The Woodrow Film Company
‘Stickered on Woody Guthrie’s guitar were the words ‘this machine kills fascists’. ‘This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender’ were the words inscribed on Pete Seeger’s long neck banjo. These instruments were built with Adirondack Spruce and Mahogany. Wood from the Americas. They were upholstered with the hide of native possum. Harvesting through slaughter provided the material to build these machines.

It was these machines, powered by divine inspiration, that then, like Conestoga ox-wagons across the Great Wagon Road, traversed through harsh lands and sang and spat and wallowed and howled tales of violence.

As people raise their voices to the tools of Guthrie and Seeger, bones of the indigenous remain shelved in the basements of institutions. Surviving, might the indigenous peoples theorize this fascinating behavior as the land so dreadfully collapses upon us?

Pastoral hymns, gospel acapellas, field hollers, sea shanties, civil war marches, murder ballads, train songs, immigrant songs, porch music, hobo lullabies, corridos and American Indian tales.

American folklore is in the hands of the guilty. Myths of salvation and forgiveness rise to cloak the violent - citadels of our design. We construct opulent pig pens to justify our fight for gender equality, the environment, labor rights, healthcare, racial healing, and immigrant rights.

Our sites for justice are industrial slaughterhouses. It may not be about monuments to our causes but about gathering wood.’ 

- An Excerpt from ‘Wood Gatherers’

Written by Gautama Ramesh

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