Syracuse, New York
Kelly Gallagher received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Kelly Gallagher is a filmmaker, animator, and Associate Professor of Film at Syracuse University. Her work is rooted in themes of resistance, struggle, political histories, and personal explorations. Gallagher’s films often explore left, revolutionary histories. At other times her films serve as confrontations themselves, resistance made visual. She is interested in film as a tool to re-open and re-discuss radical histories, and film as a tool of confrontation. She believes that film/video and animation hold an important space of potential for artists who want to create visualizations of resistance. Gallagher believes that by creating visualized representations of a world that ruptures capitalism, racism, colonialism, and systemic patriarchy, we are given the realization that such a world can even exist and that our political efforts are not in vain, but imperative.
Her handcrafted films and commissioned animations have screened at venues including: the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and the Smithsonian Institution. Recent commissioned animations have screened on Netflix and PBS. She’s presented solo programs of her work at institutions including: SFMOMA, Close-Up Cinema London, Balkanima, Visual Studies Workshop, Aurora Picture Show, and Wexner Center for the Arts among others. She is the 2022 recipient of the Helen Hill Award from NYU’s Orphan Film Symposium. Her latest film, WE HAD EACH OTHER, about the solidarity of Irish Republican POW women, won the Research Award at the 2022 Athens International Film and Video Festival. Kelly enthusiastically organizes and facilitates fun and inclusive film workshops and camps for communities of all ages, from Kentucky to California, from New York to Iowa and beyond.
BY ALL YOUR MEMORIES
Kelly Gallagher is an experimental filmmaker and animator exploring radical histories and hopeful futures.Artist Bio
BY ALL YOUR MEMORIES, an abolitionist collage feature film, explores (1) histories of Irish and Palestinian solidarity, (2) the politics of early Irish immigrants in America regarding the abolition of slavery, and (3) the assassination of Robert Kennedy and subsequent incarceration of Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. Using collage filmmaking strategies, oscillating between super 8mm film, found footage, and handcrafted experimental animation, Kelly Gallagher asks her audience to engage with competing historical narratives. As an anti-capitalist and prison abolitionist who grew up in an Irish-American Catholic household, stories of Irish resistance have always surrounded Gallagher. When she recently learned about RFK’s assassination and Sirhan’s conviction, she was motivated to examine the historical relationship between Palestine and Ireland and the complexities of their legacies of solidarity. Gallagher’s film asks: what can transnational solidarity look like? How did so many Irish forget their leftist, anti-colonial radical roots and politics as soon as they came over to America? Why is Sirhan still imprisoned? What could the abolition of prisons make space for in a new world?