By my old friend, Marie Trigona
Grupo Alavío would like to send a special holiday greeting and give a special fund raising appeal. Keep the group’s video production and website Ágora TV up and running by purchasing a DVD. We are completely viewer-funded and volunteer based: your contributions help us to produce ground breaking videos from the Third World. Ágora TV provides a radical space for cutting edge video activists all over Latin America.
Ágora TV is a community television production collective that currently broadcasts over the internet. The project reaches a global audience of grassroots activists and citizens tired of status quo media. We work on issues including Argentina’s recovered factory movement, labor conflicts, social movements, indigenous struggles, and gender equality.The Buenos Aires-based video collective Grupo Alavío built the website (www.agoratv.org) in 2006 as an organizing tool and alternative media space for groups that wouldnot otherwise have access to the airwaves.
For more than 15 years, Grupo Alavío has participated in working-class struggles and dedicated efforts to supporting them with social and political documentaries. Making technologies and skills accessible and available to exploited sectors by democratizing audio visual production is a priority of Grupo Alavío. Through Ágora TV, Grupo Alavíois radically changing how media is created, managed, and distributed.
All films have English subtitles and are in U.S. DVD format.
Cost: $15 plus shipping for individuals, $30 plus shipping for universities
Contact: Marie Trigona
FILMS available for purchase:
1. Chilavert Recovered, 38 minutes, 2004 Newly released with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Chilavert is a leading member of the ‘recovered factories’ movement which developed during the collapse in 2001 when many factories in Argentina were taken over by the workers. As the owner of a printing plant began to shut it down and turn it over to his creditors, the workers seized control and formed the Chilavert Cooperative. The documentary gives a realistic overview of the recuperation movement and workers’ self-management.
2. Obreras en lucha (The struggle of Brukman workers). Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
This documentary tells the story of the ‘recuperation’ of Brukman textile factory in Buenos Aires by its workers, after its owners decided to close it down in December 2001. Workers (most of them women) decided to occupy the plant on December 18, 2001to protest their reducing and delayed salaries. Only two days after, the economic and political crisis exploded in Argentina.This documentary contains impressive images of the expulsion of the workers from the factory by the police in 2003, the massive popular protests which followed and the brutal repression with which Duhalde’s government replied. It contains as well interviews with workers and images from the assemblies at the factory.
3. Hotel BAUEN: Workers’ Cooperative
20min, 2004 Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
The Hotel BAUEN was an emblematic symbol of neoliberalism in Argentina.The hotel was constructed in 1978, in the glory of the military dictatorship, with government loans and subsidies. In the height of Argentina’seconomic meltdown, the owners ransacked the hotel and closed the hotel’s doors,leaving the workers in the streets. In March 21, 2003 the workers decided to occupy the hotel. The workers cleaned up the hotel and slowly began to rent out services. With over 150 workers employed at the hotel, BAUEN hotel has become a symbol for the working class.
4. Zanon (Constructing resistance)
18min, 2003, Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Argentina’s Patagonian province of Neuquén, is home of the Zanon ceramics factory. In 2001Zanon’s owner fired the workers and abandoned the factory for greener pastures. After resisting outside the plant, the group of workers decide collectively to recuperate and put the plant to produce. Since 2001, the workers at Zanon have occupied and managed the plant, which is Latin America’s largest ceramics factory. In the film, Zanon ceramists narrate their day-to-day work, struggles and hopes to continue production under worker control.
5. La Foresta belongs to the workers
52min, 2005 Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
The film tells the story of a group of workers who are fighting to recuperate La Foresta meatpacking plant in La Matanza, on the outskirtsof Buenos Aires city. Most of the factory’s employees have worked their for decades, through the good times and bad times. In 1999, the plant went bust, a series of businessmen rented the facilities, making quick profits and then abandoning the factory for greener pastures. Grupo Alavío’s film follows the 70 workers who’ve put up a legal fight to keep their factory and start up production without a boss or owner,under worker-self management.
6. Music in Solidarity with Zanon
90min, 2005 Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
This film was produced as part of a video work shop for the workers. Music in solidarity with Zanon: musicians León Gieco, Rally Barrionuevo, Ciro (Ataque 77) and other artists performed a concert in December, 2004. The workers organized the super event, with more than 10,000 supporters from the community of Neuquén.
