All municipalist meetings should be followed by a barbecue. Or, preceeded by, or take place during.
All municipalist meetings should be followed by a barbecue. Or, preceeded by, or take place during.
Another thoughtful and inspiring gathering around municipalist strategies yesterday as we read over the draft of the Barcelona en Comu International Committees statement for starting municipalist platforms in America. Much to unpack; from ideas around pluralism, difference, power, and notions of commonness, there’s obviously a lot of cultural and political translation to be done between a European and American municipalist model. And yet, so much to grab on to, desire, feel energized and inspired by. An aspect that stuck out for me which bridged this cultural divide was the necessity to begin and aggressively maintain a desire to build critical connections around ideas between people and existing publics, maintaining a close but healthy distance from the electorate. This isn’t to say that an “authentic” municipalist platform will avoid electoral politics, more so that it will access the electorate as a means and not an end. Much more to unpack, many more connections to form and sustain, and more barbecues to have after our get-togethers as well, because you know, those are where those critical connections take root.
The Zone to Defend is written by a collective residing on the zad, 4000 acres of liberated territory in North Western France, occupied against an airport and its world. The small book pulls you in through its dream-like narrative describing the almost unbelievable transformation of proposed infrastructure site into laboratory of commoning. The zad is a tangible act of hope against the wrecking of our worlds by the megamachines of profit and growth. With its 60 living collectives experimenting with a diversity of forms of life, and with popular support across the country, this occupied zone is a key front line struggle in Europe. The zone brings together farmers and activists in the fight for climate justice, against urban sprawl and for autonomy beyond the state, “its like living in the playground you always dreamt of as a child” is how one of its inhabitants describes life there.
It’s authors experiences on the edge of art and activism inform the books’ politics, and its voice documenting the ongoing struggle in relation both to French politics and, surprisingly, an art world that seeks to find a way out of endless cycles of symbolic struggle.
LA ZAD / THE ZONE TO DEFEND: A Liberated Territory Against an Airport and its World by Mauvaise Troupe (Amber Hickey- contributing editor, Alice Le Roy & Silvie Decaux- Translation) will be published summer of 2017 through the Tools in Common imprint Canary Press, a publishing collaboration between Marc Herbst (ed; Journal of Aesthetics and Protest) and Sam Gould (artist, editor; Red76 / Tools in Common / Beyond Repair).
Join us on Sunday, June 18 @ 2pm for our second meeting on Municipalism. We will be meeting at, of course, The Future (2223 E 35th St).
During this meeting, we’ll get to know each other and discuss a draft statement of principles (quoted above) being written by US activists working with Barcelona en Comú international to define municipalism in a way that’s relevant and responsive to the US context.
We’ll use this meeting to talk with each other and to read, discuss, reflect and critique the document. We’ll send this feedback back to the working group as an illustration of the participatory politics we are striving to create.
A full first draft is still being prepared. We will distribute it before the meeting.
Time / Location
Sunday, June 18
2223 E 35th St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
See you at the Future!
Didn’t get the memo? What is Municipalism?
Rachel at work.
The first billboard for this new project, Public Comment, coming out of the shop that Sam and Jonathan Herrera are working on went up outside of the offices of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) and CANDO, the Central neighborhood organization. The goal is to gather common, if not always complimentary in association, questions from around the neighborhood and to distill these gathered questions into a series of uniformly designed billboards, translated into the predominant languages spoken in the neighborhood. If you live in the Powderhorn, Central, or E. Philips neighborhoods of the 9th Ward and have a broad question concerning how we live with one another or might possibly in the future, call the Public Comment hotline and leave us a message: 1.800.536.0702 (special thanks to Aaron Johnson Ortiz at CTUL for the invitation to house the first billboard and to Rachel Hiltsley for her labor and insight into the project and its future). Also, if you are a commercial or residential property owner in the neighborhood and would like to host a billboard please get in touch. We’d love to collaborate with you as the project moves forward.
Hocus Pocus Vs. Focus – a Labor Camp banner in collaboration with Sam Gould and Seth Kim Cohen.
The kids are off from school today. We opened up the shop much to their excitement as they were ready to sell more of their drawings to the nurses and other workers from Alina. They have a rare capitalist gene I do not possess.
Just after opening, Mostafa – who runs a shop on the other side of the market – came in to make some copies. I was playing Nass el Ghiwane, much to his delight. “This is music from Morocco. Revolutionary music!” I could tell this was a rare time he’d heard his home country’s music in Minneapolis, let along music like Nass el Ghiwane. I told him how I liked them, but only knew a little bit about their history. I mentioned how I knew they were a very political group. “Yes,” he said, “they are people’s music. They risked very much, and even went to jail.”
We spoke of Morocco, and his family’s city, Fes, a place I have always wanted to visit. Louis gave him a Pokeman drawing.
All yet another reason why I love spending my days at the shop, and how much that love is energized, in good part, by everyone here at the Global Market.
Yesterday and today the shop has been closed. We’ve been out in the streets with our friends and our neighbors, voicing our anger, our commitment, desire, rage, and love in this moment.
With the help of Labor Camp we made a gigantic banner, as wide as the street itself, that Sam and Derek carried with Sam’s kids from Lake & Nicolette all the way down to City Hall. Together with thousands of others, it was a cathartic and beautiful collision of unique experience and shared purpose.
Today we made our way to the Minnesota state capitol for the Women’s March, joining over 100,000 others expressing our support for women’s rights in the fight against misogyny and systemic sexualized violence against women.
Many doors to a more inclusive and progressive future are wide open today. Our challenge? Keeps those doors open for as long as it takes to bust the hinges off.
This will take more than marches and more than slogans. It will mean not asking for permission to takes the streets. It will mean speaking up and acting out in our places of work and education. It will take confronting difficult issues at home with loved ones, and in our relationships with friends alike. It will take – each and every one of us – being active, energized, and out front each and every day. In all our moments, not simply the ones we see as “political.” It will take the recognition that politics is, simply, power and how it operates. And power exists between individuals, their relationships, their institutions. It takes our shining a light on that power – ours and the power (or lack thereof) of others – and pushing that power towards what is right…
It will require an America identity that sets a true example for the world about how to treat other humans and the planet we share. But what more? Putting gender, race, class, sexual orientation, nationality aside it might serve us more so to get down to what we can agree on when we think about being “human.”
At the moment this human thing, at least as regards the way we’re engaging it now, isn’t doing us too much good and we are quite literally sketching out our own extinction. Rather than jockeying for positions of power, what if we began to consider what is best for all of us and not just some of us? What if we began to think small as a path towards thinking big; looking directly in front of us rather than squinting into the distance and inevitably distorting what lies right in front of our face? What’s closest to you? What is it connected to, and you in turn it? After a while we begin to understand the network, and radically, deeply personally, comprehend our value as a node within it.
Sunday’s Anarchy is Female workshop felt like exactly where we needed to be. A large group of people arrive at the shop ready to get to work; to plan and organize together, to imagine ways of being, acting, resisting, and re-imagining the world outside of, and in resplendent antagonism towards, the specter of patriarchy.
Many flags were hand-drawn and matchbooks stamped. Variations on the Anarchy is Female logo were printed. 200 were produced and handed out, many of these being delivered to Washington D.C. for the inauguration, and others staying here for various actions.
As the day ran on Crystal and Sam both thought the gathering shouldn’t simply occur just once. After the Inauguration we’ll re-group and plan on future, possibly monthly, Anarchy is Female gatherings. Stay tuned.
Organized by: Crystal Quinn, Alexa Horochowski, & Beyond Repair
Based on inherent feeling towards what is and what exists around us, the battle against this patriarchal culture, is inherently female.
Around the rallying cry “Anarchy is Female” all are invited to come together for a printing event and skill / knowledge / experience share. Throughout the day we will be printing multiple different Anarchy is Female designs to be used for the inauguration protests within the city and throughout the US, including the Million Women’s March in D.C.
As a quick reaction to the recent electoral let down, a group of female artists have come together to create. Started out as a “book club”, they quickly shifted into a loving and creative space to discuss and create. For this event, the Matchbook Club will have matchbooks for take-away, as well as a handful of posters that respond to harassment in a non-violent way. Words are our friends. We have to start somewhere and we have to keep moving.
Make Flag / Burn Flag:
Many citizens are feeling disillusionment, anger, and frustration after an ugly election where expressions of xenophobia, racism and misogyny flared and threaten to become normalized. Burning a flag is considered “symbolic speech” and protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In conjunction with the exhibition “BLEED & BURN ” Alexa Horochowski invites participants to make their own, small flags with personalized statements, to be burned independently.
The Exhibition, “BLEED & BURN,” is on view at The Soap Factory, January 14-21, 2017.
All are invited to utilize the space in and around Beyond Repair to consider and convene their ideas on creative resistance to misogyny and patriarchy.
Anarchy is Female workshop, skill-share, printed extravaganza for radical female empowerment and care on Jan. 15 at the shop.
Details coming soon.