Videograms of a Revolution

15 July 2003

Videograms of a Revolution | Part of the Images Festival 2003, Toronto

Don’t ever take voting for granted, since these people had to take over their TV station to get that right. The North American self-absorption (which is even reflected in the fact that most people don’t consider Mexico a part of NA) means that many will never see this great compilation by Harun Farocki. The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 was a TV revolution – the people established their base in the TV station, took over the airwaves, and broadcast their proclamations and revolutionary announcements. While watching it I could almost imagine that the year was 2189, and that I was in some History class – since once something’s on video, framed by the edges of the monitor, it is as visually timeless as any painting that has been gathering dust for a few hundred years. As fascinated as I am with the French Revolution of 1789, which also resulted in the execution of a king, I was also fascinated to see a similar uprising and the applause of ordinary people as images of the dead Ceaucescus was broadcast on the evening news. “Imagine, all these years we were afraid of an idiot,” a woman says as she drives in her car, surrounded by people galvanized in the streets. That line and the film in general are a reminder that we quite often chose our misery through lack of political conviction and action.

Broken Pencil

  1. Published in Broken Pencil xxxxx
  2. 2005-2015 Archived on my websites & blog
  3. May 2023: this version produced