top of page

blog post

A trip back in time to London for 1970s video community action

Starting to Happen is a documentary produced by Liberation Films

 London Community Video Archive

From the London Community Video Archive

Based at Goldsmiths University and the BFI, London Community Video Archive

Starting to Happen is a documentary produced by Liberation Films and later shown on BBC2 as part of the Open Door series. It was made with a community action group based in Balham, South London. The documentary (shown in the first forty minutes of the Open Door program) adopts a linear structure to present the eight stages a community might go through when using portable video recorders to shoot, edit, and screen a video by, for, and about a local campaign.

This video is hosted by the London Community Video Archive. Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, the LCVA preserves, archives, and shares community videos originally made in the 1970s and 1980s in London and South East England. Portable video recording—now ubiquitous—first became available in the early 1970s, making it possible for individuals and communities to make their own television. The medium was taken up by people ignored or underrepresented in the mainstream media—tenants on housing estates, community action groups, women, black and minority ethnic groups, youth, gay, and lesbian people, and the disabled. With an overriding commitment to social empowerment and to combating exclusion, “community video” dealt with issues which still have a contemporary resonance—housing, space for recreation and play, discrimination, and youth arts.

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page