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Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Two Great Causes and Cute to Boot!

In art, cultural activism, indigenous communities, intellectual freedom, racial justice on July 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

First, I just love this poster by Oakland-based artist and activist Melanie Cervantes! She writes, “Hola Gatita sends messages of solidarity to Arizona and any where books about Chicana experiences are banned. La Gatita dice no to censorship.” Download your own copy here.

Second, this poster nicely coincides with Aunt Lute Books latest fundraiser. A small, indie press for 30 years, Aunt Lute needs support to publish a fourth edition of Gloria Anzaldúa’s groundbreaking book Borderlands/La Frontera, which Hola Gatita loves! If you have not read this book, you should. It is one of those transformational feminist texts that compels you to empathy, to action, to a vision of social justice in historical context, and to a deeper, more engaged humanity. Yes, it’s that good. (Among those critical books that gave me roots and taught me to dream when I was a teenager and newbie activist).

So DONATE to Aunt Lute’s crowd sourced fundraising campaign.

Aunt Lute will be giving away four limited-edition screen prints featuring Gloria Anzaldúa’s image and text from Borderlands created and donated by Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde. “The 22 x 30 inch five-color screen printed posters were printed at the Serie Project earlier this year and are valued and placed at the $250 prize reward level… Every donation, no matter what size, brings us closer to our all-or-nothing funding deadline on July 28. Please consider viewing our campaign page, or passing this information onto friends.”


Oh, and read why Hello Kitty opposes SB 2281 in Arizona. Librotraficantes! Stand up for Ethnic Studies.


The Multiple Meanings of a Muse

In art, censorship, intellectual freedom on February 14, 2011 at 7:25 am

I was just teaching a student how to find Creative Commons images to spice up a Powerpoint she prepared when I accidentally came across this awesome artistic commentary. 

Thanks John LeMasney for adding your voice to the chorus on the NJ censorship case against my book, Revolutionary Voices. That chorus includes students, actors, lawyers, journalists, librarians, parents, authors, friends and tons of concerned residents. Thanks for all the letters of support!

Following the public conversation about the book’s removal has been an inspiring experience, even as I follow its detractors. Just makes me more committed to creative and intellectual freedom!

Mud Stencils Remind Wisconsin “Books Liberate”

In activism, art, intellectual freedom, prisons on October 20, 2009 at 10:11 am

Some creative souls spent the weekend making a public statement with mud! Activists in Wisconsin created mud stencils to send a message to Dept. of Corrections Security Chief Dan Westfield who, a year ago, banned used book delivery to prisoners. The book service had been run by the Rainbow Bookstore for years.

Madison, WI

"Why Deny Used Books to WI Prisoners?" (Madison, WI)

Sustaining Libraries & People Who Love Them

In activism, art, libraries on October 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

In light of not so nice news in the world of libraries and social justice, here’s two nice things about today:

1) Someone told me I ‘looked’ like a librarian (without knowing I am one) as I sat researching away on my computer, which they followed with the exclamation, “God, I love libraries!”

2) I visited one of my favorite art blogs for some web/graphic design inspiration, and I saw this:

by Mary Tremonte,

by Mary Tremonte,

God, I love artists who love libraries.

Two Special Collections Honor 1968 Anniversary

In activism, archives, art, class, racism, social movements, special collections on December 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm
Univ. of Mich. Labadie Collection Exhibit "The Whole World Was Watching" runs through 1/11/09

Univ. of Mich. Labadie Collection Exhibit "The Whole World Was Watching" runs through 1/11/09

I just finished writing for a new book on multiracial coalition among anti-poverty activists in the 1960s (it’ll be out next winter through Melville House). It considers the unprecedented social change sparked 40 years ago. The book would not have been possible without the devotion of archivists and special collections librarians, along with those activists who shared their stories. Those dedicated archivists and community leaders have put together a number of great 1968 anniversary exhibits this year. Since a few of those exhibits are still running, now’s as good a time as any to go check them out:


"Rising Up Angry & Chicago's Early Rainbow Coalition" at DePaul Univ. through 1/12/09

"Rising Up Angry & Chicago's Early Rainbow Coalition" at DePaul Univ. through 1/12/09

The Chicago Oral History Project of the Center for Latino Research presents:
Radicals in Black & Brown: Pa’lante, People’s Power and Common Cause in the Black Panthers and Young Lords Organization


Rising Up Angry and Chicago’s Early Rainbow Coalition, 1968-1975

Exhibit runs through January 12, 2009
Closing Celebration: January 12, 6pm
Haber Lounge, John T. Richardson Library
DePaul University, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave, Chicago, IL


Julie Herrada of the Labadie Collection (University of Michigan Library) presents:
The Whole World Was Watching: Protest and Revolution in 1968

Exhibit runs until January 11, 2009
Hatcher Graduate Library Room 100
Univ. of Michigan, 920 North University, Ann Arbor, MI

You can also hear more from Julie Herrada and others on 1968 collections by watching video from the UC Berkeley Archives of Dissent. Click here to watch on YouTube.

Banned & Recovered: Oakland Art Exhibit

In art, censorship, cultural activism, intellectual freedom, libraries on November 20, 2008 at 11:26 am

img_1960Today I saw a great art exhibit at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO): Banned & Recovered: Artists Respond to Censorship. The show includes some truly beautiful pieces including an installation by Oakland artist Victor Cartagena in tribute to one of my favorite poets, Roque Dalton. Dalton’s poems rain down from the ceiling and cover the walls, while the doorway to the room reminds us: “Yes, we are not made of ‘words alone,’ but Dalton’s words were banned and he lost his life because of them.” Another great piece brings Toni Morrison’s Beloved to life, and another depicts the burning of Harry Potter books in cities across the U.S.

Co-presented with the San Francisco Center for the Book, the exhibit runs until December 31, 2008.

AAMLO 659 14th Street, Oakland , CA

Gallery hours: Tues-Sat, 12-5:30


Liz Hager

Artist: Liz Hager

Victor Cartagena

Artist: Victor Cartagena

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