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Creative Resistance

Scheer Intelligence: The Political Cartoon Is Dead

Political cartoons have helped us make sense of the world in which we live since they first appeared in the 18th century–though some, like the iconic cartoonist Mr. Fish, argue the art predates even newspapers. Although it’s an art form that is in many ways dying out, there are a precious few political cartoonists out there that still understand the importance of speaking truth to power through insightful humor and visual commentary. On this week’s installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” the inimitable Dwayne Booth (AKA Mr. Fish) joins host Robert Scheer to talk about his life, his passion, his art, and...

The Arts And Symbolism In Mexico’s Feminist Movement

Last August, during a press conference with Mexico City’s police chief, a group of young women were seen breaking windows and throwing pink glitter in the police chief’s face. This was to demand justice for a teenager allegedly raped by four police officers. The episode sparked what became known as the glitter revolution, a new wave of feminist activism in Mexico with connections to other feminist collectives worldwide. Feminism in Mexico has many internal strands ranging from what some may consider “radical” tactics (such as vandalism) to peaceful demonstrations.

Artists Install Anti-Trump Living Statues Around DC

Living statues were installed around Washington, D.C. on Friday depicting President Trump as a "destroyer of civil rights and liberties." A group of artists known as the Trump Statue Initiative is behind the installations, including one that depicts Trump holding up a Bible while Black Lives Matters protesters are beaten and another showing him telling a masked child to "go back to school" while holding a golf club. "The concept is that the history he's painting of himself right now, where his narcissistic or racist or self-serving moments abound, this is what he's leaving us with," filmmaker Bryan Buckley told The Hill.

Chilean Arpilleras Sustain Political Momentum During Lockdown

After five months of continual mass mobilizations, the Chilean estallido, or uprising, came to a sudden interruption in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency on March 18, granting authorities the power to instate curfews and restrict public gatherings. A week later, Congress postponed the Constitutional referendum—a historic vote that many see as a relative victory in the calls for structural change—to October 25, although this date is still tentative. Chileans active in the historic protests have continued to agitate despite the restrictions on mobility and demonstrations. Besides setting up barricades and protesting in public spaces, communities are responding to the latest contingency with grassroots tactics that echo those used during the Chilean dictatorship (1973-1990).

Activists ‘Arrest Donald Trump’ Outside His Manhattan Residence

Saturday afternoon, dozens of activists gathered in midtown Manhattan to demand the United States impeach and remove President Donald Trump and set a national standard for leadership and accountability. Bill Moyer, the Backbone Campaign’s  Executive Director and co-founder said of the overall action, “Humor and ridicule of tyrants is a timeless tradition we are proud to be part of.  Our grave concerns mount as the stage is being set for the Predator-in-Chief Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump’s profane buffoonery and criminal incompetence are an insult to rights and protections people have fought and died for abroad and at home in the social movements that have improved our society."

Speaking Mirth To Power

By Lorna Garano for Truthout. L.M. Bogad's artful activism blends the strategies of civil disobedience with heaping doses of Harpo Marx. As a professor and "tactical performer, Bogad says he is committed to "speaking mirth to power." In his long career he has staged outrageous theatrical spectacles to skewer governments, corporations and power brokers of all sorts. Bogad has worked with the Yes Men and with unions and human rights groups on picket lines and occupations around the world. He helped to create and train the spectacular Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) and to make the street theater organization known as Billionaires for Bush -- which calls for "Government of, by, and for the Corporations" -- a fixture at the protests that shadowed George W. Bush's time as president. All of this "serious play" is informed and inspired by constant research into the long history of creative resistance.

Protesting Students ‘Occupy’ Delhi Art College With Graffiti

By Dipanita Nath in Indian Express - Threads criss-cross a patch of a wall like a colourful cobweb gone chaotic. Through the artwork, a third-year student of Applied Art, Aditya Verma, is registering his protest against the College of Art, Delhi. “Look at the base of this wall, it is cracked like the system here. The college covers the crack with paint but does not repair it. My threads may be weak and break, but they sure as hell can highlight the problem of the crack,” said the 21-year-old. Students of the college have been on strike since August 31 to demand better infrastructure, equipment, staff and sanitation facilities, among others. Since Tuesday, the 16th day of the protest, the students have been “occupying” the campus the way only artists can — by covering the walls and pathways with graffiti.

Bronx Theater Uses Avant-Garde Theater To Teach Activism

By Araz Hachadourian in Yes Magazine - A recent study revealed that nearly half of people between the ages of 13 and 22 have experienced online harassment. Of those surveyed, one-third did nothing when they saw someone else being bullied. It’s an issue the members of the historically Latino Pregones Theater in the South Bronx, New York, saw in their community. So they wrote a play about it—and not just any play. They used a tradition of avant-garde theater to make sure that audience members leave better prepared to take action when they see cyber-bullying take place in their lives. The play is part of a program called “Pregones Emotions,” a blend of traditional theater, improv, and audience participation that the group started performing with local middle schools in 2006.

