There's an awful lot of mass murder going on in Mexico. Piles of dead bodies are heaped in public squares, hung from bridges, or dismembered and decapitated and laid out next to each other like so many beeves at the slaughterhouse. The cartel operatives who do the hard work of killing leave detailed messages with their victims, in the form of painted banners or sheets, sometimes with neatly plotted vinyl lettering on grommeted plastic canvas. These "narcomantas" state that the butchered corpses above whom they hang are members of rival groups who have been mown down in warfare, opponents eliminated in the course of securing new territory. Almost always these awful cenotaphs are employed to "send a message" either to a rival group or to the government. Over at the Borderland Beat blog there's an interesting new entry that is fascinating and horrifying in equal measure, dealing with an incredibly wild and insane characteristic of these mass murders that is coming increasingly to light (careful when you click that link; there's some graphic photos but the post is worth reading).
One of the most striking visual things about Berlin at street level is that there is still a thriving poster scene. While most of the posters are commercial, there are still a fair amount of political posters and stickers, particularly in certain neighborhoods, especially those like Kreuzberg which are historically left wing. Here's a selection of some of the political posters and such up while we were there.
Mobilizing and Organizing From Below June 1st - 3rd, 2012 2640 Baltimore, Maryland
Mobilizing and Organizing from Below will be a gathering of activists and organizers, workers and parents, revolutionaries and militants and radicals and dissenters, dedicated to increasing our ability to come together and challenge the systems of exploitation and oppression that have taken hold of the world. The conference will be a weekend of intensive, horizontally-organized political education, in which we can share skills, analyze the problems we face, and pose difficult questions. It will also provide a space for people from different traditions to come together and recognize the depth of our similarities and the richness of our differences; a space for reflection and discussion, distinct from both the chaotic excitement of spontaneous mass actions and the intense demands of long-term organizing work.
Learn more at the events website mobconf.org
In June, 2012, the World Distribution Headquarters for the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is moving to our new office space in Pittsburgh! The move will allow us to expand our operations and keep providing you with our political art and publications direct from Pittsburgh, but we need your support to make it happen.
From a series of drawings titled Life Skills.
Our show in Berlin was paralleled by a smaller exhibition of German political posters and prints, collected by Heiko and Andreas (who helped bring us to town) from over a dozen artists and political groups. Here's some images of their section of the show.
The second book written by Fanon was A Dying Colonialism. The book was originally published in 1959 by Maspero in France as Year Five of the Algerian Revolution, then later renamed Sociology of Revolution, titled Studies In A Dying Colonialism when translated into English and published by Monthly Review in 1965, and shortened to simply A Dying Colonialism when distributed as a mass-market paperback by Grove Press. (Two years after Wretched of the Earth was translated and published in English.) This book is Fanon's look at the Algerian War, and specifically at the ways in which Algerians resist, both physically and psychologically, French colonialism and racism.
Raoul Deal, Lane Hall, Lisa Moline, and I are installing a large blackboard drawing about the politics of fresh water for the Surface Tension exhibition at EyeBeam in NYC. Their is a soft opening on Tuesday, May 29th from noon-6:00pm. Stop by and say hello before we head back to Milwaukee on Wednesday for the final push of the recall effort. I saw this exhibition at the Science Gallery in Dublin and it is by far one of the best exhibits that I have seen on the fresh water crisis. The official Surface Tension opening is June 1st, 6-8.
EyeBeam / Tue - Sat, 12 - 6PM / 212.937.6580 / 540 W 21st St. New York, NY 10011
Vanessa Renwick is showing her new project, Charismatic Megafauna, in Portland at the Hollywood Theater this Sunday the 27th. I watched the un-soundtracked version of this in her basement this winter. It was fascinating, eerie, and adventurous. Her description and show info below.
A beautiful video that isn't selling ANYthing!
It's message is stronger than any advertisement.
More photos of the Justseeds show in Berlin.
Here is an image that I made for the "Get-Out-the-Vote" effort for the Wisconsin recall election on June 5th. Feel free to recirculate the image through Facebook and other social media platforms. Walker commercials have flooded Wisconsin for the past six months and he has outspent Tom Barrett 25-1, yet his small lead in the polls is dwindling. The upcoming election is now too close to call. Voter turnout is going to decide the outcome and this is not a time for apathy and those negatively impacted by Walker's policies to sit this one out. My image connects the life-and-death struggles of the Civil Rights Movement (which included massive voter registration drives) with the recall election in Wisconsin. Specifically, my image utilizes a photograph by James Karales of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March and connects it to the present day call for economic and social justice.
It's taken me awhile, but I finally want to get all these images from the Justseeds trip to Berlin last month up here on the blog. Here are pictures from our exhibition at the Neurotitan Gallery.
Greg Miller has posted some incredible photos of the NATO/G8 protests in Chicago and the IVAW-led demo where veterans returned their medals.
To see more photos from the action, click here.
To see video coverage, click here.
Come watch Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times and Berthold Bartosch's The Idea at the Interference Archive.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Doors at 7:30 pm, movies start at 8 pm
Interference Archive 131 8th St. #4 Brooklyn, NY 11215
One of the great myths in the US is that public education should be expensive. In most Western European countries tuition at public universities is free or close to it. Austerity measures are starting to erode this public right but the very notion of free public education for college and graduate school is almost non-existent in the US. Instead students can expect to be saddled with debts in the range of $20,000-80,000, and some cases more.
This was not always the case. The Reagan years (1980-on) began the era of hyper-privatization in the US. One of the many casualties was the University of California system which in the 1970s was one of the model systems for higher education in the world with tuition rates at around $700 per year. Since then tuition has gone through the roof. This has everything to do with class war. America is far from broke.
My long time friend Mike Staudenmaier has a new book out, and has just headed out on tour. Truth and Revolution: A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969–1986 is a history of one of the more interesting, yet lesser looked at, 70s left groups. I'll definitely be at Mike's talk on Saturday, May 26 at 1PM at The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue (second floor) in Brooklyn (three blocks from the Atlantic/Pacific subway on the B/D/N/Q/R/2/3/4/5).
I also had the pleasure of designing the cover of the book, digging through old STO photos and creating a scrapbook-esque image.
From a series of drawings titled Life Skills.
What do you get if you combine social media, crowd-sourced funding, and remote drone strikes? Kickstriker.com. Imagine the scenario: you and a bunch of your evangelical, closeted friends have determined that the best thing you can do for "Africa", (that big, weird country with all the poor people) is to get rid of a single homicidal maniac terrorizing people there. You put out a call on an innovative social media platform soliciting donations towards his destruction. When the fundraising thermometer tips into the green zone, you can go ahead and place the order for a remotely operated drone strike on his secret jungle lair. What could be more proactive than simply getting a bunch of likeminded people to take unilateral action against other people they dislike? Isn't Kony just as bad as Hitler? Sign up now!
Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks was initially published in 1952 by Editions Du Seuil. I've been digging around and have yet to find a cover for that first edition, the best I can do is a 1965 edition from Du Seuil, to the right. There is usually little to say about French covers, and Continental covers more broadly from this period, because they are almost all clean and austere, with minimal graphic qualities and simple series' markings and the title and author in a clean typeface. (For the run down on the English-language editions of Black Skin, click HERE).
Ecole de la Montagne Rouge (School for Red Mountain) is a group of graphic design students producing work for the student strikes currently happening in Montreal. Their designs and methods are clearly influenced by the Atelier Populaire, from Paris in 1968, and are supposedly modeled after the Black Mountain College.
Check out their website, in French.
Ecole de la Montagne Rouge.com
and a tumblr of images
Ecole de la montagne rouge .tumblr
I just recently came across their activities and hope to share more on their struggle!
