· Resident Weirdo·
Listening to Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble in the shop right now. I can’t begin to express how artists like Cohran, and the general orbit of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) has affected my art practice and how I approach, not just the conception of Beyond Repair, but my life in general.
In my first, and pretty much only, year of college I was fortunate enough to have Archie Shepp as a professor. I could go on all day about the many ways, artistic and political, that Archie changed my life. But for the sake of this post, I’ll say, were it not for him I might not have known about the AACM, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Muhal Richard Abrams, or Philip Cohran, among many others.
How does an art practice change when you purposefully attempt to skirt the boundaries of formalization, of economy, of notions of excellence that often create hierarchies that devalue individual and social life? And how does such an art practice begin to, however slightly, begin to change its surroundings and associations?
The influence of the work of the many folks in league with the AACM have, among others, allowed me to see where that can take you and what it can achieve over time. You may not make a lot of money. And likely people will think you’re a bit crazy, or stubborn, but things change. People change. New worlds become visible.
Malik is a security guard here in the Midtown GlobalMarket. He’s incredibly friendly, and we often joke around about books we could make together about he and his co-workers experiences on the job. The other day he let us know he has a book that he does want to make, not a joke, but an oral history of the voices of Somali elders – folks his parents age and older – who were able to escape the civil war and come here to Minneapolis.
I’m so excited to help to get this book published. It’s a publication that our neighborhood, and Minneapolis as a whole, needs.
Esme, Sam’s daughter, says: “Every animal needs a break, every one… except for books. They’re like, ‘Keep reading! Keep reading!’ “
“It is not yours,” the one-eyed woman said with the mildness of utter certainty. “Nothing is yours. It is of use. It is to share. If you will not share it, you cannot use it.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed (1974)
A big and celebratory gathering at the MGM today for Kwanza. Happy that Jayanthi Kyle – performing today – was able stop by and say hello. Once the New Year passes we’ll be working on a new children’s empowerment book with Jayanthi. Can’t wait!
On this day in 1862 38 Dakota men were hanged in Mankato, MN. in what is still the largest mass execution in United States history. Two Sioux leaders escaped, only to be captured two years later in Canada, where they were drugged, and smuggled back in to the US to be executed as well. Three days from now, December 29th, we will remember the massacre which took place at Wounded Knee in 1890. A slaughter which took the lives of almost 300 men, women, and children seeking refuge from the bitter cold, as they marched towards the Pine Ridge Reservation.
In Minnesota, and the rest of the country, the wounds of each of these days are still felt, the plight of Native peoples in America being one of the biggest and least discussed embarrassments in our short time as a nation.
Each of these memorials etches a black mark onto the history of the United States, but the continuing willful inaction of the US government and its people to address our country’s past and continued misdeeds casts a shadow darker and more ominous than any one days killing could amount to.
“It’s a real honor to even be included in this group of very committed folks. In reading this article – about artists roles within the climate of BLM over the last year, here in MPLS – I couldn’t help but simultaneously imagine the same article with different folks, in Chicago, Oakland, Baltimore, NYC. As they say, We Are Everywhere. Let’s stay everywhere. And let’s grow and make one another visible. Thanks so much to Paul Schmelzer for realizing the need to write all this down. There are tools all around us to energize power among us, and to dismantle the systems that seek to keep us apart.” – Sam Gould (editor at Red76)
“The condition of truth is to always allow suffering to speak!”
– Cornel West stumping for Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire (Dec. 2015)
Back by popular demand, in early 2016 Beyond Repair will be releasing a new publication series of commissioned essays on food, anarchism, gray markets, communal dining, and more. The series, Shatarsky’s – named after Sam’s paternal grandmother, will be printed on paper bags, available each Sunday by pre-order. Like most of our other publications, the bags will be for sale. They will come with “free” bagels inside of them. I mean, who wants an empty bag? Nobody, that’s who.
Considering the differences in experience, income, and generalized desires at play in any one neighborhood, what tools and agreements allow for the greatest amount of input and autonomy wherein people get to live their lives, without the effect of us “living all over one another?” Especially when taking into account the ever present force of voices from outside the neighborhood that seemingly need to be responded to.
Simply put, how do we allow for true democracy in the micro without the loudest participants coming out on top?
“No state [or republic], however democratic can ever give the people what they really want, i.e., the free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above, because every state, even the pseudo–People’s State concocted by Mr. Marx, is in essence only a machine ruling the masses from above, from a privileged minority of conceited intellectuals, who imagine that they know what the people need and want better than do the people themselves …” – Mikhail Bakunin (Statehood and Anarchy)
Rachel stopped in today to say hello and talk about re-publishing (and augmenting) some zines she made on “yoga” (her quotes) in the day-to-day. We can’t wait to help get them out into the world. Here she is cradling the baby Jesus / Taco Cat burrito. Perfect for this time of year. Merry XMas everyone.