How to Reimagine the World

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How to Reimagine the World. Collaboration Principles for Artists & Social Justice Organizers

Developed by Micah Bazant, Forward Together, and CultureStrike

“Imagine Black liberation movements without music, trans and queer freedom struggles without dance, immigrant justice movements without posters and murals.
Art and culture are not just accessories to organizing, they are indispensable. Critical. The blood and and re of our movements.

They sustain us and allow us to not only imagine, but to feel the world we are building together. Art touches us powerfully and immediately. It conveys our dreams, rage, and joy, in ways that data and petitions cannot. Artists in frontline and targeted communities expand our movements and cross social divides by uncovering truths, reimagining our stories, and engaging more people. Cultural work may not always result in easily measurable outcomes, but it opens crucial space to dream bigger and envision the worlds we want to create.

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FACING RACE 2016

 

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What is the role of art and culture in movement building? How are we developing artist leadership in cultural organizing? How do we create structures which support cultural work in organizations? Greg Jobin-Leeds joins forces with AgitArte to further the discussion on the role of cultural workwithin our organizations, communities and movements, based on their new book and the workshops, When We Fight, We Win!. This panel will consider the impact that arts and social movements have on each other and explore how the arts as cultural forms contribute to social transformation.

Join Greg Jobin-Leeds, Culture Strike’s Julio Salgado and AgitArte’s Jorge Díaz and Deymirie Hernández in a conversation about the role of art and culture in the class struggle.

FRIDAY, Nov 11, 2016

10:45am-12:15pm Breakout Session Block 1

ROOM 210

Race Forward advances racial justice through research, media, and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.

https://facingrace.raceforward.org

 

CALL FOR ARTICLES: The Change Agent “When We Fight, We Win!”

Via SOUTHERNERS ON NEW GROUND: We are working in collaboration with The Change Agent (TCA), a biannual magazine publication used as a tool to help teachers and learners use advocacy skills and to promote social justice action as an important part of the adult learning experience. Our collaboration will ultimately be a special edition issue focusing on the theme: “When We Fight, We Win!”.

We are excited about our relationship with TCA and the work they are doing to bring movement work to our people on the ground directly affected by systematic oppressions and inequalities. It is our hope to utilize this publication as a popular and cultural education tool to start a conversation, to capture stories, and to develop our critical analysis and critique beyond the classroom for adult learners and for our people on the frontlines.

CALL FOR ARTICLES From SONG members, Adult Learners & Teachers

We’re accepting submissions from SONG members, adult learners and teachers for the next TCA special edition issue. The call for articles includes references to the book by the same name, ”When We Fight, We Win!” We chose excerpts and images from the book to create writing prompts around public education, LGBTQ rights, low-wage work, and housing. (You do not need a copy of the book, When We Fight, We Win! by Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte, to proceed with these writing prompts. You can access the excerpts and images that you need by visiting the links above.

ALL ARTICLES MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOVEMBER 4, 2016

All submissions must be received by the deadline to be considered for publication. Suggested length is 200-1000 words. TCA will pay $50 stipends to adult education students whose work is accepted for publication. All submissions are reviewed by TCA Editorial Board and SONG. Final decisions are made by SONG and The Change Agent Editor.

PLEASE SEND EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO:
cpeters@worlded.org
Please CC: takeaction@southernersonnewground.org
with “SONG TCA Submission” in the subject line

Cynthia Peters, World Education
44 Farnsworth St.
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: 617-482-9485
Fax: 617-482-0617

#ShutDownAdelanto (8/20/16)

In collaboration with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice and Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), CultureStrike and AgitArte participating in a culture-build and week of action (8/16/16 – 8/20/16) with community members of the Inland Empire in California to bring attention to the nation’s largest private immigrant detention center, operated by The GEO Group, Inc.: the Adelanto Detention Center.

Check out the video and share it! #ShutDownAdelanto #EndFamilyDetention #Not1More

 

 

Video by Jesús Iñiguez, Culture Strike

#ShutDownAdelanto Week of Action

 

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AgitArte will be joining forces with ‪#‎Culturestrike‬ in SoCal August 16-21 to ‪#‎shutdownadelanto‬.

Adelanto, CA is home to the biggest immigration detention center, removed and away from everyone, these prison systems need to be shut down!

Tag visual artists below who are in the area and would like to support! ‪#‎shutdowndetentioncenters‬ #shutdownadelanto ‪#‎immigration‬ ‪#‎artivist‬ ‪#‎culturebuild‬ ‪#‎schoolsnotprisons‬ ‪#‎qtpoc‬ ‪#‎translivesmatter‬ #‎immigrationisbeautiful‬

The Artists and Activists Who’ve Aimed at the Roots of Injustice

Sweet review for Hyperallergic by Alexis Clemens:

 

A few years ago I was covering a panel discussion for Hyperallergic featuring members of Gran Fury, an ACT UP affinity group focused primarily on producing what group members themselves called “propaganda” against a government hellbent on isolating, vilifying, and smugly looking on as tens of thousands of their citizens died of AIDS. There were a number of young people in the audience at the event and more than once the hand of one of these audience members rose to ask how they could do something similar — how they could employ similar tactics and ideas in political struggles happening today.

