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The Archive Is Political

I always look for the joke

Ed Webb-Ingall, The Archive Is Political, 2019

In Autumn 2018, artist and filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall brought together the Local History Group from the Southwark Pensioners Centre and the South London Gallery’s Art Assassins to respond to the provocation: ‘what was your first political act?’

Using Carry Gorney’s 1977 film Sweet 16 as inspiration, the two groups will interrogate this question together and develop a new short film to be screened in the Fire Station Archive exploring the value of intergenerational exchange and the weight of our political actions over time.

Over a series of workshops, the groups will watch and discuss Gorney’s film, reflect on changing personal and political landscapes over the last 40 years, and share their own recollections and memories for the SLG Archive.

The Archive Is Political was commissioned through the South London Gallery’s critical heritage programme, Evidence of Us.


Ed Webb-Ingall is a writer and filmmaker. Ed recently completed a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway University, where he carried out the first in-depth study of the history and practice of community video in the UK. Ed currently runs the public programme for the London Community Video Archive, at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Ed’s research and film practice have resulted in opportunities to present, exhibit and publish his work nationally and internationally.

Carry Gorney is an artist, writer and psychotherapist currently living between London and Eastern France. She has worked in community arts and video since 1968. Among her many initiatives she developed the use of video for community participation.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund