Visual Resistance and The Empty Vessel Project are screening Gillo Pontecorvo's, The Battle of Algiers, on Thursday, Dec 1st at 8pm. The movie is starting AT 8:30pm. It's on a boat and there will be booze, bring your own popcorn.
$2-10 sliding scale donation.
Enter the event on the West side of the Carroll St Bridge, btn Nevins and Bond St, in Brooklyn. Its two blocks east of the Carrroll St F/G trains. Or take the R train to Union St. and walk two blocks South to Carroll, then take a right.
The film deals with the atrocities of war carried out by both sides, the Colonial Imperialists, and Insurgents utilizing terror tactics. There may be some striking parallels between the historical events depicted in the film and the ongoing war in Iraq. For folks who have or havn't seen this film, come and join us!
For viewpoints on the film:
In the past several weeks members of VisualResistance have installed two more Ghost Bikes. Thus far this year has witnessed 21 deaths in the NYC bicycling community. Each loss profoundly impacts friends and family, leaving an indelible mark on the community that they were just a vibrant part of. Annie Byrne wrote us from Seattle and asked if we could install a bike for her sister Liz Byrne who was killed on Sept. 23, 2005.
Here is a just a little of what Annie shared with us about her sister:
As for Lizzie, she was the ninth of 13 kids in our family (ya, I know, crazy right? Irish Catholic ; ) ). Anyway, Liz was an artist from the very beginning, and it was a huge deal when she got accepted to Cooper Union and moved from St. Louis to NYC in the late 1970's.
After college, Liz worked professionally as a freelance designer (advertising and packaging design), but she did that just to pay the rent. Her true passion was painting and photography, and she continued to paint until her death last month. Liz was by far the most left-leaning in a pretty liberal family. Man did she ever hate George Bush. Not that that's so uncommon of course. ; ) She moved to Greenpoint in the late 80's and lived there ever since. Liz was also a serious cyclist, never owned a car. In fact, she was a bicycle messenger in the city during her years at Cooper Union. I'd say in the past couple of years she was riding something like 40 - 50 miles a week. To your point about the politics of this, I'm sure my sister would agree wholeheartedly in the cause of making our cities safer for people who choose alternative means of transportation. For her, cycling had a lot to do with her concern over the US's dependance on and politically abhorrent behavior with oil producing countries. (She emailed me this summer about a bumper sticker that said "What's our oil doing under their sand?" That makes me laugh even now.) Anyway, though I never talked with her about the Ghost Bike installations, I just know she would have loved the intent, and such a vivid form of social protest.
Liz's death was all the more tragic as it (as almost all bicycling deaths) was preventable. The driver was actually cited in her death and an investigation is ongoing as to whether there was negligence on the part of Budget Car Rental who had several vehicles parked at and around the intersection which may have obstructed the driver's view.
The second memorial which we installed was for Angel Quizphi, who was struck down by a drunk driver after finishing work at a Queens restaurent where he was a busboy. The driver, Yung Choe, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. Quizphi had just days earlier proposed to Nancy Lazo who was waiting for him to come home that night.
After we install a GhostBike there is no telling how the surrounding community will respond. Jen Shao's bike was removed almost immediately from its spot, whereas the bikes for Andrew Morgan and Liz Padilla have become a part of their community.
We all sincerely hope that as people pass by each bike they give pause--even if only for a moment.
For more info, see all Ghost Bikes.
Well, maybe not exactly. But he (borf) should!
Graduate student workers at NYU have been on strike for two weeks now. In 2002, NYU Graduate Assistants (TA's and RA's) were first in the nation to secure their right to unionize at a private university. Since then, Bush appointees to the National Labor Relations Board have reversed their decision to acknowledge grad-student workers' right to unionize. NYU is no longer obligated to recognize their union. Since the grad-student worker contract expired in August, NYU administrators have capitalized on this opportunity by spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to crush the three year old union.
Without a grad-student worker union, NYU's administration will have a blank check to implement unilateral decisions that affect TA and RA working conditions and undergraduate learning conditions whenever they want. Class sizes can increase, wages can decrease and health care can be cut without the university being held accountable to any kind of democratic process. This will solidify an already wide spread corporate model in universities around the country. For more information, check out this indepth analysis offered by proffessor Alan Sokal.
Graduate and undergraduate students are pissed and have taken their frustrations to the street. The poster above was designed by undergraduate photo students. It appropriates and subverts one of NYU's many advertising designs. The poster encourages students to call NYU President Sexton to demand he negotiate with the union now.
Here is another sticker, by a grad-student worker group called Nerds on Strike!
For more pictures visit NYU inc.'s photo archive.
