The Crandell Theatre hosted a virtual community event, “Making History – Marking the 50th Anniversary of the 1971 May Day Protests as Recorded by Videofreex, ‘Mayday 1971 Raw’” on Saturday, May 1. Over 40 participants enjoyed the lively and engaging panel discussion via Zoom. The event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1971 May Day peace protests that made history, with record-setting civil disobedience arrests and leading to the end of the Vietnam War. The event featured access to a 66-minute, 21st century edit of the original video compilation by pioneering collective Videofreex, from the historic 1971 May Day protest. Participants were invited to watch in advance of the event, and then tune in to the fascinating panel discussion that followed. The discussion focused on Mayday 1971 Raw, local community members who were present in Washington D.C. that day, and the lasting impact of political activism and social change as it relates to political and cultural issues of today.
Academy Award winning filmmaker Deborah Shaffer led the discussion. Panelists included Parry Teasdale, editor and publisher of The Columbia Paper, Carol Vontobel, Videofreex member, Skip Blumberg, producer, filmmaker, camera journalist, and artist, and Laurence Kardish, FilmColumbia co-artistic director and former senior film curator at MoMA. Blumberg, Teasdale, and Vontobel were all members of the pioneering video collective Videofreex. The event brought a great sense of camaraderie and passion to all who attended.