Collection Spotlight: London Community Video Archive

Bridgeman is proud to announce an exciting new collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London. Founded in 1891, Goldsmiths, University of London is a civic university with a long history of engagement with communities in south east London around its New Cross campus. It is world-renowned for its creative and critical education and its graduates include award-winning filmmakers, authors and artists.
We are thrilled to be working alongside this esteemed organisation, and look forward to expanding the relationship in many ways over the coming months. The first collection we are bringing to the Bridgeman archive is the London Community Video Archive (LCVA).  

Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, the LCVA launched in 2017 with the aim of preserving, archiving and sharing community videos made in the 1970s/80s in London and the South East. In the early 1970s new portable video recording enabled individuals and communities - including those often ignored or under-represented in the mainstream media – to make their own television.
LCVA / Bridgeman Images

The medium was taken up by people ignored or under-represented in the mainstream media – tenants on housing estates, community action groups, women, black and minority ethnic groups, youth, gay and lesbian people, and the disabled. With an overriding commitment to social empowerment and to combating exclusion, 'Community Video' dealt with issues which still have a contemporary resonance — housing, play-space, discrimination, youth arts.

This rich heritage was under threat of disappearing, both because of the physical decay and disintegration of half-inch reel-to reel-tape, and the ageing memories of the original ‘Community Video’ practitioners. LCVA is a project within the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and was created by two of these video activists: Tony Dowmunt and Andy Porter.
A Place of My Own, or Young People, Housing
and Homelessness (Parts 1 & 2), 1985 / LCVA

Bridgeman has brought a first batch of the LCVA collection to its platform and looks forward to sharing this with clients over the coming years. We will be adding more videos in 2021. Please do contact us for more information on licensing and research. You can access the collection here.

Some highlights include:

August 13: What Happened?, 1977 / LCVA

August 13: What Happened 
The film depicts the infamous events of 13 August 1977, when a National Front march through South East London led to clashes with anti-fascist groups, and later between demonstrators and the police. 

Being White, 1987 / LCVA

Being White
Being White gathers various white people to discuss issues related to skin colour and the injustice of white privileges, as well as the prejudice towards ethnic minorities, especially black people.

Us Girls, 1979 / LCVA

Us Girls
“We’re living in a man-made world — just ain’t no place for a girl,” lines from the song which opens this lively tape about five working-class girls from South London.

Further, in 2021 we are also looking to develop the relationship further by connecting materials from other Goldsmiths collections, including  stills, visual art, and photography holdings, to the Bridgeman Archive.

Professor Tony Dowmunt of Goldsmiths, University of London and LCVA said: “We were able to set up LCVA in 2016 with generous support from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, but now we run the project on an entirely unfunded and voluntary basis. So, we are delighted to partner with Bridgeman Images, who will act as our distributor for selected material from the archive with commercial potential."

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