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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I AM SOMEBODY featured in Signs Journal 

The Winter 2013 issue of SIGNS: JOURNAL OF WOMEN IN CULTURE AND SOCIETY features an in-depth analysis of Madeline Anderson's I AM SOMEBODY by Shilyh Warren, a professor of aesthetic and film studies at the University of Texas, Dallas. 

I AM SOMEBODY depicts a 1969 strike by the Hospital Workers Union Local 1199 in Charleston, South Carolina, almost of all of whose members were black women.

"As the first contemporary documentary made by, for, and about black women workers, I AM SOMEBODY offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the intersections between feminism, union activism, and the civil rights movement in the late sixties," Warren begins before detailing a history of the film's reception in the context of other feminist works of direct cinema, and performing a scene-by-scene "surface reading" of the film.Warren argues that "[Anderson's] intervention occurs at the level of surface representation, where the technologies of cinema make possible the public, visual emergence of a new political subject."

"I AM SOMEBODY," Warren concludes, "speaks to the racialized, gendered politics of labor organizing in the late sixties...Rather than argue that the film be relocated with the canons of black cinema, union films, or civil rights documentaries, I suggest we mine the possibilities of the incorporation of I AM SOMEBODY into the category of feminist documentary films of the seventies."

The article can be read on JSTOR, here. You can read Madeline Anderson's artist statement on the Signs website, here.

You can order, and find more information on, I AM SOMEBODY here

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