On Monday 5th December we screen Generation Revolution - the powerful story of a new generation of activists of colour leading grass roots movements today. We speak to Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless Co-Directors of the film and historian and writer Edson Burton our collaborator on the event.
Please can you tell us a little bit about Generation Revolution and your involvement in the project?
EB: Generation Revolution is a documentary film which charts the formation, and struggles of two different Black activist organisations in London. I am a member of film programming collective Come the Revolution who are working with Arnolfini to exhibit the film in Bristol. CTR's key objectives are to diversify cinema audiences, support Black film, and develop talent.
UY: Generation Revolution is a feature-length documentary about the new generation of black and brown activists striving to change the political and social landscape in this country. The film was over two years in the making and follows not just a number of exciting new organisations but also gives an insight into the lives of the people that are part of them.
Why is this project personally important to you?
EB: As a writer, historian and someone who has been actively involved in Bristol's resistance cultures including the recent Black Lives Matter Campaign, I feel that Generation Revolution is an overdue recognition of a generational shift among Black activists. At the same time it is hugely educative as to how activism can be derailed. Given recent events it is an urgent documentary we need to be able to acknowledge and as much as possible pre-empt the things that can derail activist circles, whether it's ego clashes, or ideological differences.
What drew you to the story of Black activists?
UY: Our motivation for this project was to amplify the voices of our peers. It was so important for us to be making a film about black and brown people because our narratives are left at the mercy of white media agents (filmmakers, writers, broadcasters) who look for the exotic and sensational over reality and substance. As black and brown filmmakers, our personal experiences were crucial in shaping the film and the stories that it contains. We want to offer a nuanced view of the people who are helping to bring social change in our communities. We want Generation Revolution to be part of a long tradition of decolonial film making
What will the Q&A consist of at the event?
EB: Generation Revolution directors Usayd & Cassie Quarless will join a panel of Bristol activists to give audience members a chance to discuss the documentary and wider questions of activism.
What do you hope the film will achieve?
UY: The film explores important questions for activists and non-activists alike. We feel that it is a provoking piece that sparks important conversations around how to enact effective change. We aren’t proposing that the film has the answers, rather it reflects on the journeys of two activist groups and allows the audience to make up their own minds about the outcome and the best ways to organise. Ultimately we want the film to inspire people to action!
How can other people become involved?
EB: First of all we need people to get involved by coming to the event and secondly by using every means at your disposal to promote the film - word of mouth, twitter, & facebook. Furthermore, why not find out about a local group or cause near you to be involved in?
What is your next project?
We can't say too much about the next project just yet, only to tell you that we are working on something very exciting that will again centre the voices of black and brown people! Keep a look out.
Generation Revolution follows an exciting new breed of organisations - London Black Revs, the R Movement - with contrasting means of protest. The film vividly chronicles the evolution of our characters as they experience personal and political awakenings, breakthroughs and, at times, disillusionment. Generation Revolution offers a unique and original glimpse into Black activism today. Set in London, the issues and difficulties the activists face have particular relevance to Bristol which earlier this year staged a dramatic Black Lives Matter march in solidarity with protestors in the USA.
- The screening on Monday 5th December 18:45 will be followed by a Q & A with the film makers and Bristol activists.
- Free entry for students.
- Under 18's and students must book in person or by calling 0117 917 2300.