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Feminist Media Part of Life_Next 40 Yrs

Feminist Media Part of Life_Next 40 Yrs

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Published by Ariel Dougherty
Rich in pictures and narrative, this document presents the early history of the germinal feminist media organization, Women Make Movies. This is the script from which Ariel Dougherty, one of the organization's co-founders, delivered a lecture at The New School, March 5, 2012. She describes the organization's dual roots in the Women's Liberation Movement and community based youth media teaching, Dougherty also argues for a re-invigorated effort to get four decades of media making by women and girls out to a larger audience. She views the past history in the context of building more dramatic works over the next four decades in order to achieve a fuller gender just media. And that such dramatic works are necessary visions for dismantling patriarchy.
Rich in pictures and narrative, this document presents the early history of the germinal feminist media organization, Women Make Movies. This is the script from which Ariel Dougherty, one of the organization's co-founders, delivered a lecture at The New School, March 5, 2012. She describes the organization's dual roots in the Women's Liberation Movement and community based youth media teaching, Dougherty also argues for a re-invigorated effort to get four decades of media making by women and girls out to a larger audience. She views the past history in the context of building more dramatic works over the next four decades in order to achieve a fuller gender just media. And that such dramatic works are necessary visions for dismantling patriarchy.

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Published by: Ariel Dougherty on May 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/01/2013

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 Ariel Dougherty,
Script 
for New School Talk, March 5, 2012
Feminist Media A Part of Life: The Next Forty Years
A Celebration of the 40
th
(43
rd
) Anniversary of Women Make Movies1Thank You: Jennifer Baumgardner, New School Gender Studies Program,Sheila Paige for focus; Jean Shaw, JudyArcuna, & Harriet Kriegel for use of their prints, and a big thanks toAlexandra Kelly for creating her YouthMedia Map and producing this event.2Last December [2011] I did a net search “FilmClub” and this photo appeared!!This is Young Filmmakers Foundation’s (YFF)after school film teaching storefront which theystarted in 1968. It was on Rivington Street.Sheila Paige taught in this spaceI taught a number of Saturday programs in thisstorefront.These experiences of ours with YFF were theeducational and aesthetic roots of Women MakeMovies (WMM).
http://urt.parsons.edu/urt/research/project/urban-media-archaeology/youth-media-map 
4The City Wide meetings of the WLM were the political rootsThese are the three Founders of WMM:Sheila PaigeAriel DoughertyDelores Bargowski5This photograph was taken in the Fall of 1969 by Rodger Larson, one of YFF Founders. I’m withJaime Barrios, another YFF founder. Lynn Hofer was the third YFF founder.Jaime and I lived together 1969 to 1975.
 
Outline for NS / WMM presentation page 2
DeeDee Halleck’s contribution to youth andindependent media is so VAST we would be hereall week discussing all she did. She organized thevery first youth media conference in 1976. Morerecently she facilitated Democracy Now’s moveinto television. She is the mother of all youth filmteaching as far as I know, having started MovieClub at the Henry Street Settlement.When we were coming up with names for WMM – I distinctly remember Sheila Paige sittingupside down in this high back chair at my loft.When we settled on W-M-M- we called DeeDee because it was borrowed from the title of her firstfilm,
Children Make Movies
(1961). DD wroteabout us calling her up some years back on adocument on the internet.7Jaime and Bob Polin, who ran Youth FilmDistribution Center, edited at the basement of YFFuptown offices on 53
rd
Street.Testing Testing How Do You Do? an early shortof Sheila Paige, Mother America and The Women’sHappy Time Commune were all edited at Film Clubon Rivington St.8 For a number of reasons this is one of myfavorite photos on the Youth Media Map!What do you all see? [It’s all girls watching!]My first position with YFF was teaching atJohn Bowne HS in Queens. I had 150 studentsover the course of a day. We worked in Super 8and regular 8, relying on home cameras of thekids.The projector automatically self threaded.But still I would almost bodily have to pick upgirls to get them to the projector to put on their films. They were so intimidated learning even themost basic technical skills.9Having women film teachers was critical to provide a role model for young girls.Valerie Petrak, on the cover of YoungAnimator’s was a student of Scott Morris’ andmine in a program for high school students that weconducted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 
Outline for NS / WMM presentation page 3
10 Apart from our teaching, Sheila and Icontinued to work on our own films. This is thecrew for my film Sweet Bananas. Cabell Smith, inthe middle, shortly after this became the firstsound woman at NBC. On the far left is MarionHunter who has become a highly respected filmeditor.A group of us under the umbrella of WMMtried during the Spring and Summer of 1971 to getthe Women’s Silver Screen Roadshow rolling.But we could never get any support.11
In 1972 Sheila and I applied to the New York StateCouncil on the Arts. That March we incorporationWMM as a 501(c) 3. We were awarded $9000 to starta workshop – specifically to give community women,everyday women the opportunity to create their ownstories on film.In large part this award came because of Sheila’sand my track record with YFF. And because I hadexperience conducting a number of start up projectsand reporting on their activities.
12
While Sheila and I scouted several differentneighborhoods in Manhattan for the workshop, weselected Chelsea—in the 1970s a very differentcommunity than it is today. It was a socio-economically diverse community. And I lived there.For a while we called the workshop ChelseaPicture Station with the hope of one day becoming ahead end community TV channel. High Hopes!! inthose first days of cable and community access
.13
We set up our workshop in a church basement, aspace we shared with AA meetings and other community groups. It was St Columba on West 25
th
Stin the middle of all the ILWGU buildings.Flyers were pasted up in supermarkets andlaundromats.And women came. We figured for about every 3who came, one stayed to actually make a film
.14
Five shorts were finished that first year. Thefilmmakers attended an international women’s filmfestival in Toronto in June 1973 and talked about themaking of their films. Sheila and I encouraged thatspeaking with the films was as important as makingthem.This image of Jean Shaw at the tripod, directingher actors in her short,
Fear 
, was published in Der Speigel. In fall 1973 I flew into Berlin with fifteenhours of US made women’s films including all theworkshop movies. The photo encapsulates the essenceof WMM. It made it into German MSM media, butnever into US MSM.

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