From Third Cinema to Media Justice

Look into My Eyes - Gwen Araujo

The Third World Majority project puts pressure on the decolonial praxis of Third Cinema on three levels, as I have described: organizational structure, distribution medium and the meaning of decolonization. Getino and Solanas envision Third Cinema as decolonial in a fundamentally modernist sense, as a weapon in a struggle organized by binaries: the "public" against the "System", of the "rulers" versus the "nation" and colonized countries versus the United States. In contrast, the Third World Majority is part of a network, a movement of media justice organizations working against the violent effects of neocolonialism in many communities, at many scales, from borders and wars to police violence to individual acts of murder. This change in organizational strategy reflects the decentralization that one can see from the decentralized power of transnational corporations to the ways that migration allows people from the global south to live in many countries around the world.

Third Cinema relies on cinema, a medium which is most often a centralizing medium, a one to many medium. In many cases, cinema is used to literally make many people see the vision of a single auteur director. As a medium, cinema often is used in the interest of a revolutionary nationalism, asking for unity and compliance from a mass audience. In contrast, the Third World Majority uses digital media networks to distribute their films, allowing the many participants in their workshops to create many different visions that the user can select from in the Archive section of this Scalar book. 

Lastly, the content of the Third World Majority's work extends Third Cinema by sharing a vision of decolonization that is concerned not only with the defeat of nation states and financial systems, but also with the everyday suffering and joy experienced by people with histories of colonial violence. In these ways, the Third World Majority offers an example of decolonial media praxis that emerges in the form of a network. 

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