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Essay Film Festival: Where Were You In 1992?

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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Where Were You In 1992? is a multi-platform project by Amanda Egbe and Rastko Novakovic. Its focus are progressive popular movements from the early 1990s. By asking questions like: “Where were you in ‘92? What political actions or groups were you involved in? What were your modes of activism? What technologies were you using?”, Egbe and Novakovic have formed an archive of activist videos, TV broadcasts, diary notes, pamphlets, photographs, minutes, interviews. The archive is utilised to present these materials in different ways: as video panels, short films, essays/ presentations/ discussions, timelines and visual essays.

By using different montage techniques and methods of analysis, they bring the long duration of historical phenomena and social movements to bear on the present. As we mark 30 years since 1992, our daily lives are again overshadowed by war, ethno-nationalism, violent and institutional racisms and vast clouds of state and corporate propaganda.

This event will feature a presentation of the archive materials collected, as well as a screening of 3 essay films and the presentation of a brand new visual essay. Several short discussions will take place throughout the evening and each audience member will receive a copy of the visual essay Defence Guards.

The films featured are Rumours of War (2018, 14 min) which brings together the anti-fascist struggles in the UK and the struggles against ethno-nationalism in the break-up of Yugoslavia; Surveillance | Monitoring (2019, 9 min) which investigates the surveillance of English fascists and the monitoring of fascist attacks side-by-side; and Svetozar in Spring (2019, 9 min) an essay on the popular occupation of the Bosnian parliament in 1992, together with the Bosnian Spring uprisings of 2014. The printed visual essay Defence Guards is based on the community self-defence guards organised on various housing estates in London and across the UK in the early 1990s. It contends with the legitimacy of physical defence and the invisibility of Blacks and Asians from the representations of these struggles.




Amanda Egbe is an artist, filmmaker and researcher working with the moving image and has exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a Senior Lecturer in Media Production at the University of Bedfordshire and course leads the MA in Creative Digital Film Production. Her practice is concerned with archives, new technologies and activism. 

Rastko Novakovic is a filmmaker and writer. His work is collaborative and explores the recurrent themes of memory, landscape, the poetics of everyday life, social justice. 

Together, since 2001, they have created short and feature films, participatory videos, web-based projects, expanded cinema, written essays and constructed a site-specific panorama. 


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