Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society

Image of Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society (2014), Grace Schwindt


"Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society" revisits discussions that Schwindt witnessed during her childhood, surrounded by radical leftwing individuals in Frankfurt, Germany. The text, which appears in various forms throughout the film, is based on an interview that she recorded over the telephone with a former radical leftwing activist who took part in the student movement in Germany in the 60s and 70s. She questions how freedom was, and is, understood, who has access to it and what political and social structures need to be in place to create a free society.

The film sets are positioned on a hill overlooking London. Large photographic prints reference cityscapes and country sites as well as domestic spaces. Eleven dancers carry out a tightly scripted choreography that has a strict rhythm between stillness and movement. The signification of the still and moving body is positioned through a precise relationship to space, other bodies, objects, speech and images. All elements of the production are understood within a choreographic schema; set, props, costume, lighting, sound, camera movement. Each element is equally important and should be read together as a melody with a strict rhythm that comes together through a script that might be better described as a score.


Cast & Crew

Director, Choreographer, Designer, Script Writer: Grace Schwindt

Dramaturg: Anja Golob

Creative Advisor: Ian White

Performer: Rachel Burn, Khamlane Halsackda, Sebastian Langueneur, Dean James Lee, Edward Pearce, Anwar Russell, Monique Smith-Mcdowell, Sunniva Vikør Egenes, Flora Wellesley Wesley



Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society was commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists' Moving Image Network, Badischer Kunstverein, Eastside Projects and The Showroom, in association with Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, University of Bath; Site Gallery; Tramway and Zeno X Gallery. Supported by Arts Council England, Hessian Film Fund, and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Selected Screenings

Solo Exhibitions

28 June - 2 August 2014, PV 27 June: Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK

26 September  - 23 November 2014, PV 25 September: Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany

8 October - 22 November 2014, PV 7 October: The Showroom, London, UK

10 January - 28 February 2015, PV 9 January: Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK

23 January - 15 February 2015, PV 22 January: Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

Tramway, Glasgow - Dates TBC

Institute for Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art, University of Bath - Dates TBC

Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp - Dates TBC

Key Information


Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society


Grace Schwindt


FLAMIN Productions

Year Completed




Shooting format

Full HD Video

Screening format

Full HD Video File, DCP, Blu-Ray


Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels

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