(left photo: Joe Brusky; right photo: Gregg Smith)
On May 29th Voces de la Frontera organized a demo in front of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Milwaukee to protest the recent rash of arrests in Milwaukee – at least a dozen undocumented people taken from their homes and workplaces by MPD and ICE. A number of us contributed art to the action. Josiah Werning designed the “Have You Seen My Dad” image the day before the demo. John Fleissner, Josiah, and the YES crew were at our studio space screening the images and they also took some of my “Imagine No Borders” posters for the demo. Additionally Paul Kjelland’s banners of Obama and the Voces logo were on hand. Here is a link to a Justseeds blog post that details the demo.
Adam Turl conducted an extensive interview with me about the People’s Art History of the United States book for Red Wedge Magazine. It almost serves as the cliff notes for the book. Here is the link.
For May Day 2014 Red Wedge Magazine included an excerpt from my PAH chapter on the Haymarket monuments in and around Chicago. The full excerpt can be read here.
Here are some photos by Gregg Smith and Joe Brusky from the mud stencil action that we did at the start of the May Day March from Voces de la Frontera to the Milwaukee County Courthouse to stand up for workers rights and immigrant rights. The focus of the march was to protest the breaking up of families and the courthouse raids by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. This egregious practices happens when individuals who are at the courthouse for routine matters unrelated to their immigration status are then profiled, questioned, detained, and in some cases deported, resulting in families being ripped apart. More photos and text here.
On a recent book tour to Ann Arbor, MI, I made a detour to Detroit and put up a mud stencil up with UM prof and artist Nick Tobier and students at Bennett Elementary School. The stencil celebrates Detroit’s own Grace Lee Boggs.
Photograph of the March 22nd radical art panel at the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair with Emory Douglas, David Solnit, myself, and Melanie Cervantes. (photograph by Lincoln Cushing)
A few weeks back I sat down with C.S. Soong, host of the “Against the Grain” show at KPFA in Berkeley and talked for an hour about the People’s Art History of the US book, and specifically the chapters on the 1930s Artists’ Union and the 1960s groups GAAG and AWC. Here is the audio archive of our conversation.
This past Thursday I visited the Stateville Correctional Facility near Joliet, Illinois at the invitation of friends in the prison justice movement who teach a weekly class to some of the men who are incarcerated there. The prison mirrors the Midwest industrial landscape. Run down, underfunded, segregated, and struggling to find its soul. It was also a portrait of inner city America.
I talked about the abolitionist art from my book, tied it to prison justice art, and showed a number of images from Hank Willis Thomas. No surprisingly the men had a deep critique of the state, capitalism, and how racism operates in the US. It was a wake up call. A reminder of a country in crisis.
In early January I spoke on WPEB in Philadelphia on the Decarcetate PA prison justice show about the Justseeds Critical Resistance Portfolio Project. I talked about the portfolio, as well as a mud stencil action in Chicago with TAMMS YEAR TEN to draw attention to the Tamms supermax prison in southern Illinois. Throughout this conversation, myself and the Decarcerate PA hosts talked about creative strategies to bring public attention to political and social struggles. Listen to it here.
Here is a link to an interview that I did with Matt Dineen for the website Toward Freedom. The discussion centers upon the People’s Art History book and the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative.