Artists' Television Access

Living Room:

Space and Place in Infoshop Culture

Friday, March 3, 2006, 8:00 pm, $5

Living Room - Space and Place in Infoshop Culture

We live in a society where public places that people feel like they are an active part of and can use for non-economic purposes are increasingly rare. Public spaces where people can go in order to feel like a part of a community and to participate in creating a transformational culture of resistance to the dominant society are even more rare. One exception to this general scarcity of alternative public spaces is the emergence of Info-shops in urban centers across the United States – and indeed around the world. Info-shops are community spaces that facilitate access to traditionally marginalized information while providing a physical space for people to build creative projects of resistance to current forms of destruction and domination.

The documentary, Living Room: Space and Place in Infoshop Culture, is about infoshops around the country, and the relevance of space and place in the facilitation of activist movements for change.  The film documents infoshops as one exception to the general scarcity of open-access, not-for-profit public spaces in the contemporary United States.

The film focuses on six infoshops: the Lucy Parsons Center in Boston, Breakdown Book Collective & Community Center in Denver, Jane Doe Books in Brooklyn (RIP), the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley, The Back to Back Worker-run Cafe in Portland, OR, and the Wooden Shoe in Philadelphia. The filmmakers approach the film from a point of view interested in interrogating the importance of place and space in relation to 1.) the daily lives of people in urban areas 2.) the creation of activist movements for social change 3.) the decline of open/free public, non-commercialized space 4.) ways that privilege and oppression are manifest physically in space 5.) ways in which people participate in place-making exercises and/or resist feelings of placelessness.

The film was created over a two-month long period of interviews and 6 months of editing. The filmmakers, Liz Simmons and Courtney Kallas, made the documentary as their final research project at the University of Colorado, Denver, where they both graduated in May 2005 with BAs in anthropology.

Simmons and Kallas will embark on a 50 city, 3-month long documentary tour of the U.S. and Canada beginning in mid-February. They will be screening their documentary and hosting discussions at venues as diverse as the infoshops they feature in the film, to college campuses and independent theaters.

For a tour schedule, visit their website:

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