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Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

  • Skowhegan 136 West 22nd Street New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)
Still from  "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"  by Jesse England

Still from "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" by Jesse England

The Skowhegan Alliance Video Committee presents Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!, a video program of work made by Skowhegan alumni. The screening will take place May 4 at Skowhegan's New York program Space.

The works reflect the various meanings of mayday:

Mayday, from French m’aider, translated as help me: a distress signal. In times of life-threatening emergencies, typically used when at sea or in air, the word, Mayday is repeated three times to distinguish from similar sounding words. As technology advanced, this distress call for help was needed for radio communications replacing the Morse code SOS distress signal.

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
The waters are rising!
We are going down!
We need help!


May Day, a Spring festivity with Pagan origins (such as Beltane, Flora, and Walpurgisnacht): rites of change and renewal. This festival marked a time for rebirth and optimism, where fires were lit marking the return of longer days and rituals were practiced to safeguard against the unknown and the supernatural. May Day also represents a return, a celebration of fecundity and revival, where farmers’ herds returned to their green pastures, and flowers and plants began again to grow.

Deprived of root, and branch, and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;
My head with giddiness goes round,
And yet I firmly stand my ground;

– Jonathan Swift, A Maypole


May Day, or International Worker’s Day: A celebration of workers’ and labor rights. May Day represents a day of protest demanding attention and action as labor movements, communists, socialists, and anarchists join together in support and celebration of the rights of the working class. It is a day for strike, for solidarity, and a call for recognition and support. May Day is recognized in countries all over the world.

Oh, workers can you stand it?
Oh, tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or, will you be a man?

– Florence Patton Reece, Whose side are you on? 

The screening features videos from artists:
Itziar Barrio (A '12), David Brody (A '83), Janaye Brown (A '16), Vincent Ceraudo (A '16), Jesse England (A '15), Hope Ginsburg (A '97), Autumn Knight (A '16) and Chelsea Knight (A '08), Neven Lochhead (A '15), Pascual Sisto (A '11), Nicole Tschampel (A '01), Asim Waqif (A '11), and Brian Zegeer (A '10)

The screening will coincide with the opening of Personals, an exhibition of small objects on the conference table upstairs from the screening. 

Earlier Event: May 4
Later Event: June 10
2017 Barbara Lee Lecture Series