- Author(s): Mendelsohn, Asa Lipman
- Advisor(s): Cho, E. R.
- et al.
Pasture is a non-fiction film that moves between quiet places in Southern California, where in the mid-2000s a grassroots movement resisted private military development, and New York City, where the filmmaker is coming from. In pursuit of an unlikely coalition, Pasture reflects on relationships between passing, fantasy, and friendship.
This essay accompanies the film, addressing some of its driving concerns, and reflecting on my process as a filmmaker. The first section orients the two that follow, drawing from a transfeminist political framework. Here, I work towards a theory of “Fantasy and Activism,” that accounts for settler notions of belonging within a wish for coalition across lived experiences of difference. Laying the ground for future work, I ask: how can the tasks of political resistance be rescaled to recognize the roles that fantasy plays in the reality of power? “Mercenary” and “Quiet” combine critical analysis and personal narrative to: first, address the stakes of private military development as part of the settler project of racial capitalism. Following “Mercenary,” “Quiet” then assembles a series of reflections: I consider the depiction of Potrero and Nomirage, California as “quiet” places, and ways that some forms of resistance are described as “quiet.” I reflect on my own relationship to quiet, and on who I am in these places.