As a result of Neoliberal austerity measures towards Quebec education, this Tuesday will mark the 100th day of the student strike in Montreal.
The kids are alright, they're showing their discontent, every day.
Come out to the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair tomorrow, Sunday May 20th.
Jared Davidson, of Garage Collective and organizer of the recent exhibition of Celebrate People's History posters in New Zealand, sent me these great photos of the posters on display in the Young Adults section of the Upper Riccarton Community and School Library (for more info on the show, click HERE).
Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20Workshops, discussions, films, and a festival of Anarchy!
The Anarchist Bookfair will take place in two buildings across from each other in Parc Vinet:
Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV), 2450 rue Workman Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CÉDA), 2515 rue Delisle
No gods, no masters, no bosses, no borders.
FREE, Welcome to all!
For anarchists, and people curious about anarchism. Ever wonder What Happens at the Anarchist Bookfair?
The fight song for the University of Wisconsin is "On, Wisconsin!" The Wisconsin state motto is "Forward." Lofty ideals filled with optimism, but those days seem long gone in the badger state. The tone in Wisconsin in mid-May 2012 is more somber. Off Wisconsin, Backward, Fitzwalkerstan.
Wisconsin has had the highest job losses in the country under Walker’s reign. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012.
Wisconsin has witnessed the largest cuts to public education in the states history under Walker. Over $800 million in state aid to public schools has been slashed, while additional revenue cuts to schools will strip K- 12 education of $1.6 billion total over the next two years. In higher education, technical colleges were cut by 30% ($71.6 million) and the UW system by $250 million. All the while tuition increased at the UW system by 5.5%. In public health, Walker has cut over 500 million from the BadgerCare program. Talk has circulated of upwards of 50,000 people being cut from this essential state insurance plan.
On June 5th Wisconsin voters will go to the polls in a historic recall election that pits Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett against Scott Walker.
STREETOPIA, the show I've been curating with Chris Johanson and Kal Spelletich for like a year, opens at last this Friday May 18. Here is a list of opening night stuff for Friday. If you're in the Bay Area, hope to see you there!!! If you're not, come visit!
Come join us for Streetopia's opening night, featuring events throughout Mid-Market Street and the Tenderloin.
The evening starts at 5PM with dinner and music at the Streetopia Free Cafe provided artist, Sy Wagon, and Strawberry Smog, a band featuring Streetopia artist, Kyle Ranson. Then check out the art opening down at the office of San Francisco Drug Users Union. The union is a group of activists, organizing to bring safe injection drug use sites to San Francisco. Artist, Barry McGee, joins them in collaboration on this installation that is open to the public on the opening weekend of Streetopia only! Meanwhile, Shaun O'Dell and friends bring the sprawling and chaotic, interactive and ever changing performance, THE SOMETHING, down to Market Street for a one night engagement in a vacant storefront at the Hotel Renoir from 7-10 PM. Luggage Store festivities kick off with the unveiling of a new mural by Rigo 23 on the Luggage Store door and a public dance performance by Brontez Purnell and Amara Tabor Smith on Market Street in front of the gallery.
[image: "_______ of the World, Unite!", a poster printed in the Streetopia broadsheet by Josh MacPhee, 2012]
Our friend Tom Civil is having his first solo show in 5 years in Melbourne.
LONG STORY opens on Friday the 25th of May from 6-9pm at House of Bricks. The show will feature hand-printed and hand-colored woodcut and linocut prints, stencils, carvings & engravings.
LONG STORY by TOM CIVIL
Hand-printed Woodcut and Lino Prints, Stencils, Carvings & Engravings.
Showing at House of Bricks
40 Budd Street, Collingwood
Opening 6- 9pm Friday 25th May, 2012
Open everyday until 3rd June
(Weekends 12-5pm, Weekdays 7.30am-4.30pm)
IVAW field organizer Aaron Hughes, a frequent collaborator with Justseeds, most recently on the War is Trauma portfolio, spoke today on Democracy Now! about plans for protesting the NATO summit meeting in Chicago this weekend. As always Aaron exposes the reality of a war economy and the military industrial complex from the perspective of a soldier and a GI resister.
Also, hear and interview with Aaron Hughes on NPR:
From a collection of drawings titled Life Skills. They are a sort of instructional drawing project.
If Wretched of the Earth is Fanon's manual for anti-colonial revolt, Black Skin, White Masks is the intellectual backbone behind it. Originally published in 1952, and based on his rejected doctoral thesis, it lays out the ideas behind the revolt—the psychological effects of colonialism. Although it is Fanon's first book, it wasn't published in English (by Grove Press) until 1967, six years after his death, and four years after Grove published Wretched of the Earth.
Black Skins is not a handbook for revolution, so it demanded a different cover treatment. What Grove went with was straight type, hand-rendered, which is very similar to the original Wretched dust jacket (see HERE), and a definite break with the Wretched paperback which was circulating in 1967.
Action and protest: May 14.
In San Cristobal de las Casas there will be a march and protest around the brutal murder of Itzel Janet Méndez Pérez and a number of other femicides that have taken place in Chiapas over the past several months. Itzel was a 17 year-old indigenous woman whose body was found on the morning of April 14 in the Sonora neighborhood of San Cristobal showing clear signs that she had been beaten, raped, and stabbed before her death.
A diverse coalition of artists, human rights groups and women's organizations, have come together to demand justice and accountability for this crime, and have gathered to assist with the organization of a public protest to denounce this horrible crime and demand justice. The action, JUSTICE FOR ITZEL, will take place on May 14 to mark the one month anniversary of Itzel's murder, and will consist of a march to the site where her body was found. On Monday, the coalition of individuals and groups demanding justice for Itzel and an end to the femicides will release a public statement will announce the May 14th action and include the names of supporting individuals and organizations.
Milwaukee-based documentary filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein has posted a ten-minute trailer of his new film "As Goes Janesville" a powerful portrait of the decline of a one-industry town in south central Wisconsin. The film trailer documents the massive class divide between rich and poor as industry leaves (the GM plant) and right-wing policies take hold. Around the seven-minute mark of the trailer Gov Walker's assault on the public union employees is featured and Lichtenstein captures on film a conversation that Walker had with one of his largest backers - Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks. The Defend Wisconsin website features the full quotes of Walkers "Divide and Conquer" mentality:
If you haven't checked out the Justseeds store lately, you might have missed the cascade of new Celebrate People's History posters that have been coming out. I'm excited to announce that a half dozen have been printed, and another half dozen are on their way in the next couple months. These are the first new posters in the series in over a year—there are some great ones, and they are still only $4 a pop! Check out:
"The whole story has still not been told. The agencies have gotten away with everything, a lot of people involved with the agencies have gotten away with everything, and nothing has changed for the benefit of the jaguar at all. Nothing in conservation, I mean, these fools can do this all over again. They got away with it once, why not try it again if the opportunity presents itself?"
Born on this day in 1800, John Brown is a man whom it is hard to feel neutral about. Called a terrorist by some and a martyr by others, Brown was moved to violence by his conviction of the slavery system as evil and wrong, a conviction supported by his strong Christian faith. "John Brown’s legacy is typically whittled down to his audacious orchestration of an armed slave revolt in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia...However, his October, 1859 raid on an armory saw Brown with only 21 armed supporters, all of whom were eventually overcome by a force of U.S. Marines." (Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas).
Before his execution, Brown gave a speech which summed up his views: "Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!"
Don't miss your chance to buy this gorgeous collection of prints, support the Wrikuta Defense Front and the Wixarika struggle for autonomy.
