From the Cutting Room Floor

From the Cutting Room Floor

Archival Media Makes Great History

From the Cutting Room Floor

Skidmore College and Media Burn Archive collaborate to tell history from the cutting room flor, drawing stories and inspiration from the footage made by media makers to revisit the pats in the present.

In spring 2018, nine students of public history worked with interviews made by filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller for their 2004 feature-length documentary, Howard Zinn : You Can’t Be Neutral On a Moving Train, about the US historian, activist, and writer.  Each student transcribed an interview and drew inspiration for short videos from activists who grew into a poet (Alice Walker), historian (Marilyn Young), lawyers (Oscar Chase, Cleveland Sellers, Jr.), political scientist (Frances Fox Piven), (Staughton Lynd, Thomas Hayden, Daniel Ellsberg).  Skidmore’s Documentary Studies Collaborative provided technical and visual storytelling support. Follow the links to hear their stories.

Zinn’s most well known book, A People’s History of the United States (1982), is still a touchstone for those seeking to reclaim the past for those whose voices and







perspectives have often been silenced in traditional history  (as seen recently as the only book in the hands of two independent characters in the 2017 film Ladybird).

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