We Would Strike: Documentary Beyond Representation in a Post-Industrial Spanish Town
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We Would Strike: Documentary Beyond Representation in a Post-Industrial Spanish Town


Before a documentary film becomes representation -something about reality- it is an event that happens in reality. It is a creative and social process that intervenes in the place and historical time where it takes place. This dissertation builds from the artistic research I developed for the film project Encierro, a documentary reenactment of a mining strike in my hometown of Almadén (Ciudad Real) in 1984. Engaging reenactment practices and a speculative scenario as a mode of intervening in reality, Encierro proposes what if 11 people would lock underground for 11 days now when the mine of Almadén is closed for production, and we suffer the ruinous effects of the lack of restructuring plans? Apart from engaging our collective mining past -performing the form and duration of a previous workers' strike- Encierro proposes the underground as a living and symbolic space to foster a series of conversations, encounters, and social and political propositions to reimagine Almadén.This dissertation explores the capacity of fieldwork, artistic methodologies, and documentary shooting to intervene in reality. It presents documentary fieldwork and shooting as spaces of in-betweenness, anchored in the field's reality and removed from it, as it happens with ritual, play, and carnival. Building from this liminality, and foregrounding process over representation, this artistic research aims to present documentary shooting as potential spaces for personal, social, and political experimentation beyond documentation, representation, and signification. Ultimately, Encierro raises the question of whether the recreation of a strike can also be considered an iteration of a strike, even though in post-industrial Almadén there is no more mining, no more production to close, and this "strike" does not come from a labor action, but from artistic practice.

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