7. Argentina: 30 years after the military dictatorship (compilation of short films)
Letter to the Military Junta, 6min, 1996
Rodolfo Walsh wrote the “Open Letter to the Military Junta”on the first anniversary of the military coup in 1977 reporting the tortures, mass killings, and thousands of disappearances. The political writer was disappeared just one day after the letter was distributed. This 6 minute video essay reconstructs Walsh’s powerful report, imagery from the bloody dictatorship and the writer’s disappearance.
Escrache a Videla, 12min, 2006
Events to mark the 30 years since Argentina’s military junta kicked off with anescrache or “exposure” protest against the coup’s first dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla. Over 10,000 people participated in the protest in front of Videla’s home, where he is under house arrest in connection with numerous charges of human rights abuse. Human rights group H.I.J.O.S.brought a crane and gave the ending remarks directly in front of Videla’s fifth floor apartment.
Memories of Struggle and Resistance: RioSantiago Ship Yard, 10min, 2006
The dictatorship attempted wiped out an entire generation of working-class resistance, which the nation decades later is still recovering.This year for the first time, over 1,500 workers from the Rio Santiago ShipYard in Buenos Aires commemorated the ship yard’s 48 disappeared.
45min, 2005, Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Compañeras cbrings together four working women who give testimony of their lives and daily struggles. MAGDALENA,works on a small farm in the province of San Juan. KARINA is a train conductor. REGINA lives in Villa Fiorito, she collects cardboard from the streets, classifies and then sells it. NINA is a militant from the 70’s, during which she exiled from Argentinato Nicaragua and participated in the Sandanista revolution. Stories that mix with other history, women who revidicate their identity as workers, but without easing to be mothers, without giving up the struggle, continuing to be compañeras.
9. The Face of Dignity, Memories of MTD Solano
58 minutes, 2002, Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
In the shambles of an economically ruined Argentina,a new practice of protest emerged, blockading roads. Since 1997, what is now known as the unemployed workers movement has taken root. Without access to the factory and utility of tools for liberation—strike,sabotage, and occupying the factory, unemployed workers sought out new practices for struggle. Unemployed confronted globalization by fighting for jobs. One of the most important experiences that emerged in these years was Unemployed WorkersMovement-MTD (Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados) in Solano (inside Quilmes, a city in the province of Buenos Aires). MTD’s formation was based on the principles of horizontalism, direct democracy, autonomy from the state and power, and the integral political formation among members. Work, capacitation,democratic debate of ideas, sharing life in the struggle for work,dignity and social change are some of this memory’s content.
10. For a 6 hour workday
20min, 2004, Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Reducing the workday to six hours with a salary increase for all workers would create jobs for more than 3 million unemployed and lift many out of poverty. Subway workers who have been organizing wildcat strikes for salary increases have spearheaded Argentina’s movement for a six-hour workday. In 2003, subway workers (in all sectors from ticket office to train drivers) won a six-hour workday.Since this victory,subway workers, other labor conflicts, economists and unemployed workers organizations have formed a movement for a 6-hour workday for all workers, with increased salaries.
11. Organizing Resistance (Chronicles of Freedom, Martin, Recuperating Our Work) Spanish with ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Chronicles of Freedom (organizing resistance) , 45min, 2002
June26, 2002two activists Darío Santillán-22 and Maximiliano Kosteki-25from Argentina’s unemployed workers’ movement were killed during a road blockade of Pueyrredón Bridge in police repression. The repression was part of a known and announced government plan to control growing social protest. 33 were wounded from lead bullets, 160detained and hundreds injured from rubber bullets. Unquestionably,the deaths and repression have left an unforgettable mark on the movement—generating internal debates and self-criticisms. Chronicles of Freedom includes interviews on the right to identity, self-defense and organizing to confront state repression.
Martín, 2002, 7 minutes
Synopsis: Martín, 27 years old, Argentine, brother,compañero from the barrio Floridain Solano was killed during a fight with a neighbor. The experimental narration explore sinner-violence and questions the absurdity of the system’s violence that is imposed on us.
Recuperando Nuestro Trabajo, 2003, 18min
Argentina’s worker occupied factory movement has been an example of resistance for workers all over the world. In response to the process of deindustrialization and flexible labor markets, thousands of workers have said enough to exploitation of the working class by bosses and owners.