Art

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a methodology and set of techniques that has its origins in the political and cultural liberation struggles that developed in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by the late Augusto Boal (1931-2009) in the early 1970s, and since then has been used around the world by activists and organizers fighting against oppression in all its forms as a tool to help mobilize communities in struggle. Conceived and practiced as a martial art, TO is rooted in a popular education model of theater; its original objective is to transfer the “means of production of the theater” to people fighting to change power relations at all levels of society. In the United States context, TO has been successfully applied in immigrant rights organizing, in anti-racism education, in community leadership training, and in many other projects and endeavors that are striving for social justice and radical anti-capitalist change. Founded in 1990 with the support of the Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School, the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) is the oldest group in the US offering TO facilitation training. In this workshop, the presenters—all long-time TO practitioners—will teach some of the basic TO games and exercises, in which participants will explore how they and the communities and constituencies with whom they work can apply TO techniques to build solidarity, a sense of community, and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social transformation. TOPLAB has offered annual workshops at the Socialist Scholars Conference and the Left Forum since the early 1990s. Request: Two 110-minute back-to-back sessions. This has been TOPLAB's workshop format for many years. The same workshop will be offered twice.

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None
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Screening of OffCenter. OffCenter (2019) is an American, experimental documentary directed by Aylin Sözen and Cesar Jaralillo, emphasizing the attitudes and experiences of unconventional African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender people in Texarkana, a twin city in East Texas and Arkansas. It explores the racial, sexual, and gender identity of five central interviewees rebelling against Southern conservatism. Through firsthand perspectives, the subjects reclaim their identity, acknowledging the importance of affirming blackness, afrocentrism, the preservation of native civilization, and LGBTQ objectives in the rural South. The film merges low-fi cinema with a poetic, cinéma-vérité style to portray the existence of marginalized people, their encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a methodology and set of techniques that has its origins in the political and cultural liberation struggles that developed in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by the late Augusto Boal (1931-2009) in the early 1970s, and since then has been used around the world by activists and organizers fighting against oppression in all its forms as a tool to help mobilize communities in struggle. Conceived and practiced as a martial art, TO is rooted in a popular education model of theater; its original objective is to transfer the “means of production of the theater” to people fighting to change power relations at all levels of society. In the United States context, TO has been successfully applied in immigrant rights organizing, in anti-racism education, in community leadership training, and in many other projects and endeavors that are striving for social justice and radical anti-capitalist change. Founded in 1990 with the support of the Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School, the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) is the oldest group in the US offering TO facilitation training. In this workshop, the presenters—all long-time TO practitioners—will teach some of the basic TO games and exercises, in which participants will explore how they and the communities and constituencies with whom they work can apply TO techniques to build solidarity, a sense of community, and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social transformation. TOPLAB has offered annual workshops at the Socialist Scholars Conference and the Left Forum since the early 1990s. Request: Two 110-minute back-to-back sessions. This has been TOPLAB's workshop format for many years. The same workshop will be offered twice.

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Writers from several left publishers will be reading selections works intended to present a glimpse into what is emerging under the heading "acid communism."

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Location: 
NYC
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Planetary-scale technology companies have erected powerful new platforms that mediate everyday life. Increasingly this platform is the organizational model administering what once was known as “politics”. What are the implications for political and cultural institutions, their critique, and political aesthetics?

Writer, theorist, and critic Mike Pepi will discuss the rise of platform capitalism and the fall of the Silicon Valley project, and the future of “institutional critique” after the weaponization of digital technology.

New York based artist Joshua Citarella will present his ethnographic research on Left wing memetic subcultures that emerged in the wake of the 2016 election; Politigram & the Post-left (2018). These communities offer insight into how politically engaged young people are organizing online in ways that evade the Data-eye of mainstream platforms.

Will Luckman will discuss his work as co-founder of the NYC DSA: Tech Action Working Group. Developing a socialist perspective on technology and illuminating questions of how Big Tech influences economic policy, education, housing and criminal justice. Luckman is the managing editor at powerHouse Books, an art book publisher in NYC.

Location: 
NYC
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Poetry of Refuge, Flight and Immigration As capital and imperialism generate cruelty, climate change and need, more people are leaving their homes than for generations past. Poetry reflect their struggles, travails, feelings and thoughts. This session, organized for the Radical Poet's Collective, will highlight such poetry. It will primarily be based around relevant poems that members of the audience bring and read in the RPC's random-choice open mike approach. The Radical Poets Collective is a group of poets who are also activists and dissidents across a diverse range of disciplines and issues, from immigration to Israel-Palestine, Syria, climate change, Marxism, the Black Lives movement and more. We will read our poems and also invite audience members to read their own poems, and engage in critical discussion of the works and their social contexts. Organizers: José Rosa and Sam Friedman

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Jazz and Self Determination 4 is the continuation of discussions focused on the socio-political components within the Jazz idiom. The free jazz movement of the 1960's and 70's are the primary focus with the primaries of this activity providing the narrative. The first installment premiered at Left Forum 2018 and the second took place at The People's Forum, March 10, 2019. The topics include: formations of collectives, independent record labels, underground festivals, gender, working conditions for musicians and the black arts movement. Althea SullyCole is the co host as occurred on Left Forum 2018. The panelists include: Greg Tate, Basir Mchawi, Ahmed Abdullah, Ted Daniel, Jeremiah Hosea and William Parker.

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Location: 
LA
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The right to the city is a cultural right as much as it is a political and social one. Over the past fifty years, capitalism has dramatically changed the character and rhythm of the city. As rents have gone up and schools have been neglected and privatized, our alienation from urban environments has been underlined. This is illustrated and concentrated in the relationship of both governments working and poor people to art.

As the urban core is gentrified, struggling artists, musicians and writers are displaced alongside people of color and the poor. Even as mid-level and DIY art and performance spaces are shuttered and culture workers struggle from lack of government spending on the arts, artists and their art are frequently used (consciously and/or unconsciously) as a key part in gentrification projects. Recent protests of art galleries expanding into working-class neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color underline the problem.

Strategies to counter the use of art in gentrification are not merely about the defense of art as a concept; they are about the defense of art as a right in how working people engage with and shape their environments. They must take into account the political and material realities of multiple (overlapping) constituencies. This includes reckoning with the current political and economic state of art, music, literature and culture in the neoliberal age, their weakened position in relation to both the forces that commodify it and movements for genuine liberation. This panel will examine the current conjuncture of art and geographic political economy, and suggest strategies that re-engage working people with their right to expression and liberation.

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In this presentation, we will explore the philosophical and political affinities between the composer Richard Wagner and the militant philosopher Mikhail Bakunin, beginning with their joint action on the barricades of revolutionary Dresden in 1849. We consider Wagner’s Ring cycle as depicting the Proudhonian idea of theft and the figures of Siegfried and Brünnhilde as Bakuninist-Feuerbachian heroes. By examining Wagner and Bakunin’s common anti-Semitism, feminism and anti-feminism, and revolutionism, we discuss how anarchism and anti-theism influenced the creation of The Ring as an epic opera that depicts the rise and fall of capitalism.

Nevertheless, in light of the anti-Semitism that drives The Ring, we cannot overlook the undeniable Aryanist, national-anarchist, and proto-fascist aspects of Wagner’s approach, which represent disturbing lines that connect typically left-wing notions of anti-statist and anti-capitalist upheaval with ultranationalist myth. To delve into these matters, we will consider how the fascist creep applies to Wagner and Bakunin and compare the “dangerous minds” of Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger to those of the pair in question.

Location: 
LA
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Art

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InterOccupy.org hosts a discussion on their work in the context of the movement.