Radical film at the
dawn of a new society

Radical film
at the dawn of
a new society

Gezi Park, Tahir Square, Video Archives

Radical film
at the dawn
of a new

Gezi Park, Tahir Square, Video Archives

Özge Çelikaslan, Philip Rizk, Sebastian Lütgert
For some decades now, the documentation of social protests via video footage has become widespread. A lot of this footage never reached a broader audience. The video archives bak.ma and 858.ma are initiatives to gather activist video footage and make this accessible to the public. This is a valuable source for researchers and historians alike, but what impact do these hours of unedited material have to the social struggles themselves?


In the summer of 2016, some members of the Mosireen collective gathered after years of inactivity and opened up the mess of an archive they had mainly filmed but also gathered from others over the course of three years of the Egyptian revolution that would become 858.ma. 858 is an initiative to make public and accessible all the footage shot and collected since 2011. On its launching, the archive had 858 hours of indexed, time-stamped video material along with thousands of histories of revolt told from hundreds of perspectives. 858 is just one of the archives of the revolution. It is one collection of memories, one set of tools to be used to fight the narratives of the counter-revolution, to keep building new histories for the future.


bak.ma is a digital media archive of social movements, which appeared following the massive urban protests in 2013 known as Gezi Park Resistance. By collectivizing knowledge and memory and operating as a space of empowerment bak.ma radicalizes the politics of the archive and indicates possibilities for creating a living memory of the social movements.bak.ma consists voluminous video collections beginning from the 1960s until today covering political incidents and movements in Turkey’s history. As a constantly growing archive with a participatory approach, the users generate the content by bringing the video activist footage in, turning it into a collaborative archive. Starting from 2018 users from other countries started uploading their video recordings, texts, photographs, and sound recordings.


Sebastian Lüttgert engages in an exchange about lessons learned and histories to be written. He is the co-founder of Pirate Cinema Berlin.




Özge Çelikaslan is a media scholar, archivist and videographer. Her research as a media scholar focuses on the politics of image, archival networks, and digital commons. Personally and with the video collectives she has worked for a wide range of film, video, and archive projects. She is co-founder of the digital media archive of social movements.




Philip Rizk is a film-maker and artist from Cairo living in Berlin. In his films he experiments with methods of “making the habitual strange.” He did this through performance in Out on the Street (2015) and Exercises on Trials (2016) and through the technique of montage in his found footage films Mapping Lessons (2020) and The Ghosts of Tutankhamun (work in progress). In a world that is breaking down, a question that runs throughout Rizk’s projects is, how do we prepare ourselves for what is to come? Rizk is a member of the Mosireen video collective behind the archive.