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“Do not ask who we are but how we act“ – Conceptualising collectivity with les Groupes Medvedkine, Scuola senza fine and Precarias a la deriva

Project leader:
Jul Tirler

Funded by:
Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) | DOC

Jul Tirler, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Duration: 1.7.2019 – 30.6.2022

The dissertation examines notions of collectivity based on three cinematic-political practices: In 1967 filmmakers based in Paris and striking factory workers based in Besançon met and found Les Groupes Medvedkine , the Medwedkin Groups. They collectively produced films until 1972, which addressed the factory workers' working and living conditions and their political and cultural claims.

Between 1979 and 1983 Adriana Monti produced the film Scuola senza fine (School without end) in a collaborative process with unemployed women. The women were acquiring school-leaving qualifications through classes that were implemented by Italian unions. After graduation they did not want to leave the classes and continued with them in a self-organised way. In 2002 the feminist collective Precarias a la deriva organised weekly strolls ( derivas ) through the city of Madrid during which a changing group of women came together to walk to the places that are important in their precarious working and living conditions. The experiences that are exchanged during the derivas are dealt with in a collectively produced video from 2003: A la deriva por los circuitos de la precariedad femenina (Adrift through the circuits of feminized precarious work).

The research approach is based on intersectional feminist theories of collectivity and collective forms of action. The thesis explores the conditions under which collectivity can come into being and examines notions of collectivity and collective forms of action based on the cinematic-political practices the three collectives develop. The research project thereby analyses the construction principles of collectivity as well as questions of positioning, privilege, power relations and representation in collective practices.

Mag.* Jul Tirler, M.A., cultural studies scholar and author. Studied art history, romanic studies as well as art and cultural studies in Innsbruck, Vienna and Siena. Researches theoretically and practically concerning precarious work, labor struggles, intersectional feminisms, critique of representation and collective practices between Vienna, Paris and Madrid. Lives and works in Vienna. Contact: