Traps, Flows, Echoes prep

Posted October 21, 2014 by roger_peet in Justseeds Member Projects | Comments (0)

I’m deep in preparation for my upcoming solo show at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. The show is called “Traps, Flows, Echoes” and it opens Nov 6th, running until Nov 28th. There’s an opening reception Thursday Nov. 6 in Gallery 214 in the PNCA main campus, 1241 NW Johnson St. in Portland. Here’s the text I wrote for the flyer-

Portland artist Roger Peet will open a show of new installation, video and print work in Gallery 214 at PNCA on the 6th November. The show, entitled “Traps, Flows, Echoes” focuses on the idea of the trap, in both the physical and cultural realms. Much of the show will focus on Peet’s relationship to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has worked for several seasons to promote community conservation through art. Some of the work addresses Peet’s complex relationship with his father, who faked his death to go AWOL from the British Air Force and to fly helicopters for the CIA’s interventions in Congo in the 1960’s, an event which Peet recreates in a video collaboration with Portland director Jodi Darby. In his travels and work in Congo, Peet experienced first hand the disastrous consequences of the history his father had helped to shape, and this show will contain vivid and evocative print, installation, and sound pieces that evoke the trauma and brutality of that trap of history, as well as the ways that he and the friends that he made in Congo are trying to get out of it. The work also features sound collages and poetry by Portland MC Mic Crenshaw.

For more information about my work in Congo, see this blog. You can read interviews and an article about that work here on Mongabay, and here at the Oregonian.

38th Annual Raza Day at UC Berkeley

Posted October 21, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Events | Comments (0)


This year marks the 38th annual Raza Day at UC Berkeley. It is a day of workshops and activities intended to encourage middle school, high school and community college students to pursue higher education.

I will be speaking at this year's event at 9:30 am on Nov 1st in Wheeler Hall.

It is free and open to the public so bring your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors etc.

This is the poster I designed that will be give out to all the youth in attendance.

People's Art History of the US book review from Cultural Organizing.org

Posted October 20, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

culturalorganizing.org recently posted a review of my book A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements. Here is the full text:

Review: A People’s Art History of the United States
Posted on October 18, 2014

By Nicolas Lampert
New York: The New Press, 2013. 345 pp. $35.00 (hardcover).

The newest in a long line of people’s histories inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, A People’s Art History of the United States by Nicolas Lampert uncovers the many ways that the visual arts have served as a space for political action and resistance throughout US history. With hundreds of images of political art from across the past five centuries, this book makes a compelling argument that art and politics — often seen as separate realms — have always been intimately and inextricably intertwined.

Despite the cover image, which brings to mind a framed work of art, this is not a story about political paintings hanging in museums. Instead, it is a story about how popular and public forms of art — from posters and photographs to cartoons and statues — have always been a part of civic and political life. When professional gallery artists do show up, they are likely to be organizing a union or protesting against the gallery system.

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JBbTC 197: New Century Publishers pt.3

Posted October 20, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Aptheker_JohnBrown_NCP60.jpgBack in 2011 I published a couple posts looking at the covers of New Century Publishers, a Communist Party-run press that published from the 1940s into the 1960s, and appears to have been the progenitor of the more recent and still existent New World Paperbacks. While much of their output is standard Stalinist muck, there are some gems in the pile (check out my earlier looks at NCP HERE and HERE). The well-known labor historian Herbert Aptheker wrote a number of pamphlets for the press, I've found three of them. The nicest cover is on John Brown: American Martyr, a pamphlet published on the hundredth anniversary of John Brown's death. The unattributed image is taken from the cover of a 1959 edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which in turn was based on an 1859 daguerreotype attributed to Martin M. Lawrence. The designer smartly uses red, white, and blue, as well as a border of small stars, to conjure the American flag, and thus paint Brown as both a patriot and deeply American. This publication is from 1960, showing just how long the Communist Party-USA kept promoting the idea that Communism and the Left were fundamentally centrist and patriotic positions.

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Support Monkeywrench Books in Austin!

Posted October 17, 2014 by k_c_ in Inspiration | Comments (0)

Our comrades at Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas have been operating for 12 years and they're looking to renovate their space. Help spread their Indiegogo campaign and kick down some dough for a great radical bookstore!

Indiegogo campaign

Support an all-volunteer collectively-run radical bookstore in Austin!

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Prints Gone Wild 2014

Posted October 16, 2014 by k_c_ in Events | Comments (0)

Justseeds will be participating in this years Prints Gone Wild! in Brooklyn!

Mark your calendars.

New Book on Chicago Community Organizing

Posted October 15, 2014 by jmacphee in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

Billy Keniston (aka Taylor Sparrow), who wrote the introduction to Justseeds' Firebrands book, has a new writing/editing project in the works about radical community organizing in Chicago in the 1970s. Like everything Billy writes, it'll be good, and he needs support now to make it happen. Click the link, check out the video, and pre-order a book!


Posted October 15, 2014 by shaun in DIYDPW | Comments (0)


Campbell Hall, NY (Thanks to Kevin, who says this sign was "Installed on a newly tar and chipped road upstate. Super dangerous conditions for motorcycle riding, I was thankful someone put a sign up.")

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New! W.A.G.E. Certification Program: Guidelines and Standards for Artistic Labor

Posted October 14, 2014 by shaun in In the News | Comments (0)

W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) is proud to announce the launch of W.A.G.E. Certification, a paradigm-shifting model for the remuneration of artistic labor.

Initiated and operated by W.A.G.E., Certification is a program that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees—it is also the first of its kind in the U.S. that establishes a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.

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Art Opening: SUBSTRATE: Printed Matter from the Rust Belt

Posted October 13, 2014 by meredith_stern in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


Check out the event on their website here.

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Free Essays in Celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day

Posted October 13, 2014 by dylanminer in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


As many followers of Justseeds know, today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In the United States, today is a federally-recognized, national holiday known as Columbus Day. In much of Latin America, today is celebrated from a slightly different perspective and called Día de la Raza. While the latter is less problematic than celebrating the violence of Columbus and settler-colonial regimes put in place by those who came in his wake, Día de la Raza is also linked to colonial logics of de-indigenization and, particularly, the anti-Indian logic of people like José Vasconcelos, who in 1925 published La Raza Cósmica.

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JBbTC 196: Ghana Publishing House

Posted October 13, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Johnevi_ValleyOfTheDead_GPH.jpgFor the past decade I've slowly been collecting all kinds of paperbacks published about and within Africa. Last year at the Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City I ran across a selection of books by a small publisher in Tema (just east of Accra), Ghana—Ghana Publishing House (GPH). GPH barely exists online, there is almost no information about them, but I suspect they were founded in the 1960s, post-Independence, like many similar sub-Saharan publishing projects such as East African Publishing House in Nairobi, Mbari in Ibadan, or Tanzania Publishing House in Dar es Salaam. Like much of the output of African publishers, part of what attracts me to these books is how much they do with limited means. The covers are rarely full color, but complex constructions in duotone or tritone; the registration is often done by hand, and thus imperfect; the type is limited by creatively deployed; and photographs are rare, with unique illustrations far more common. All these things add up to unique, strange, and powerful covers.

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Rafael Moreno on Indigenous People's Day

Posted October 9, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


From Left to Right: Winona Laduke [Anishnaabe], Wicahpiluta Candelaria [Rumsen Ohlone], and Comandante Ramona [Tzotzil Maya]. Art by Rafael Moreno.

I am really pleased to share some beautiful pieces made by my friend Rafael Moreno. He has been screen printing for several years now and it is wonderful to see his cultural projects blossoming. Indigenous People's Day (NOT columbus day) is next week and he has some wonderful suggestions for thoughful ways to spend the day.

"Columbus day is coming up soon, a day where folks honor the “discovery” of the Americas. However, I choose not honor this holiday in the name of a man who brought forth genocide, rape, colonization, displacement etc; this list can keep getting bigger. As oppose to viewing the history of Indigenous people solely through hardships and heartaches, I like to view these histories through resistance. Indigenous peoples have always resisted, and through resilience they have won tremendous victories to continue to claim lands and traditions which belong to them." Read more here: http://rafaelmorenosf.com/2014/10/07/indigenous-peoples-day/

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TONIGHT! “Prison is a form of violence against women.”

Posted October 9, 2014 by jmacphee in Events | Comments (0)

joanlittle_we-will-defend-ourselves-against-sexual-violence-817-1975_fr16-312x460.jpg“Prison is a form of violence against women.”
Thursday, October 9
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave., NYC

Part of Self-Determination Inside/Out, Interference Archive and the CUNYGC Center for the Study of Women and Society present “Prison is a form of violence against women.”, a video program and discussion about the motivations for and processes of organizing against prisons as gender violence. With Victoria Law, Cecily McMillan, Amy Meacham, and Sharon Richardson.

[image from a rally to free Joan Little, 1978 via At the Dark End of the Street photo gallery: http://atthedarkendofthestreet.com/photo-gallery/joan-little-gallery/]

Penny Smasher: Phase One

Posted October 8, 2014 by shaun in Justseeds Member Projects | Comments (0)


This fall, I've been working with long time cohort Stuart O. Anderson to develop a customized souvenir penny smashing machine (also known as a penny crusher, penny press, or "elongator"). It's invigorating to finally see this project develop into something tangible, as we've had many fits and starts since originally developing the concept back in 2008. Back then, Josh encouraged me that we should really make this penny press soon, "before someone else does it and theirs sucks"...

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Point and Shoot at Milwaukee Film Festival

Posted October 7, 2014 by colin_matthes in Events | Comments (0)

Check out Point and Shoot at the Milwaukee Film Festival tonight and Thursday. It is an enthralling story of one young American’s grappling with notions of masculinity and self-definition that happens to take place amidst one of the most tumultuous time periods in the modern history of the Middle East. More info here


JBbTC 195: ESP

Posted October 6, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Smith_ESP_Pyramid.jpgA brief break from the longer entries, I wanted to share this amazing cover from Susy Smith's ESP (Pyramid Books, 1962). I can mostly let it speak for itself, but there is just something so infinitely creepy about the single eye through the hair on the back of the head of a crudely drawn naked woman, as if we are supposed to be allured in by the sexiness and then shocked by the eye. Blech. I love this cover because it must have been so weird and fun to design (by T. H. Chibbaro, by the way). Enjoy!

Book: In Our Power

Posted September 30, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

I recently completed the art and cover design for an exciting new book by Nora Barrows-Friedman on the U.S. student movement for Palestine Solidarity including the rich history of Palestinian-American activism for justice and equality for nearly a century in this country.

In the years following Israel’s 2008–9 “Operation Cast Lead” assault on the Palestinians of Gaza, a new kind of student movement emerged on US campuses, in support of the idea that Palestinians should gain the full exercise of their human and political rights within their historic homeland. This new movement of students for justice in Palestine has helped to put “BDS,” the worldwide campaign supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law, firmly onto the national map.

In 2013 and early 2014, journalist Nora Barrows-Friedman crisscrossed the United States interviewing the young activists who form the core of this movement, and their voices ring out strongly from every page of her new book. In Our Power reveals the rich political legacy these students are building. This new student movement in support of Palestinian rights faces many challenges from on and off-campus opponents. But the strength and intelligence of the voices revealed in the pages of In Our Power show us that truth, justice, and “people power” are capable of withstanding such attacks and continuing forward to victory.

Pre-order the book here http://justworldbooks.com/in-our-power/

JBbTC 194: Ramparts Press

Posted September 29, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Heins_StrictlyGhetto_Ramparts.jpgI'm going to try to be a little less complete-ist than I've been in the past, hopefully making these posts a bit easier to compile. To that end, this is hardly the complete output of Ramparts Press, but a dozen covers I've found over the years. They published at least double this amount, likely even more. While a fair amount of information about the Ramparts magazine is available (see HERE), I've found very little about the book publishing wing, and I have little knowledge about who the editors were, who decided on design, etc, etc.

Before I was noticing publishers much, I stumbled upon a copy of Majorie Heins' Strictly Ghetto Property, which is a great, and possibly the only, history of Los Siete de la Raza. Los Siete were a group of seven Chicano youth, mostly activist college students, framed for the shooting of a police officer in San Francisco. As far as I can tell, the book has long been out of print, and although you can find copies online, the only one I've ever seen in a used bookstore is the one I bought a decade ago in SF (at Dog Eared I believe, back when they were cheap!). I've always loved the cover, designed by someone using the pseudonym MEAT (!), which falls right into the visual trajectory of Chicano printmaking. I have no idea who MEAT is, but the graphic could sit comfortably next to early work by Rubert Garcia, Malaquias Montoya, Juan Fuentes, or any of the Bay Area printmakers of that era.

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Reflections of Healing

Posted September 28, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes

Join me at the Oakland Museum of California for the public unveiling of Reflections of Healing, a large-scale art installation created by artist and educator Brett Cook with participation from the community. The installation, which will be visible from across Lake Merritt, features portraits of notable Oakland healers, who through practice or legacy demonstrate healing in their work. I am honored to be one of the people selected whose teen portrait will be included in this project. Join the celebration on 12th Street/Lake Merritt Boulevard in the parklet between the Museum and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, and enjoy food trucks, music, wellness activities, art making, and more during Friday Nights @ OMCA. The celebration is Free to the public.

Why Do We Protest?

Posted September 27, 2014 by roger_peet in Inspiration | Comments (0)


I wrote this article for Bitch Magazine in the leadup to the recent People's Climate March, thinking about futility and frustration and the reasons we do the work we do.

If I were making a list of things that felt absolutely futile to protest, I'd put climate change at the top. And if I were making a list of organizations that have failed in their efforts to get the world to care about climate change, I'd put the UN near the top, too.
But this weekend, I’ll be part of the People's Climate March, America’s largest ever climate-related protest. The gigantic rally on Sunday rally in New York City is targeting the international bigwigs in town for the UN's Climate Summit. I’ve spent the week in a warehouse in Brooklyn, along with many, many other people, making arty props and propaganda for the event. Sometimes, this work doesn't seem to make much sense.

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Pittsburgh: Zine Fair Sunday!

Posted September 26, 2014 by bec_young in Events | Comments (0)


We'll be there! More information here...

Ferguson: Chronicle of an Insurrection from SubMedia

Posted September 24, 2014 by k_c_ in Film & Video | Comments (0)

An in depth look at the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri following the police murder of Michael Brown, a black teenager. Also features an exclusive interview with former Black Panther, Ashanti Alston, about the state of black “America”, abolishing penile power and taking care of your peeps in the muthafuckin resistance.

JBbTC 193: Scanlan's

Posted September 22, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

scanlans1.jpgScanlan's Monthly was a New Left political/counter-cultural magazine that ran for eight issues and less than a year, March 1970 to January 1971. It was co-founded and co-edited by Warren Hinckle III and Sidney Zion. Hinckle had been an editor at Ramparts, an extremely influential New Left monthly that grew out of the Catholic left in the early 60s, and went on to become the Time or Newsweek of the 60s and 70s social movements. I'll be discussing Ramparts more next week, when I start looking at the covers for their publishing imprint.

Like Ramparts, Scanlan's was intended to be a relatively slick and cleanly designed magazine, as opposed to the much scrappier underground press that was dominant at the time. There is not a lot of info online, and the old issues are difficult to track down at any affordable price. The focus was on muck-raking journalism rather than the music and drugs that were at the core of many other publications. Supposedly the title comes from a pig farmer, and Scanlan's was one of the first places to publish Hunter S. Thompson's more "gonzo" stories.

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Howard Zinn Bookfair

Posted September 21, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Events | Comments (0)


I recently completed the poster to promote the first ever Howard Zinn Bookfair that will be held at San Francisco’s Mission High School on November 15th 2014. It is a celebration of the books that make us rethink our roles in the world and connect people with hidden histories...

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Posters for Gaza

Posted September 19, 2014 by jmacphee in Posters & Prints | Comments (0)

MacPhee_HumanitePage.jpgA number of venues have been collecting the posters and graphics produced in solidarity with Gaza over the past couple months, and I thought it would be cool to share some of the links. All of these include posters created by Justseeds artists and friends:

The French newspaper l'Humanité has been publishing them in the paper, and collecting them online HERE.

Print Magazine published a collection online HERE.

Handala Has a Posse is a more DIY affair, a great tumblr of Gaza images, HERE.

(the image to the right is my poster "Toward Freedom" published in l'Humanité)

Amazing! (Josh)

Posted September 17, 2014 by icky in Amazing! | Comments (0)


The ongoing blog series where I ask Justseeds members for five things that have been inspiring them lately. This one from Josh MacPhee in NYC:

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People's Climate March art: 30-city wheatpaste action: part 2

Posted September 17, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Art & Politics | Comments (0)

The People's Climate March - billed as the largest climate march in history - is days away - this Sunday, September 21st in NYC. The Flood Wall Street action takes place the next day on Monday. On Tuesday the UN meets and is dedicating a full-day discussion to global warming. Demonstrations are taking place in hundred, if not thousands, of cities across the world on Sunday in solidarity with the People's Climate March.

To get the word out on the PCM a number of us in Justseeds created free downloadable graphics. We also coordinated with 350.org a 30-host wheatpasting action across N. America where hosts put up 4'x6' images by Favianna Rodriguez, Josh MacPhee, Chip Thomas, various collage elements, and their own work. Last week I posted the first installment of some of the photos that hosts sent me. Here is the second installment.

