Cinema Politica (CP) was founded as a media arts non-profit in 2003 by me and Svetla Turnin. It is now the world’s largest grassroots documentary screening network, with around 100 sites across Canada and throughout the world. I serve as the Director of Programming, working with a team of programmers to select dozens of independent political films that screen across our network each year. CP’s main activities revolve around alternative exhibition, impact distribution and more recently Video-On-Demand (VOD) distribution.
Wal-Town was a project conjured to serve two purposes: for me to get home to BC from Montreal in the summer of 2004 and to explore the impact of Walmart stores on communities across Canada. With my good friend Sergeo Kirby, we pitched the idea as a documentary and the National Film Board of Canada soon came on board. Myself and four other activist friends set out for the road trip and the result was a multi-year project that yielded a 2006 documentary film, a now-defunct website, several political actions and speaking events, and research that contributed to the Norwegian Government’s divestment from the Arkansas-based company. Oh, and a slew of amazing photographs, taken by the mulit-talented Jason Gondziola (who took the above photo), also resulted from this odyssey. And on a last side-note about the ironies of corporate capitalism, you can actually buy the film at Walmart. There you have it.
Rob Maguire and I co-founded Art Threat, a political art and culture blog, back in 2009. Rob ran the show as editor and I was one of a few regular contributing editors and bloggers. While it hat its moment in the sun as the number one political art blog to come up in search engines, it is now ready for retirement. Some good things do come to an end.