For up to date information about the grad-student worker strike visit www.nyuinc.org
I'm not big on holidays in general, and the whole Thanksgiving-to-Chistmas season, with its frantic consumerism, stressful travel, and insipid jingles tends to make me a mumbling misanthropic mess. But in the spirit of recent entries on Zapatista murals, this year let's be thankful for the long history of indigenous resistance and the artists that celebrate it:
The above posters are by Claude Moller, Chris Stain, and Roger Peet, respectively. You can get them and lots of other great art at Justseeds. (Don't do it tomorrow, though --- it's Buy Nothing Day). And if you're in the mood to make something for a stranger --- which is basically what street artists do all the time --- you can get involved in Asbestos's Secret Santa Swap.
In August, our friend Mariel traveled from the U.S. to Mexico to join La Caravana de Artistas en Resistencia. This group of artists took a bus to Chiapas to paint murals in several Zapatista communities that have never before had political murals...
La Caravana de Artistas en Resistencia was the culminating part of an encuentro at the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, an ex-hacienda turned agriculture university outside d.f. apparently they host a lot of radical conferences there. The encuentro was organized by a Mexico D.F. based group called la L.I.P Gargola and a Minneapolis based political art collective called the Babylon Collective.
The incredible existing murals in Oventic, are by muralista extraordinaire, Gustavo Chavez, the spearhead of the whole experience. The prevailing themes in the murals are the things that make up the EZLN movement, democracy, justice, freedom, strong women, and of course Zapata, Che, Marcos, corn, children, and snails. The book held by the woman in my mural has the Tzotzil words for democracy, justice, and freedom on it.
The mural that I worked on was in a community that is one of the only communities with women authorities. So we thought it would be wonderful to highlight the strength of Zapatista women, how they are really such a force in the movement. We designed the mural with community members and they were very positive about having a woman at the center (she is with a baby because, of course, no matter what a Zapatista woman is doing from the age of 6 on she usually has a child with her--also, when we first met with the authorities in a very official meeting one of them was breastfeeding) and of course expected Zapata and Marcos to be represented.
Lots of murals have snail symbols to to represent the new caracol (snail) system of organizing the communities in Chiapas. The woman's blouse is also significant because the women in La Magdalena de la Paz have a weaving/sewing collective and make these very distinct blouses. I actually have a photograph of two women from the community (masked) standing next to the image of themselves. Also an important part of La Magdalena de laPaz is a women's literacy group that was started a few years ago-- hence the book.
Folks in the community were reluctant to help us paint, but were very eager to watch every brush stroke, which made for some funny incidents. One day when we returned from Comida we found the flowers from 'El Cima del Maiz.' It turns out that we were painting corn completely wrong, and this was a big problem. People were talking. "The corn stalk only has THREE ears! You should erase this one...and that one...and here is a flower from the top of the plant, so you will know how it looks. Of course we fixed the corn right away, but i was wondering the whole time, do they care that i painted it purple, pink and orange? Apparently not. Later, when i told a friend of mine in Cuernavaca about this incident she said, "What, don't they have corn in your country???" Also, the Marcos you see was like, version #4. We blocked him in in the lower right corner, but on the same day as the corn incident the corn-flower man approached us and said, "You know, people are talking. About Marcos. It's such a shame that he's so low down to the ground. hard to see! and so little...." He didn't even have to finish his sentence, we were already fixing it.
It was really great that the folks felt so comfortable to tell us exactly what they wanted, because it's their mural. They will be living with it on their presidencia until they decide to paint it over. One of the best parts of painting it was that it was right in the middle of the community, where everyone walks by. when the woman was developing all these women would walk by with their children, so shyly but would smile when they saw themselves represented on the only mural in their community.
We had fun with the kids in the community too. they spent a lot of time doodling/painting on the wall where the Magdalena and Guadalupe were. We kind of incorporated some of their images into that wall, but the authorities told us to erase most of them (I'd like to go back and do a mural skillshare with kids/young adults...) It was really interesting. We just handed them paintbrushes and paint and within minutes the wall was covered with images of snails, Marcos with his pipe, EZLN signs, masked Zapatistas...
So i've written a novel. No need to add any of my babbling to the website, but I am including other photos (including ones of gustavo murals), so if you have any more questions just ask!
I don't usually write about this type of thing on this site, but a good portion of my non-art attention is devoted to civil liberties, online privacy, open-source technology, etc. Whether your a geek or a privacy nut or none of the above, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a group you should know and support:
From the Internet to the iPod, technologies of freedom are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. These technologies are increasingly under attack, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense, protecting our civil liberties in the networked world. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.
The EFF has fought the good fight on behalf of Indymedia, file sharers, and whistle-blowers, and against restrictive copyright laws, censorship, and the Patriot Act.
The EFF is currently campaigning to protect the online speech rights for online writers. They also have an invaluable guide on how bloggers can protect their anonymity online. With the police ramping up arrests and surveillance of graffiti artists, staying anonymous and free is about more than just having a good look-out.
Josh MacPhee --- badass stencilist, founder of Justseeds, workhorse behind the Celebrate People's History posters, curator of the Paper Politics show and Street Art Workers campaign, and all-around nice guy --- is giving a slideshow and talk this Sunday that you don't want to miss:
Taking Control of Your Visual Landscape
A Talk and Slideshow by Josh MacPhee
Novemeber 20th, 7PM
Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St., 212.777.6028
Taking Control of Your Visual Landscape is a presentation about just that, how our visual environment controls our social space from the top down, and ways to contest this. We will begin with a discussion of how corporations and the state use our environment, the "visual landscape," to create a monologue of control, and how this monologue frames our thoughts and behaviors. A slide show will be presented displaying an extremely broad array of styles and techniques of intervening in this system, spanning across both decades and continents. These images provoke peoples’ imaginations as to what a real public dialogue on the street might look like and show how possible it is. We will then discuss what seems to work or not work in terms of communicating on the street.
Josh gives a hell of a slideshow and is one of the smartest thinkers in the street art universe. Don't miss it.
November 20th-27th there is going to be a ROAD TRIP FOR RELEIF to New Orleans organized by a radical group called Common Ground. Anyone and everyone should get in their cars, trucks, vans, whatevers, fill up your car with people, and drive down to New Orleans to show your solidarity with the 9th Ward. Join a caravan or organize your own and make a stop in another city along the way to pick up supplies and other donations. My friend Blair is organizing an NYC caravan and recently returned from working with this radical group.
Here is what Blair has to say:
I worked with a group called Common Ground. The group has two parts; the collective and the free health care clinic. I worked mostly with the clinic. I also worked to mobilize clinics in other areas. We were stationed in Algiers, across the river. Algiers had no flooding, just rain and wind damage. However, everyone was still forced to evacuate. Algiers had and still has shelter that could hold approximately 40,000 displaced persons. It is currently holding ZERO. The state won't allow any building to occupy anyone. 'It is not safe for anyone'. Well, it is 'safe enough' for FEMA. Algiers has never had available health care before the Common Ground Clinic. Malik Rahim donated our clinic space. Malik is a long time community organizer, Green Party candidate and former Black Panther. The Common Ground Collective is a mass distribution center operating out of his home. Seven blocks away is our health clinic, in his donated a Mosque. We literally have bed sheets hanging from found pvs piping dividing some kind of doctor's spaces. We have four spaces blanketed off and about 8-10 stations made up of dumpster-dived chairs. The Common Ground Free Health Clinic has served over 16,000 people in New Orleans since the levy's broke (a few weeks out dated). The collective has done this with zero aid from any major relief agency. In this small space, complete with recycled furnishings, has seen more patients per day and kept more accurate records than ANY hospital or health clinic in ALL of New Orleans AND surrounding towns. And it is the ONLY one that stayed open during Rita.
finish reading this post to find out how to get involved...
If you are interested in leaving from NYC or being picked up along the way contact Blair: 347.385.1514 (NYC contact, and also helping connect folks in Canada, Minnesota and Wisconsin)
On the Common Ground blog you can communicate with many others from around the country to find other caravans
If you want to donate goods, major things that are need are:
-electrical supplies for rewiring houses (wire,
outlets, breakers, etc)
-12 amp, 100 foot extension cords
-good quality tools
-ready to run computers
-liquid vacs (wet/dry vacs)
-hammers and nails
-drills and thick screws
-mesh body protectors/suits
-all types of cleaning products
Supplies can be sent to:
Common Ground Relief Center
331 Atlantic AVE
New Orleans, LA70114
Or, if you are interested in donating directly to a family, let Blair know. She is in touch with a number of families and can send them funds directly. She can also give you the full report on her experiences, which upon reading I was simultaneously enraged and filled with hope at people's efforts.
If you're a regular reader, you know that Darius & Downey are among our favorite artists. Their work is constantly brilliant: beautiful, imaginative, funny, and challenging. Well, Friday night Darius Jones will be giving a slideshow and talk on graffiti and street art at Coooper Union. Details:
Speech and slideshow on graffiti and streetart
Friday, November, 11th @ 8PM - Free
Hewitt Building-Hewitt Auditorium
41 Third Ave., between 6th and 7th streets
Not to be missed. (Via Street Res.)
The long-awaited Three Cities Against the Wall show opened last night at ABC No Rio. If you missed it, no worries: the show runs through December, and the organizers have a series of events throughout the next few weeks. A little background on the show:
Three Cities Against the Wall is an exhibition protesting the Separation Wall under construction by Israel in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. This project involves groups of artists in Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. The show will be held simultaneously in all three cities in November 2005.
Through this collaborative exhibition, the organizers and participating artists will draw attention to the reality of the Wall and its disastrous impact on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by the separation of Palestinian communities from each other and from their fertile lands, water resources, schools, hospitals and work places, thereby “contributing to the departure of Palestinian populations,” as the International Court of Justice has warned.
The wall also destroys the human spirit. Spiritual and cultural life cannot survive under these conditions, and we, as artists, find it necessary to fight this crime with the means we possess.
The show features a wide range of artists, working in all different mediums. There is a talk planned for tonight at ABC No Rio, and several others in the next few weeks:
ARTISTS RESPOND TO THE WALL:
--- Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm at ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street;
--- Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30pm at VoxPop, 1022 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn
--- "Three Cities" artists Sara Danielle Frank and Tom Lewis will discuss the exhibition following their return from Ramallah and Tel Aviv:
--- Tuesday, November 22 at 7:30pm at ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street
This is a really ambitious project which deserves support. Don't miss it!
Brandon Bauer sends word of an open call from the International Network of Artists in Resistance:
In 2006 may the people rise with spray paint, voices, street theatre, stencils, drums, paint brushes and all other tools of creative resistance to let the world know that we will not stand for more borders to be constructed around us!
The first day of action will commence at midnight on January 1, 2006, the 12th anniversary of the passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Zapatista Uprising.
Download the flyer here. From the sound of the sound of the call, this seems like more of an "open-source" project than a strictly definded campaign. In other words, it is what you make of it, so anyone with any interest, drop a line to info[at]babylonarts.org to find out how to get involved.
Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman is taking a hard tack against quality of life crimes, suggesting that corporal punishment be instituted for graffiti artists:
``You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it.
``I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,'' the mayor added. ``That may be the right thing to do.''
And when Oscar Goodman talks about cutting off thumbs, he probably knows what he's talking about:
During his career as a defense attorney he represented defendants accused of being some of the leading organized crime figures in Las Vegas, such as Meyer Lansky and former Stardust Casino boss Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal. One of his most notorious clients was reputed Chicago mobster Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro, who was known to have a very short and violent temper. Spilotro was portrayed by actor Joe Pesci in the semi-factual 1995 movie Casino, in which Goodman had a cameo appearance as himself. Goodman also represented former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who was convicted of accepting illegal campaign contributions and eventually forced to resign.
And here you have a perfect little metaphor for the state of law enforcement in America today. A guy who has no problem defending remorseless killers wants blood for victimless crimes. Is it any different here?
Picture at top: Goodman w/ "Tony the Ant" Spilotro. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
A can of spray paint was a crucial tool for New Orleans rescue teams marking buildings in the search for survivors after Hurricane Katrina. Seven weeks later, the homespun graffiti is spelling out another kind of message.
"FEMA, where y'at?" reads the writing on a toppled column in the median of a deserted street in St. Bernard Parish, where residents remain bitter about the slow federal response to the flooding and winds that flattened homes and flipped cars.
In the storm-devastated neighborhoods of New Orleans, the DayGlo letters have transformed from emergency markings to a means of subversive commentary on the slow-paced recovery....
In the poor, mostly black Lower Ninth Ward, an abandoned fishing boat has drawn a new name in mocking honor of the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown. "SS Brown," the bow reads in bright orange letters.
Foul-smelling refrigerators, which line the streets of the French Quarter and the Garden District awaiting pickup, have become a public canvas. One on Royal Street has an obscenity directed at Vice President Dick Cheney. Another says: "Please send to George W. Bush."
Full article here. The messages described run the gamut from outrage to wry humor, expressing the emotional range of a city in grief and shock.
Image at top from nolacat's flickr photostream.
Saturday, October 29, was New York City's 2nd Annual Really Really Free Market. The day was filled with free food, massages, a piñata, a Dia de los Muertos altar, music, piles of useful yet random things and, of course, a stenciling workshop by Visual Resistance.
The picture on the right was taken by Ida Benedetto. Click here to check out the rest of the Really Really Free Market pictures she posted to the NYC Indymedia website.
Here are some reasons why the Really Really Free Market is so great:
- Because there is enough for everyone.
- Because sharing is more fulfilling than owning.
- Because corporations would rather the landfills
overflow than anyone get anything for free.
- Because scarcity is a myth constructed to keep us at
the mercy of the economy.
- Because a community-building day outside is better
than anything money could buy.