Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance

A videotape by Marcelo Expósito and Nuria Vila

39 minutes, 2007. Filmed in London, Brighton, and Prague.

Produced with the help of Centre Culturel Suisse de París (for the exhibition L’Europe en devenir, 2007), and the exhibition Have the Cake and Eat it too. Institutionskritik als Instituierende Praxis (transform and Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2008).

Complete film credits.

In September 2000, several thousands of people gathered in Prague to counter the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund: Seattle’s long tail reached the heart of Europe and succeeded in interrupting the world’s leaders encounter, taking the counter-summits cycle of the so-called anti-globalization movement to one of its landmarks.

Our former video Radical Imagination (Carnivals of Resistance) (2004) portrayed the Carnival Against Capital, the historical global action day, which reclaimed and paralyzed The City, London’s financial district, and whose carnivalesque modes of protest pre-figured some key global movement’s latter forms of street action. Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance literally narrates the journey across Europe of “tactical frivolity” mode of protest, which turned into the “pink line”, one of the three main (front) lines in Prague, which successfully broke the police cordon made to protect the international congress centre.

Tactical frivolity sought to undo classical anarchists vs. police, one-to-one confrontational tactics, by multiplying frontlines and making an extremely ironic use of femininity and kitschy representations of the body in direct action. Music and dance provided this radical redefinition of street protest not only with a powerful tool to practically dissolve or détour police violence, but also with the strongest possible image (and soundtrack) to realize how street demonstrations can become the unleashing of body’s desires in the moment of protest itself. Rhythms of Resistance, the Samba-band formed in Prague, which continues expanding today its singular confluence of music and politics, is also portrayed in this tape.

Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance is somehow a video about a particular moment of joy and expectations of the global movement. It also raises tacit questions about its continuities and how things have changed (or not) since then.


Distribution and online viewing: Hamaca Media and Video Art.

Free download for private and non-commercial public uses.

See also about this video: Oliver Ressler, “Tactical Frivolity + Rhythms of Resistance“.

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