In the first years of this decade, the streets of major cities around the world were suddenly filled with thousands of people demanding change to the status quo. From Occupy Wall Street, to Tahrir and Taqsim Squares – these massive movements captured the international consciousness.
But with the fascination came questions: What do the protestors want? How do they intend to make it happen? Is there an ideology behind these insurrections, and what is their vision for a new world? And from supporters and participants: What are our demands, how can they be realized, and how can this movement enact the change we want to see?
Unexamined thus far in a visual medium, are the ideas and the philosophies behind these insurrections. Thinkers from Karl Marx to Alain Badiou have put their life’s work into understanding the unmet desires behind popular movements: why do they succeed or fail, and what happens in the aftermath – especially, can true social change be achieved by taking to the streets?
Insurrections intends to unpack the current of thought underlying and coming out of these movements and put that thought into dialogue with some of the world’s leading philosophers today. By bringing a philosophical perspective into conversation with the new thought and activism that is being forged in the crucibles of modern uprisings – Insurrections will captivate a wide audience of activists, thinkers, and people the world over interested in radical politics and social change.
Inspired by the Columbia University Book series of the same name, Insurrections will engage the thinkers and philosophers who have developed theories of the protest and the riot, and who can shed insight into these massive popular movements such as Alain Badiou (confirmed), Jodi Dean (confirmed), Bruno Bosteels (confirmed) and others along with the voices, leaders, and the agitators of different insurrections in Egypt, Istanbul, and Greece.
Drawing also on the extensive self-documentation of the recent popular movements, the film will document the places and moments where the people in the street drew on and added to the philosophy of uprising – through video coverage and through interviews with movers of the movements.
There is a major gap in the popular understanding around the global protests that the Insurrections film intends to expose: what is the relation between the different protests? Is there a common cause across the insurrections that bring people into the streets to demand change? What are the political consequences of the insurrections, and what have they achieved, and what could they still achieve?