Appalshop News

Appalshop hosts "We Tell: Participatory Community Media" film festival

3 years ago

Join us at the Appalshop Theater for a free two-night festival of short films!

The WE TELL National Touring Exhibition features some of the best participatory media produced over the past 50 years, including two films by Appalshop filmmakers. Co-Curator Louis Massiah, Executive Director of Scribe Video Center, will be here for the screenings, as well as Pittsburgh area filmmaker Tony Buba.

The films are organized by theme and spaced over two days —

Friday, November 15

6:00pm - Program 1: TURF

The works in TURF explore gentrification, homelessness, and housing in urban spaces. They reveal that cities have transformed into battlegrounds between communities and those who would take land and space to expand their economic and political power. Filmmaker Tony Buba, from Braddock, PA will be present to screen Voices from a Steeltown as part of this program.

  • "Survival Information Television: Must You Pay the Rent?" 1975, 12 min, New Orleans Video Access
  • The Invisible City: Houston Housing Crisis; Part 2: Messages" 1979, 28 min, South West Alternative Media Project
  • "Voices from a Steeltown" 1983, 29 min, Tony Buba
    • Tony Buba will be present
  • "Occupy Portland Eviction Defense" 2011, 6 min, B Media Collective
  • "Why Archive?" 2012, 2 min, Activist Archivists
  • "Take Me Home" 2018, 13 min, Detroit Narrative Agency

8:30pm - Program 2: ENVIRONMENTS OF RACE & PLACE

This program expands notions of participatory community media, from discussions of police brutality in Third World Newsreel’s "Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig" to animations about toxic pollution made by the Indigenous youth media collective, Outta Your Backpack.

  • "Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig Newsreel #19" 1967, 15 min, San Francisco Newsreel
  • "Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man" 1975, 39 min, Mimi Pickering, Appalshop
    • Mimi Pickering will present
  • "Who I Became," 2003, 20 min, Vietnamese Youth Development Center
  • Legend of the Weresheep," 2007, 3 min, Outta Your Backpack Workshop with Indigenous Youth
  • Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery: TRUST Alaska," 2011, 8 min, WITNESS
  • "Digital Smoke Signals Aerial Footage From The Night of November 20, 2016 at Standing Rock," 2016, 7 min, Digital Smoke Signals

Saturday, November 16

4:00pm - Program 3: STATES OF VIOLENCE

The political environment of the American criminal justice system is complex, involving concerns about evidence, interpretation, laws, and policies that may center around a single case. States of Violence approaches this urgent topic from the perspective of those affected by domestic violence, incarceration, and policing—and by the international issues of war. 

  • "Ain't Nobody's Business," 1978, 22 min, YWCA Battered Women's Program, New Orleans Video Access Center
  • "Inside Women Inside," 1978, 21 min, Third World Newsreel
  • "Just Say No: The Gulf Crisis TV Project #55" 1990, 28 min, Deep Dish TV, Paper Tiger Television
  • "Books Through Bars," 1997, 15 min, Books Through Bars, Scribe Video Center,
  • "Military Option," 2005, 11 min, Third World Newsreel
  • "M4BL: Ceremony," 2016, 5 min, Movement for Black Lives
  • "A Cop Watcher's Story: El Grito de Sunset Park Attempts to Deter Police Brutality," 2017, 6 min, Brooklyn Information and Culture TV, Copwatch Brooklyn

7:00pm - Program 4: WAGES OF WORK

Citizens and communities approach issues surrounding job opportunities, occupations, wages, unemployment, and underemployment in different ways. They engage in union organizing. They reclaim hidden, repressed, and suppressed stories. They launch political protests. Wages of Work spotlights lives from across the United States operating under various constraints as they try to make a living.

  • "Finally Got the News," 1970, 56 min, League of Revolutionary Black Workers
  • "The United Mine Workers of America: A House Divided," 1971, 14 min, Appalshop
  • "Los Trabajadores (The Workers)," 2002, 19 min, Scribe Video Center
  • "I'm NOT on the Menu," 2018, 12 min, Labor Beat


The festival is free and open to the public for as many of the films as you're able to attend. In-depth information about each film is available here.

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