van), Inter-Action, London 1974
Inter-Action Trust was described by the Council of Europe as “the most exciting community education/arts organization in Europe” in the 1970s. Arguably, its most dynamic innovation was the Inter-Action Community Media Van. This large van was modified to show video from its side, back projection film viewed from the rear with a theater platform on the roof. It had a copying machine to produce instant leaflets and a sound system to announce its arrival and purposes. Perhaps its most unique feature was one of the first few radiotelephone systems in the UK, which was installed and used to ring mayors and council leaders/ officers for the gathered locals to put questions to the usually distant authorities. This was an experiment in doorstep democracy. Hundreds of volunteer organizations and community groups have made use of the Community Media Van. New methods for public participation were tested and developed. The film was transferred to video to promote similar creations for local democracy elsewhere. > ED Berman

Black Homelessness, West London Media Workshop 1978
Interviews with young Black people about the impact of racism on their attempt to find somewhere to live. Made with the UJIMAA Housing Association. > Andy Porter

La conquête du temps libre
, Climage, Lausanne 1992
Swiss people are known for their zealous work ethics, which has become somewhat of a national stereotype also internationally. In the postwar years, these ethics were confronted with a new reality—that of leisure. The generation who experienced this shift of values had to find a way for themselves to assimilate to a new mode of spending their time. This story is told by people who were witnesses to this shift. The film also travels in time through the film archives, predominantly using amateur material from the 1920s through to the 1960s. > Alex Mayenfisch

Despite the Sun, Despite TV, London 1986
In January 1986, Rupert Murdoch moved his printing operation News International from Fleet St to Wapping in East London. Over 5,000 print workers, clerical staff, cleaners, and secretaries were sacked in one day. Despite the Sun is an investigation into the year-long dispute, which shook the print industry. Produced from the point of view of the residents and print workers, the camera records the effects on residents harassed by the police and Murdoch’s trucks alike, and cavalry-like charges of police horses on the picket lines. Vital questions are raised about the ownership and control of the media, access to it, the organization of work, and the impact of the so-called “new technology.” > Mark Saunders

Es herrscht wieder Frieden im Land, Videogenossenschaft, Basel 1981
Documentary about the eviction of the Autonomes Jugendzentrum (AJZ; Autonomous Youth Center) in Basel. The last part depicts conflicts between the different youth scenes (activists vs. rockers). > Reinhard Manz

Exodus Movement of Jah People
, Spectacle, London 1995
Squatting and renovating decayed buildings, the Exodus movement pursues a quest to regenerate their disaffected community. Exodus offers work and viable solutions to many of society’s ills like poverty, crime, drugs, unemployment, and the breakdown of community. Exodus blends a mixture of Rastafarianism, new-age punk, and streetsmart politics. > Mark Saunders

Froue – jetz längt’s
, The Videohexen and Container TV, Bern 1979
Documentary about the women’s movement in Switzerland in the 1970s. Street theater by feminists, portraits of feminist organizations and institutions in the form of interviews: editorial team of the magazine Emanzipation, the café Frauenzimmer in Basel, the Women’s Liberation Movement (FBB), the InFra (Information Center for Women), and the organization for the women’s cause (OFRA). Accompanied by feminist music. > Katharina Balmer

, Godzilla & Co, Zurich 1981
Documentary about brutal police operations and of the injuries inflicted on protesters through rubber bullets and clubs, produced for the “tribunal” of January 1981 at the Volkshaus Zurich. Following the victims’ requests, this tape was no longer shown publicly after its first screening at the Volkshaus. The interview with Max in the film Dani, Michi, Renato und Max (1987) by Richard Dindo is an excerpt from this video. > Christian Schmid

, Container TV, Bern 1981
Experimental video on TV culture. Fragments of TV shows, news broadcasts, feature films, TV ads, and other programs are woven into a collage and visually altered. A parody on the zeitgeist as shown on TV. > Johannes Gfeller