Morning Links: Atena Farghadani Edition

By The Editors of ARTnews - Eight new 'Morning Links' to news on the art world! 1)Yesterday, MoMA staff protested healthcare cuts outside of the museum. 2) Pierre Audi, founder of the Almeida Theater in London, has been named the new artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory. 3)As the New York City Opera is bankrupt, they are considering undergoing a reorganization in order to legally be able to accept millions of dollars from Pierre DeMenasce, who left 10 percent of his $70 million estate to the opera in his will. 4) Due to the recent acquisition of a collection of works by John Singer Sargent, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be creating a John Singer Sargent Archive, which will be held at the Forsythe Institute across from the museum.

Interview: Firebrand Records To ‘Fight On The Cultural Front’

By Michael Fox and Ryan Harvey in TeleSur - Artist and activist Ryan Harvey, co-founder of Firebrand Records with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, gave teleSUR en exclusive interview about the new distribution label. ​Harvey, who is also a teleSUR blogger, explains that over the next year Firebrand hopes to build the roster and help artists achieve more recognition through both promotion of their releases, tours, and other projects, and through cross-pollination from the collective nature of the label: "Firebrand is a new project because of it's scope: we are both international and multi-genre, but more importantly, we are offering a mechanism whereby artists don't have to worry about political or social censorship surrounding revolutionary ideas about human rights, for instance, to hope to get real professional promotion and distribution."

Radical Culture: Art That Inspires Fighting Injustice

As a political activist, I have organized and attended many street protests. I often wonder how many people in the public we influence as we march by them brandishing our signs and shouting our chants. And when we post our articles, events and memes on Facebook, are we preaching to anyone besides the choir? Maybe there is a better way to change hearts and minds and inspire people to action. In a 2013 article, the radical intellectual Chris Hedges wrote: “The resistance needs a vibrant cultural component. It was the spirituals that nourished the souls of African-Americans during the nightmare of slavery. It was the blues that spoke to the reality of black people during the era of Jim Crow. It was the poems of Federico Garcia Lorca that sustained the republicans fighting the fascists in Spain. Music, dance, drama, art, song, painting were the fire and drive of resistance movements.”

4 Potent Lessons In Creative Cultural Activism From Myanmar

The legacy of the brutal Burmese regime that kept glamorous challenger Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and its tightly controlled society closed off to outside influences had seemed poised for real change. Just a month ago, as the early sunlight spread across the Bagan plain lighting up hundreds of ancient pagodas and warming up a sizable gaggle of tourists (including myself) perched high on one of the structures to witness the sunrise, it seemed clear that a new day was dawning. As part of the inaugural Beautiful Rising workshop, we had gathered in Yangon the week before to hear stories of resistance and begin to tease out the shared lessons that these events held for frontline activists.

18 Of The Most Amazingly-Creative Protests Ever!

What does create long-lasting change, is changing the hearts and minds of the people, and changing the consciousness of society. This is done by connecting to them on both an emotional and a logical level, not by just expressing how angry you there. There is certainly plenty of value in large gatherings where people loudly express their views, but it will require a bit more creativity than that to really connect with people on a deeper level. Most people think protests are aimless especially when they are mismanaged and get violent. Such protests instead lead to many socio-economic challenges, which create more problems than before.

Ferguson Friday

From - Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) at University of Pennsylvania is engaging in a series of creative actions, held weekly on Fridays. The group aims to create a more conscious and active community at U Penn and in Philadelphia. Police brutality is modern day lynching, state sanctioned murder. There are more Black men in prison today or under the watch of the criminal justice system than were enslaved in 1850. On October 24th, Gina Marie, Jamal Taylor and another student portrayed slavery in 1814, lynching in 1914, and mass incarceration/prison industrial complex in 2014 to represent persistent acts of genocide against Black people. They wore tape over their mouths, symbolic of the silencing of African ancestors and brethren behind bars. “We will not be silent about our oppression.”

Chipmunk Resistance Stops Work At Tar Sands Mine

Protesters again stopped work at the construction site of the first tar sands mine in the US. Five people were later arrested and jailed but the campaign to stop the mine said the resistance will not relent until all tar sands plans are canceled. By moving quickly through the site to obstruct numerous construction vehicles, just a handful of speedy protesters were able to shut down the enormous construction project on a sprawling 213 acres in Utah’s Book Cliffs. “Direct, physical intervention is necessary to halt the completion of this toxic project,” said one protester.
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