EDIT: This video was removed from Vimeo after complaints were made by the various sororities involved in the video about their footage being used without their consent. The video linked below is a YouTube re-upload of the original, and the quality is not as great, but at least the content can be saved.

I came across this really interesting video project (it’s been getting a lot of attention on social media, I think), and I was really impressed by it. The style itself reminds me a lot of the work we watched by Chris Burden (“Television Commercials”), but especially that of Phil Patiris (“The Iraq Campaign: A Television History”). The repurposing of images (that one could even argue is propaganda for sororities) of a particular nature and totally changing and subverting the meaning by juxtaposing it with other footage and intention is also something we have discussed this year (see: the Kuleshov Effect), and I think this video is a great example of how to do it.

Also, the comments on the video itself on Vimeo are really interesting to read as well. The perspectives given of infuriated sorority sisters alone (and the discussions they generate on the comment threads) are enough to make me suggest you take a look, but some of the responses from the creator of the video are really important as well.

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7 responses »

  1. nlredmond says:

    The line that talked about conforming stuck out to me especially in this video, and the fact that the sororities almost solely have white and/or white passing girls, usually with blond hair, was scary. Everyone literally looked the same, and there seemed to be a certain air of intentionality behind the similarities. This makes sense given the white supremacist beauty standards that exist in this country, and I believe it reflects that supremacist nature of “greek life” in general.

  2. jivikar says:

    Hey! Apparently the video you shared “does not exist.” Would you mind relinking to it? I haven’t heard or seen this video before so I’m not sure how to find it otherwise. Thanks!

  3. doriebailey says:

    Yeah! The video got removed after some of the sororities complained about their footage being used in this way, or at least, that’s how I understand it. I just changed the link in the above post, but here’s a link to it here too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XqwXNvlj-U

  4. taliat says:

    Something that I think is interesting is that the YouTube link implies that the video was made by a woman (and reposted by a man), but there is a woman commenting that seems to assume that the man made it and goes on about how “sexist” the video is. As someone who considers themselves to be an advocate for feminism and gender equality, it is frustrating to see people co-opt that doctrine to try and justify criticism of things that simply bother or unnerve them, such as this video. Ironically enough, the institution that is Greek life is arguably sexist itself, not this video. If someone wants to challenge me on what they perceive as the sexism of this video, I welcome it, I’m just tired of people trying to misuse valid causes to justify their dislike of something that is not actually at odds with that cause.

  5. cassidy says:

    what a powerful video! i like your analysis of it as a repurposing of images. i think sound is also a powerful element of the video. the chimey music in the background is calm and kind of jolly, but when placed with the cult video narrative and then the sorority footage, it becomes really creepy.

    reading the comments on the re-posted video is also really interesting. there is a lot of support, but also such backlash from supporters of sororities. makes me wonder who this video is reaching or convincing. really interesting conversation victoria valentine has given space for.

  6. amihk says:

    I find this video really funny. Its criticizing but at the same time making it funny to be more acceptable. Especially the part when they repeat what the girls are saying and then finishing it by making it slow motion. Enjoyed watching this video

  7. kthompso says:

    Although I do think it’s a good critique on sororities and the cult-like lifestyle sororities produce, I am worried about how general comments are so quick to turn into calling girls “sluts” as opposed to actually having a conversation about what implications Greek life has for women, POC, non-cisgendered people. My comment isn’t a critique about the video at all, but more so an observation about how anonymity produces terrible discussions so much of the time. Sigh… the internet.

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