Underground Film Journal

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Dara Greenwald, R.I.P.

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 11, 2012

Dara Greenwald sitting on a park bench

Filmmaker and curator Dara Greenwald passed away on Monday, Jan. 9 after struggling with cancer for several years. She was 40 years old.

Greenwald was also an activist committed to preserving documentation of radical actions that reached across the many disciplines in which she worked. According to Chicago’s Video Data Bank, where Greenwald served as the Distribution Manager from 1998 to 2005, she would curate screenings specifically focused on the radical feminist and activist work found in the VDB library.

One of Greenwald’s more recent endeavors was the Signs of Change touring exhibit that she co-curated with her partner Josh MacPhee. Signs of Change chronicled the past 50 years of social movements through printed matter, such as posters and photographs, as well as through film and video. A book on the exhibit by Greenwald and MacPhee can be purchased at the Just Seeds artist cooperative website.

Greenwald also made videos herself, such as Bouncing in the Corner #36 DDD (1999), a feminist homage/parody of the video work of Bruce Nauman. Other of her video work documented the radical organizations she participated in, such as the Pink Bloque and the United Victorian Works, or were generally political in nature, such as What Is Capitalism? (2006) and Strategic Cyber Defense (2003).

Tributes to Greenwald can be found on the Video Data Bank and Just Seeds websites, while to watch her videos and learn more about her career, please visit Greenwald’s official website.

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