This is what democracy looks like!

a video by Oliver Ressler, 38 min., German/Engl., 2002


The video "This is what democracy looks like!" thematizes the events of 1 July 2001 which took place surrounding a demonstration against the World Economic Forum ­ a private lobbying organization of major capital ­ which was meeting in Salzburg at the time.
"At those meetings, in the absence of the public, billion dollar deals are set into motion by the self-appointed 'global leaders.' These deals bring wealth and prosperity to a few, and exploitation and poverty to many. To assure the orderly proceedings of economic globalization, the conference facilities, located in the center of Salzburg, are largely blocked off and all demonstrations are forbidden other than a rally at the square in front of the train station." (Excerpt from the introduction of the video)
This video gives insight into the course of events of the first "anti-globalization demonstration" in Austria, held subsequent to the demonstrations in Seattle, Prague, Davos, Quebec, and Gothenburg, which all received a great deal of media attention. In this demonstration in Salzburg, which was forbidden by the police, 919 demonstrators were encircled in a police blockade and detained for over seven hours.

In the video "This is what democracy looks like!" anti-capitalist demonstrators take the role of active spokespersons, contrary to dominant media representations that denigrate them as either naive or violent chaotic rowdies. Conversations about the events in Salzburg were carried out with six demonstrators. The central themes developed in the video are; the limitation of basic democratic rights ­ which is shown mainly in the ban on demonstrating and the detainment of hundreds of people in police encirclement ­ and the tension between the limited physical force of a few demonstrators and the structural and physical violence practiced by state power. Excerpts from the conversations are put together with my own video recordings and those from (video) activists in Salzburg. The camera angle corresponds with the perspective of the demonstrators, thereby placing video viewers in direct confrontation with the events.

Interviews with: Walter Baier, Tanja Jenni, Ingrid Popper, Michael Pröbsting, Daniel Sanin, Irene Zavarsky
Video material from Indymedia Austria, Filmliga Linz, offscreen ­ offenes film forum salzburg, UTV Vienna, Oliver Ressler

selected presentations:

Filmcasino, Wien, 27.01.02
"Bewegung im Kessel?", Filmnacht des Kulturreferates, Uni Wien, 31.01.02
Programmkino Moviemento, Linz, 15.02.02 und 27.06.02
"x-lands/extended", Forum Stadtpark, Graz, 01.03. ­ 04.04.02 (2-Kanal-Videoinstallation)
Diagonale ­ Festival des österreichischen Films, Graz, 19. & 22.03.02
Higher Institute of Cinema, Kairo, 02.05.02
"This is what democracy looks like!", Plattform, Berlin, 10.04. ­ 05.05.02 (2-Kanal-Videoinstallation)
Landesgalerie Oberösterreich, Linz, 23.04.02
"Exchange & Transform", Kunstverein München, 26.04. ­ 01.09.02
"Right2Fight", Sarah Lawrence College, New York, 27.04.02
Universität Salzburg, Institut für Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Salzburg, 02.05.02
"games fights videos", Galerie im Künstlerhaus Bremen, 03.05. ­ 02.06.02
"This is what democracy looks like!", Projekt Kunst + Kommunikation der Universität Leipzig, 06. ­ 11.05.02 (2-Kanal-Videoinstallation)
Hochschule für bildende Künste, Braunschweig, 22.05.02
"TM Guerrilla", Arteplage Mobile de Jura, Schweizer Expo 02, 23.05. ­ 08.06.02
Festival der Nationen, Ebensee, A, Juni 02
Résistances 2002 ­ 6e Festival international de films de Foix, F, 06.07.02
"Dark Markets", Public Netbase, Wien
Internationaler Medien\Kunst\Preis, Fernsehausstrahlungen in SWR, ARTE, SF DRS, TV Slovenija, Oktober 02 (1. Preis Sparte Video)
"Anti-corporate globalization projects", Kunst Raum Goethestraße, Linz, 27.11. ­ 10.12.02
"Contemporary film and video", Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 03, 04 & 05.12.02
Black Box, K3, Malmoe University, Malmoe, 29.11. ­ 01.12.02
Malmoe Konsthall, Malmoe, 04.12.02
Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, 12.12.02
Kino Ebensee, Ebensee, 12. ­ 13.12.02
Localbühne Freistadt, Freistadt, 13.12.02
Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, 27.12.02
Bildmuseet, Umeå (SE), 21.01.03
Norrköping Konstmuseum, Norrköping (SE), 11.02.03
"Banquete", Centre of Contemporary Art Palau de la Virreina of Barcelona;
ZKM, Karlsruhe; Conde Duque Cultural Centre, Madrid, 2003
A Space, Toronto, 01.05 ­ 07.06.03
"Attack! ­ Kunst und Krieg in den Zeiten der Medien", Kunsthalle Wien, Wien
Die Normale ­ Festival des sozialpolitischen Films, Austrian Social Forum, Hallein (A), 26. ­ 31.05.03