Take a look at this beautiful slideshow with details of every print and collaborators in the newest M68 Portfolio WIRIKUTA -Tsekie Tuamuxawita: Herido Lugar Sagrado. The slideshow also contains selection of photos from the Wirikuta Defense Front actions and two beautiful traditional Wixarika songs by Hilario López, Pablo López, Kwixi Aguililla produced by Rodrigo de la Mora.
In March 2009, headlines told us that “the last jaguar in the United States” had died in the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona after being snared in the wild during a routine study. His given name was “Macho B,” and his death – euthanasia at the hands of veterinarians shortly after an orchestrated capture – was originally publicly lamented as a necessary course of action for the aging, endangered cat, whose last days were wrought in an agony that could have only been brought by fifteen years of living wild. That’s how the story played, at least – until Janay Brun, a field tech for the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project, came forward to blow the whistle on the operation, out her superiors for neglect and hubris, and set the wheels in motion for a federal criminal investigation into the illegal “take” of an endangered species.
From a collection of drawings titled Life Skills. They are a sort of instructional drawing project.
This silkscreen print was created by Deria for Planned Parenthood of Western PA. No Glove No Love!!!!
Members of the G.I. Coffeehouse Support Network would like to invite you to:
A screening of the film Grounds for Resistance, a fundraiser for Under the Hood and Coffee Strong, the only two G.I. coffeehouses based in the U.S. There will be a short talk-back following the screening, which will include updates from the coffeehouses about their current G.I. rights and resistance work and ways to help out.
Friday, May 4 / 7:30pm The Commons 388 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, NY
The coffeehouses are looking for support from communities outside of the base towns they work in, so please join us for an evening of discussion about G.I.-led anti-war movement building. Justseeds members Molly Fair & Kevin Caplicki will also display the collaborative portfolio War Is Trauma.
A stunning short film documenting the movement in Barcelona. Take a couple minutes and give it a view. "And we continue..."
It has been six years since the heavy repression in San Salvador Atenco in the State of Mexico, where people had gathered to protest the eviction of flower vendors from the Belisario Dominguez market.
The flower vendors therefore asked the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) for back up since confrontations with the police were escalating. In response to the vendors calls the FPDT blockaded the Texcoco-Mexico City highway in order to pressure police away from their violence against unarmed civilians that would later result in the death of 14 year old Javier Cortés y 20 year old Alexis Benhumea.
We've been making a lot of progress on the upcoming Justseeds/Culture Strike Migration Portfolio (Title TK) that I'm co-coordinating with Favianna Rodriguez. We're producing nearly forty images by a broad range of artists addressing issues relative to migration and immigrant rights. In addition to a stalwart cadre of Justseeds artists, we're printing images by Emory Douglas, (the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture) cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, artist Imin Yeh, undocumented youth activists Julio Salgado and Felipe Baeza, and many many more. The images are being printed in a new print studio in San Francisco, opened by master printer Paul Mullowney, and at Flight 64 Studio in Portland. A third are letter-press prints, produced on a Vandercook press by the inestimable Patrick Cruzan. The rest are being screen-printed by the equally inestimable Jesus Barraza (of Justseeds and Dignidad Rebelde) and the slightly less estimable myself.
Jenna Freedman and Josh MacPhee on DIY Feminism
Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052
Jenna Freedman, librarian at the Barnard Zine Library, and Josh MacPhee, founder of Interference Archive, discuss the evolution of feminist print culture. They trace its trajectory from activist poster making, offset printing, and graffiti in the late 1970s and early 80s to the rise of the feminist zine in the 90s.This program is free with Museum admission.
(image: London graffiti, 1980. Photo by Jill Posener)
OK, so maybe this one isn't exactly citizen-generated infrastructure in the way I'm usually interested... or is it? If anything it's hilarious! Pittsburgh, PA, USA (Thanks, Alisa!)
....and go have fun!
This week's silkscreen print was created by Talonda and Iysha, to promote healthy food habits.