Skip to main content Start of main content

Disobedient Video in France in the 1970s: Video Production by Women’s Collectives

Cathy Bernheim, Ned Burgess, Catherine Deudon, Suzanne Fenn and Annette Levy-Willard, Grève des femmes à Troyes (Womens Strike in the City of Troyes), 1971, black and white video, sound, 55min. Courtesy Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir (archive and distribution)
In light of recent archival efforts, Stéphanie Jeanjean considers the legacy of the feminist video collectives that formed in France in the 1970s, tracing their radical approach to class and gender politics. The post-1968 militant video production by French feminist collectives presented here is more than a time capsule of actions. It reflects a historical tradition of political engagement and demonstrates the beginning of direct and unapologetic use of portable recording technology. Today, its initial promise and power are even more apparent. Fast forward fifty years and France is facing its worst political crisis since at least May 68. For six months, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) have taken to the streets.