The FIIMG project mapping the British Left through Film is but one way of describing the way the favourite narratives of the left groups work in relation to each other. The project picks up and develops a series of existing older commentaries on the nonsense that divides us from each other. The left does not spring out of nowhere, but is embedded, whether it likes it or not, in a series of other powerful popular cultural narratives about power and resistance, and filmic representation is one of the most accessible of these popular cultural forms. Most of us escape from our dear comrades at one time or another and find refuge in film, and so it is all the more disturbing, perhaps, to find that films provide persuasive frames to illuminate what the left is up to as it tears itself apart instead of tearing down capitalism.
Jokes about the People’s Front of Judea are trite, partly because they have been repeated so often against the divided left – a measure of incomprehension at what the political divisions are about – but also because the left itself recognises the problem and enjoys those caricatures so much. It is often forgotten that most of the richest veins of humour concerning the fragmentation of the left, and their supposed humourless complaints about ‘political correctness’ actually have their roots in the left as reflexive self-critique. We for sure have a problem, which is where the FIIMG ‘Revolutionary Keywords’ project comes in, but we also need to know something about the shape of the problem on the ground. This is where this mapping through film project should help, so you know something of the terrain of the left, in Britain at least, where you can put the keywords to work.
Groups mapped through film so far, ordered roughly in order of size, are:
You can send any factual corrections or complaints about the representation of your own favourite group to: firstname.lastname@example.org