SourcesFrom the Latin verb agere, ‘to do, to act’, there derive the English term “agency” and the French agencement, usually translated as “assemblage” or “arrangement”. The pairing of these two concepts (agency and agencement) refers to subjects’ ability to generate critical, non-hegemonic spaces where selves can be enunciated in collective terms, challenging the dominant logics of control. New arrangements (agencements) of agency may thus challenge the dominance of fixed, homogenous normativity activating inter- and outer- related nodes/agents. The collaborative assemblages of 1970s political cinema, for instance, created a new space of agency connecting aesthetic and political practice through actions that (albeit temporarily) managed to alter the System’s regular functioning.
Genealogies of practice
- Sheffield Film Co-op (Reino Unido) 1973-1991
In the 1970s and ‘80s, film collectives flourished throughout the UK, in places such as Cardiff, Leeds, Sheffield or London. Some of them sought to document the lives of women- and more specifically working class women. Thanks to their links to community organizations and the feminist movement, groups such as the Sheffield Film Co-op were able to experiment with non-hegemonic political representation and collective or cooperative approaches to the process of film making, distribution and screening.
- La Commune 354 min. (Francia) Dir. Peter Watkins, 1999
The revolution in Paris in the springtime of 1871 has always been (and still is today) a symbol for all those committed to the struggle for social justice and collective utopian ideals of a better world. That commitment inspired this (nearly 6 hours long) film, a historical re-enactment in the style of a documentary, shot in just 13 days in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris, with a cast of mainly non-professional actors. The film tries to do justice to the story of the communards’ rebellion, one of the most important- and less well-known- uprisings in the history of the working classes.