11/9/23: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: “Incident” with Bill Morrison and Jamie Kalven

A virtual screening/discussion with media artist Bill Morrison with journalist and activist Jamie Kalven.

Recording of the discussion portion of the virtual event with Bill Morrison and Jamie Kalven.

Join us on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6pm CT (4pm PT/7pm ET) for a screening of Bill Morrison’s new short film Incident, followed by a q&a with Morrison and human rights activist Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute.

Incident is “a breakthrough that offers the possibility of a new form of archival cine-education about aspects of American culture that have been ‘lost’ until recently, buried within official public archives. Incident has the brevity, directness, and clarity of a Hemingway short story.” – Scott MacDonald, The Edge

Although Morrison is best known for films that excavate old, discarded footage to reveal forgotten histories and ancient, uncannily beautiful images such as Decasia (2002) and Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017), Incident is as timely and urgent as any other work of 2023. The video is just as much a work of media archaeology as any of Morrison’s previous celluloid-based efforts, with Morrison creating a compilation that examines all available footage from the “incident” of the title: on July 14, 2018, Chicago police officer Dillan Halley shot local barber Harith Augustus five times, leaving him to die in the street. Halley would claim the shooting was self-defense and received a 2-day suspension for failing to activate his body camera.

Using only audio and video taken from the scene, Morrison reconstructs the crime and its aftermath, in which rationalizations, misunderstandings, and lies quickly set in among both police officers and witnesses. 

Watch the trailer below.

After the screening, Morrison will be in conversation with Jamie Kalven, the founder of Invisible Institute. Kalven’s reporting was essential to challenging the official police narrative of Augustus’s killing, as well as that of the killing of Laquan McDonald.


Bill Morrison

Born and raised in Chicago, Bill Morrison is a filmmaker and media artist whose works have screened in theaters, museums, and concert halls around the world. His films typically source rare archival footage in which long forgotten, and sometimes deteriorated, imagery is reframed as part of a collective mythology. Decasia (2002) was the first film of the 21st century to be selected to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017) was one of the best-reviewed films of 2017 and was named to multiple critics’ lists of the best films of the decade. His work has been recognized with the Alpert Award, Creative Capital, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Morrison’s collaborators include some of the most celebrated musicians and composers of our time, including John Adams, William Basinski, the Kronos Quartet, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, Maya Beiser, Dave Douglas, and Vijay Iyer. In 2021 Morrison became a member of the documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


Jamie Kalven

Jamie Kalven is a writer and founder of the Invisible Institute. He is the author of Working With Available Light: A Family’s World After Violence and the editor of A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America by his father Harry Kalven, Jr.He has reported extensively on patterns of police abuse and impunity. He was the plaintiff in Kalven v. Chicago, in which the Illinois appellate court ruled that documents bearing on allegations of police misconduct are public information. His reporting first brought the police shooting of Laquan McDonald to public attention; and he co-produced 16 Shots, an Emmy Award winning documentary on the McDonald case. His 2016 series “Code of Silence” in The Intercept exposed the criminal activities of a team of corrupt Chicago officers operating in public housing and has contributed to the exonerations of 183 individuals. Among the national awards he has received are the 2015 George Polk Award for Local Reporting, the 2016 Ridenhour Courage Prize, the 2017 Hillman Prize for Web Journalism, and the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. The Invisible Institute received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

This event is free to attend. Media Burn is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and we depend on donations to continue our work. Please consider making a donation along with your ticket signup, or at https://mediaburn.org/donate or by texting MEDIABURN to 44321



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Copyright © 2024 Media Burn Archive.
Media Burn Archive | 935 W Chestnut St Suite 405 Chicago IL 60642
(312) 964-5020 | [email protected]