Cinefilm Footage of the 2003 anti-war protests

I have just uploaded some digitised super 8mm cinefilm footage I took in 2003, of the anti-war demonstrations in London.

I sent the original reels to the producers of the We Are Many documentary. They have crowd-sourced footage of the biggest mobilisation of people in history. Sadly, my footage did not make it into the final cut (too much panning, maybe!?) but they provided me with the digitised footage anyway. I am making it available online under a Creative Commons Licence.

Watching the footage a decade after I took it, I am amused by how the vintage cinefilm adds an extra sheen of history to the images. Its also serendipitous that I received this footage back just as Instagram launched its video service. The quick cuts and grainy film in my clips are mirrored in the new content being produced today by social media enthusiasts. I was using Instagram Video before it was cool!

I am also reminded of these wonderful lines from Karo Kilfeather in her essay ‘The Art of Narcissism‘:

The impulse to create art is as powerful as any other thing that drives us because art connects us to experiences and to one another. Good is besides the point when the need behind it is to create something honest and true to the way we see the world. It’s not about realism. The vintage-tinted Instagram filters are derided for adding a nostalgic cast to the mundane, but what they do is allow users to share their world in the same emotional shades they see. The photo becomes not just a document of a moment, but a story told from a point of view.

This speaks to why I chose to document the protest with Super 8mm cine-film in the first place. The political mobilisation of early 2003 felt historic, and I wanted to convey that in my personal record of the day.

Hooray! Its the retro packaging aesthetic round-up!

Following the stratospherically popular “Its the faded parchment screen print agitprop aesthetic YouTube round-up“, I now present images of a couple of packages that are currently sitting my kitchen work surface.  In both cases, the aesthetic is characterised by bold primary colours and muddle of typefaces.  Its reminiscent of early mass produced packages, the sort of thing you might find in a corner shop or rural out-post.  Its a reaction, I think, against the idea of companies as ‘brands’ that diversify into all manner of products.  This aesthetic hints that there’s a good old traditional supply chain here, with a farm and a factory, that is bringing tangible produce to your local independent grocer’s store.  Quite misleading, of course, but also delightful.

Quaker JUMBO oats make a lovely porridge
Quaker JUMBO oats make a lovely porridge

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