Victoria, BC:

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New Mural by Mazatl for Mexican Independence Day

Posted September 16, 2014 by santi in Street Art & Graffiti | Comments (0)


I worked on this mural last week in order for it to be ready for today, Mexican Independence Day. I teamed up with graffiti writer "Homie" who did a super clean job on the lettering. Banner reads Howard Zinn's quote "There is no flag big enough... to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

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The Screenprint Biennial 2014

Posted September 16, 2014 by jmacphee in Events | Comments (0)


I just got some photos from this past weekend's opening of the first annual Screenprint Biennial, in Troy, NY. My ______ Manifesto diptych was included, which I'm really excited about. There's a couple more photos if you click below, and you can find more info on the Biennial HERE.

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JBbTC 192: Curbstone Press pt.5

Posted September 15, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Schaaf_Revolut_Curbstone75.jpgFor the first four weeks of looking at the output of Curbstone Press, I broke the books into semi-distinct categories: Roque Dalton and Curbstone's origins, Claribel Alegría and other Latin American Literature, the Art on The Line series, and the crossover with Danish artists and writers. This final week is everything that fell through the cracks.

While the above makes up 80% or so of Curbstones early output (I'm really only looking at 1975-1995 in these posts, but Curbstone continued to publish, and still nominally exists as an imprint of Nortwestern University Press), there were other interests as well. I assume because of physical proximity, it appears that the editors were in close contact with socially-engaged poets who taught at the University of Connecticut. Richard Schaaf was one of those, and his 1975 poetry collection Revolutionary at Home must have been one of Curbstone's first books. The cover is really charming, with Schaaf pictured up on a later tuckpointing a building (maybe his home?). The image brings forward the multiple possible meanings of the words in the title, both "revolutionary" and what that entails, and "at home."

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Sounds of the Week #17

Posted September 14, 2014 by pete in Sounds of the Week | Comments (0)


Well hello again friends, Sounds of the Week is back, even if only for a brief moment, (hopefully I'll find time for this more often). I've been stuck on some new music that I felt compelled to share so here goes:

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Carbon Bomb Blows Up

Posted September 12, 2014 by roger_peet in Events | Comments (0)

Justseeds colleagues Katherine Ball and Artur Van Balen have been busy warming up for the big People's Climate March on the UN that's happening the 21st of this month. Their most recent action: a Carbon Bomb, blown up near West Point Military Academy, that draws attention to the little-discussed fact that the US military is the largest emitter of CO2 on the planet. Forget all your efforts at minimizing your impact- the real problem is the massive military machine that is currently revving back to life for a new involvement in Iraq and Syria. There'll be more actions like this coming up, including an effort to Flood Wall Street! Click through for more on the Carbon Bomb project.

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Tonight! Self-Determination Inside/Out

Posted September 11, 2014 by jmacphee in Events | Comments (0)

1527044_10204049862434426_741416050361930849_n.jpgSelf-Determination Inside/Out:
Prison Movements Reshaping Society

Opening: Thursday, September 11, 7-10pm
Exhibition runs: September 11 – November 16, 2014

Interference Archive presents Self-Determination Inside/Out, a comprehensive exhibition and public program series featuring the cultural materials produced by incarcerated people and their allies. Ranging from the Attica Rebellion to political prisoners, AIDS education to prisoners-as-laborers, the struggles of incarcerated women and queer people to the current wave of hunger strikes in prisons and detention centers across the country, these materials fundamentally recast the history of the prison-industrial complex. The exhibition shows incarcerated people not simply as the objects of state repression or social justice activism, but as active initiators and leaders in the critique of “criminal justice”—and other forms of injustice—in the U.S. Through publications created on the inside, posters, ephemera, audio recordings, film and video, and a schedule of public programs, Self-Determination Inside/Out highlights key moments in struggles for justice in the prison system. Organized by Molly Fair, Josh MacPhee, Anika Paris, Laura Whitehorn, and Ryan Wong

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People's Climate March art: 30-city wheatpaste action

Posted September 10, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Art & Politics | Comments (0)

PCMrichmond.jpgphoto of Richmond, VA action.

On September 21st during the People's Climate March tens of thousands of people will march through the streets in NYC to demand climate justice on the eve of the UN meetings.

To get the word out about the march and climate crisis issues in general a number of us in Justseeds have created images for it. We created a series of 11"x17" offset posters that can be downloaded here. We also collaborated with environmental groups - specifically 350.org - on a much larger project. This Summer and Fall I helped co-coordinate a 30-host wheatpasting action across N. America. Three 4'x6' images by Favi, Josh, Chip were printed in Toronto by Jesse, Mary, and others. They also printed collage elements and then mailed the prints to hosts across N. America.

Photos are rolling in left and right that document these local art actions. Here are a few:

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