Freefilmers is a collective of filmmakers and artists, originally from Mariupol, Ukraine. For the past five years, we have been working with topics of urban transformations in East Ukraine and its multicultural vibes. We have also researched the working-class creativity and industrial past and present of post-socialist cities.
Our current projects focus on memories and archives beyond official historical narratives and gender violence in patriarchal capitalist society. We have always stuck to an anti-capitalist agenda and intersectional feminism, and our goal was to create a different form of filmmaking, based on cooperation and an ethical approach.
On 24 February, Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Many cities where we used to work have been destroyed by ruscist shelling and air raids. Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Nova Kakhovka, Kherson are all occupied as of August, 3rd. Many of us have lost our homes and tools of work. Many of us have lost our friends and relatives. It is true that the loss of human life is enormous, and thousands of civilian deaths have been confirmed.
So currently the most important sequence on our timeline is not about movies, but about building a network of solidarity and support for Ukrainians who are suffering from and fighting against Russian imperialist aggression.
Now the Freefilmers are based in different parts of the world, but we are working together on recreating our home and making the whole planet a place free of violence and aggression. This should be the last imperialist colonial war. Ukraine happens to be at its centre, but it concerns every single person on the planet whose values are freedom and equality.
We don’t need producers and directors from the Global North to come to Ukraine now and hire us as fixers for their revealing feature-length movies about the war. We don’t want our stories to be re-told to the whole world while we are struggling to protect our basic rights.
Help us to survive, and we will make our own films about what we have had to live through.