They Used To Call it the Moon: Deep State (audio)

Publication Date 28 Jun 2014

Saturday 28 June 2014, Tyneside Cinema.

Following the screening of Deep State, Mirza and Butler were joined by Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society at the Global Urban Research Unit and is based in Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. Graham has published widely on how technology, militarism and new security politics are changing urban life. His best-known books are ‘Splintering Urbanism’ (with Simon Marvin) and ‘Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’, which traces the spread of political violence through the sites, spaces, infrastructure and symbols of the world’s rapidly expanding metropolitan areas, from the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centres of the West. His next book, due out through verso in 2015, will be about the politics of vertical geographies in cities and beyond.

The film takes its title from the Turkish term ‘Derin Devlet’, meaning ‘state within the state’. This shadowy nexus of special interests and covert relationships is the place where real power is said to reside, and where fundamental decisions are made – decisions that often run counter to the outward impression of democracy.

The influence of this deep state is glimpsed at regular points throughout the film – most clearly surfacing in its responses to popular protest, and in legislated acts of violence and containment, but also reverberating, deeper down, in a counter-language to that of popular revolt, in which a police charge, a baton attack, a pepper spray, assassinations provoke, and respond to, a raised fist, a thrown rock, a crowd surge, an occupation.

A powerful undertow in the ongoing tide of history, this push and pull of competing forces is illuminated in a vivid montage of newly filmed and archive footage. Collided together, past, present and future trace a continuum, in which patterns start to recur. A ‘riotonaut’ time-travels through momentous demonstrations, passing through the holes punched in history by uprisings. On a moonscape, confronted with a picket that becomes a riot, an ur-dictator, personification of the Deep State, blurts stupefying, hot-air abstractions of neo-liberalism.

‘Deep State’ is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella. Funded by Arts Council England and London Councils. Courtesy of Waterside Contemporary, London and Galerie Non, Istanbul.
This event forms part of Film and Video Umbrella’s anniversary programme of screenings and special events ’25 Frames’.

Quantity 1
Speaker Stephen Graham
Format MP3
Related Artist Mirza & Butler
Month June 2014
Related Event They Used to Call it the Moon (Friday 25 April – Sunday 29 June 2014)
Language English

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