“Steal This City” Film Festival Comes to Community Gardens Sept. 9-12

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is teaming up with Loisaida Center and ABC No Rio to present a collection of films documenting activist-driven occupations in New York City over the last five decades. Their ninth annual film festival hosted in local community gardens is titled, “Steal This City: NYC Occupations on Film,” and will feature a curated collection of films and guest speakers, kicking off on Thursday, September 9 at 7:00 PM and running through Sunday, September 12.

They write: “The four-day event staged in a selection of community gardens will examine how in a city where real estate dominates spatial reality, activist-driven occupations show how another world is possible.”

Friday night’s screenings, “Steal This Image: Artist Occupation of Public Space”, at Gilbert’s Community Garden (370 East 8th St.) examine two famous art occupations on the LES, ABC No Rio and what was known as The Rivington School:

Anti-Credo (1988, 30 minutes) – Director: Monty Cantsin

A cine-manifesto of scrap-culture, trash esthetic and junk art the film features The Rivington Sculpture Garden, a monstrous monument welded, assembled from bed frames, shopping carts, car doors and other urban waste by a rebellious Lower East Side artist group, the Rivington School. Without legal permission, the group transformed an empty lot into a continually mutating landscape of sculptural anarchy. The garden served as a free place for social events, exhibitions, concerts, performances and festivals for almost three years, until it was bulldozed in the fall of 1987. The lack of restraint of Cantsin’s filmmaking adds a dramatic beauty to this rare, poetic documentary.

 156 Rivington (2003, 56 min) – Director: Andrea Meller

156 Rivington” explores the cultural sensibility of the communally run art space ABC No Rio, which has, for more than 20 years, been home to an eclectic group of artists, punks, activists, anarchists and other groups mainstream America often dismisses as “fringe.”

See the full program and buy tickets through Eventbrite