Culture, Globe, Screen, United Kingdom

Women and struggle, a revolutionary match

Breaking with the patriarchal perspective, a film festival on insurgency that will see women as the protagonists will take place on 23 September in London.


Marcella Via


One of the main collateral damages of neoliberalism is the veneration of the individual. Neoliberalism tells people that anyone, but not everyone, can achieve great results. This is how we create icons and revolutions usually become associated with a few main characters.

At the same time, because of the dominance of the patriarchal system of oppression, women often play cameo roles in ancient and modern stories of social uprisings. For example, while Ernesto Guevara’s face became a symbol of rebellion, inspiring women of the Cuban Revolution such as Celia Sánchez are usually left aside by popular culture.

For this reason, the South London Revolutionary Communist Group has organised the “Revolutionary women film festival”. Through the screening of films and short clips, the festival is aiming to highlight the role played by radical women in carrying on the struggle throughout history and the world.

There are a number of reasons why they decided to hold this all-day film festival.

Firstly, as it is a fundraiser, they will be using the money raised from it to fund their local political activities, which includes fighting for social housing and against its demolition, holding solidarity events for Cuba and protesting outside companies that sponsor or help fund Israel, in Peckham, Elephant and Castle and Catford. Secondly, they believe that the film festival is a good way to get people interested in their politics in a fun and enjoyable way, and to inspire people to want to get more involved in political action.

Lastly, the event is also a way to meet local people who are interested in revolutionary politics.

The screenings include the story of women such as Angela Davis, who organised the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and speaks out against the US prison system; and Sylvia Pankhurst, the communist and suffragette who organised with working class women to build an anti-imperialist movement in London during the First World War.

There will also be a screening about the founders of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and one on Leila Khaled, who was member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and fought to reclaim Palestinian land. Also, there will be a screening of the film “Frida”, about the life of the Mexican revolutionary artist Frida Kahlo, who explored themes such as gender, race, class and postcolonialism in her work.

Additionally, there will be a focus on the E15 campaign, composed by a group of mothers at risk of eviction who organised against their local Council in east London and went on to lead a successful campaign for more social housing and against social cleansing.

The films the organizers will be showing are “Maquilapolis: city of factories” (1p m), “Street transvestite action revolutionaries” (2.45 pm), “Maestra” (3.45 pm), “Free Angela Davis and all political prisoners!” (4.45 pm) and “Frida” (7 pm)In between films we will be showing clips of the FOCUSE15 campaign, Sylvia Pankhurst and Leila Khaled.

The group often do film showings and film festivals in the local area and they have chosen to do this one about revolutionary women because one of their many struggles is fighting the oppression of women, and all of the women in the films have resisted and challenged capitalism, and they think they are inspirational.

The “Revolutionary women film festival” will take place on Sunday, 23 September at The Montpelier, 43 Choumert Road, SE15 4AR from 13:00 to 22:30. For entrance, a donation between £5 and £10 is required.

For further information, please visit the Facebook event.


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