Undercurrents – advice from the veterans of radical video activism

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7AbVs6_fwA&w=420&h=315]

Paul O’Connor of Undercurrents gave an inspiring, enlightening and entertaining talk about the potential of radical video film-making at the Bristol Radical Film Festival 2012.

This animated film is a neat depiction of the why in all this. It’s all about trying to break up the effects of corrupted government and their collusion with corporate sponsors (If you think that’s all a bit too radical, check out today’s Observer front page).

Paul gave some great tips for activists trying to get their messages out, while also trying to earn enough to keep themselves on the streets.

“We want to create an alternative, vibrant media but also get our stuff into the mainstream,” he said.

Don’t be put off by the idea that using cheaper technology, camcorders or even smartphones, will prevent you selling your footage to fund further actions in the future.

“The whole thing about broadcast quality is bullshit really. If your images are strong and they want it, they will take it,” he said.

Other great films from the Undercurrents Youtube channel include the one below. It features the amazing story from 1996 of four women as they plan and carry out smashing a BAE war plane in the UK to stop genocide in East Timor. They were found not guilty despite rendering the aircraft useless.

“Images are a very powerful way of remembering, and building stories around,” says Paul.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs1Ah3eIo-8&w=420&h=315]