Into the Darkness
, Albany Video, London 1977
Scripted and made by and with a group of young teenagers in a community room on the Aylesbury Estate: their version of a Star-Trek-style drama. > Tony Dowmunt

Die langen Ferien
, Video mitenand, Zurich 1983
A bus driver, a roof tiler and stove setter, a municipal administration employee, a PTT clerk, and a train engine driver are about to be retired soon. They talk about their ideas for the future, their hopes. How life as a pensioner could actually look like is shown in four film scenes: Longing for work life, looking for a fulfilling pastime, changes in the dynamics of married life. > Margrit Bürer

Leben in die tote Fabrik
, Projektgruppe Community Media, Zurich 1980
Two boisterous nights at the Rote Fabrik in Zurich (May 17/18, 1980), the first general assembly during which the protest in front of the opera house is decided upon. The beginning of the opera house riot and the 80s movement. > Christian Schmid

The Mission
, Jungi mached TV, Zurich 1987
An island tribe worships their goddess “Super-Voice.” Then aliens come in to land. The short film was produced at a summer camp for children and teens. > Margrit Bürer

, Dschoint ventschr, 1987 Zurich
In this video comic, the hero—inspired by Freud, Marx, and Bogart—is being cast away from Zurich over Casablanca, Portofino, and Moscow to the top of Rigi: arms trades, KGB, and mountain fever plague him, but his investigative sense for the supernatural makes him dance over the abyss and finally fall for the beguiling scent of his client. > Samir

Murchison Tenants,
 West London Media Workshop 1976
Local community activists interview tenants of Murchison Road, London, W10, about the negative impact of local building works on their lives. It was presented to the Local Council. > Andy Porter

Opernhaus-Krawall, Projektgruppe Community Media, Zurich 1980
Video by ethnology students (Projektgruppe Community Media) about the protest of May 30, 1980 in front of the opera house. The opera house riot was the beginning of the Zurich youth riots. The video was shown during a general assembly at the Volkshaus Zurich. Further screenings were banned by Zurich’s then school superintendent Alfred Gilgen, causing a stir at the university. Excerpts were used in Züri bränntand in other productions. > Christian Schmid

Powis Square
, West London Media Workshop 1975
Celebrates the opening of the adventure playground hut on Powis Square, Notting Hill, London W11. The coverage of the day was intercut with documents of the history of radical action by local people. They forced the local Council to purchase the square for public use. > Andy Porter

, Climage, Lausanne 1986
A collection of absurd and peculiar stories in the spirit of Bob Wilson. > Alex Mayenfisch

Der Rest ist Risiko
, Videogenossenschaft, Basel 1987
Documentary about political resistance after the chemical disaster of Basel/Schweizerhalle of 1986. Political actions, hearings, art and poster interventions, protests, etc., express how anxious and voiceless the public felt at the time. > Sus Zwick

Song of Long Ago
, Graft on! and Fantasy Factory, London 1975
Interviews with 12 elderly people in West Kentish Town, London. They talk about what life was like for them when they were young while looking at old photos of the area. The tape was replayed in local libraries and was very popular. This was the first UK Local History Video and was used as a model by many practitioners of Oral History. > John «Hoppy» Hopkins

Squat Now While Stocks Last
, Graft on! and Fantasy Factory, London 1974
Squatters used video to record street life, police atrocities and evictions. The video shows squatters of 93 Prince of Wales Road peacefully defending their house against ongoing eviction. The squat movement flowered in London in the 1970s, when an estimated 30,000 people lived in squats in Greater London, and the movement provided the base for many London subcultures over several decades. > Sue Hall

, Reinhard Manz and Videogenossenschaft, Basel 1980
On the video-editing device, the faces of people on the street or in the tram are being manipulated. An unusual documentation of everyday life. > Reinhard Manz

Züri brännt
, Videoladen, Zurich 1981
The video film of the Zurich youth riots of the 1980s: street riots, nude protests, punk music, lived autonomy. The Zurich movement renounced Zurich’s puritanism and demanded life, space, money—all of it, and right now! > Thomas Krempke