Reading the book When We Fight, We Win!: Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World by Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte, with input from Rinku Sen, Antonia Darder, and David Goodman, felt, in certain ways, like an answer to those questions.

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One Rise, One Fall: Organizing, resisting, and grieving for Pulse by SONG

We were closing out the last day of our largest annual membership gathering of the year, SONG Gaycation, when we got the news. Nearly everyone of us slept in a little that morning. We turned over to our long-term lovers, our crushes, our best friends, and we slumbered to the dining hall for breakfast and goodbyes. Nobody remembers who heard the news about the massacre of our LGBTQ kin in a gay bar in Orlando first, but it spread quickly filling us with questions, with sadness, with fury. We glued ourselves to our phones hoping the service was good enough to find out more, to find out if our close friends and family were in that gay bar, to let other people know that we weren’t. We watched the body count rise over the hours. We stared at each other and hugged each other. We rubbed each others backs. We floated around wondering what to do with ourselves in the eerie air. We cried, a lot. We built an altar to hold space for our grieving as best as we could. We remembered the night before many of us were dancing with one another in a dusty old lodge, sharing tales of coming out by the fire, flirting, listening to our elders share stories of coming home to gay bars and the lovers and orgasms they would never forget. Gaycation has always been a place of joy and celebration, one of the many places of sanctuary we’ve created together from the multi-racial, intergenerational kinship network that is SONG.

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A Gathering Storm, A Rising Tide. By SONG

A Gathering Storm, A Rising Tide,
The political will and imagination we need now to organize a world free from fear in the age of HB2

Here is a piece collectively shaped by SONG staff. It is long. It is heavy. It is heartfelt. Often, we claim that we are not experts. You will not find any of us with PhDs or elaborate resumes on any of the subjects mentioned below (though we have called upon many in the SONG family who do!). We do claim, however, that we are experts of our own lives. Here we have attempted to trace the trajectory of some of those lived experiences to the experiences of our ancestors and the living survivors and fighters in our communities. We have worked to trace the trajectory too of their resistance, political imagination, and brilliance that is connected to our own present day purpose in fighting for our survival and livelihood.

 

A Gathering Storm, A Rising Tide

 

SONG has carried forth this call in our daily organizing and culture building as an unapologetic devotional to women, queer people, transgender people, native people, Black people, immigrant people, disabled people, working people, and poor people. Our work has long called for us to pay attention to the bleeding points, the sites where our bodies are being caged, controlled, policed, surveilled, assaulted and murdered by the State or with its sanction. We too have seen these points as sites of potential resistance, possibility, and transformation. It is simply not enough to say that these abuses must stop. We must also fight for the full liberation of our bodies with an urgency best demonstrated by the abuelas who u-lock their necks to detention center gates so that their children inside can hear the chanting, by the teenagers of Ferguson who did not hesitate to break curfew, by the trans liberators dancing in defiance in front of governor’s mansions, and by each of us who make choices small and large every day to honor our truths, our lives and our people even when the potential consequences lay heavy on our spirits.

There is a call across movement, across sector, across geography, and across identity to answer this political moment with the urgency required of each of us to move in step, sometimes coordinated and sometimes in a different dance, to claim a future that is rightfully ours to live with our desire, autonomy, sovereignty, and self-determination. We cannot afford to be divided, each working on our issues in silos, while ultra-conservative leaders and institutions dismantle our social safety net and poison the collective political imagination.

 

Kindred Choirs, Cantastorias, and Puppets with AgitArte! by SONG

SONG and the folks from AgitArte recently had the opportunity to begin the journey towards a very beautiful collaboration. AgitArte, in their own words, are a group of folks who work in communities threatened by under-development, displacement and gentrification, using the arts and cultural work to educate and to organize for social and economic justice. At SONG, we are amped to step up our cultural work game, and who better to do that with, than with these folks? Dey and Jorge of AgitArte came to Atlanta to facilitate a training with SONG members and staff around the work that they do and how we can incorporate helpful aspects of that into our ongoing organizing work.

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Then they walked us through brainstorming how SONG wants to utilize these tools: What narratives and voices are we trying to lift up? What political interventions are we trying to build? For SONG, it is clear that through cultural work we want to:

1. Build popular education and political education
2. Showcase and focus our history and legacy as LGBTQ Freedom Fighters
3. Create a vision of a South free from fear

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