A student revolt as re-lived by the students themselves, The Hornsey Film reconstructs the arguments and succession of events that led to the occupation of Hornsey College of Art between May and July 1968. Over six weeks, the publication and distribution of more than seventy documents sparked a debate about art education beyond the confines of the college.
Made with students and staff of the college a few months after the unrest, the film voices the student claims for autonomy against educational structures, as well as their reflections on the personal and collective aftermath of their failed revolution. In contrast with official reports on art education, these debates raised issues around access to higher education, the role of research in art and design and the need to foster interdisciplinary practices through a networked, rather than a linear, system of education.
Against the students’ will, Hornsey College of Art was integrated to Middlesex Polytechnic only a couple of years after the upheaval. Today the recent closure of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University in July 2010, among other attempts to further privatise education, suggest the validity of many of their vindications, in opposition to a corporate University model.
Watch The Hornsey Film here.