Holiday Cheer Despite the Fear:
Hi. I know you're probably as terrified and outraged as me because... you subscribe to this newsletter, which means you like me, which means hopefully... you're a thinking person.
I'm sure you're also reading all of the blogs, articles, editorials, essays, and twitter clap backs. I thought I'd open this by reminding us both about some really important things, first leverage; in one of my favorite texts on art and activism (https://artsagainstcuts.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/users-guide-to-the-impossible-web-version.pdf
), The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination reminds us: "As systems theorist Donella Meadows illustrates in her essay ‘Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System’, linear chains of cause and effect exist rarely in complex systems, but there are numerous levers where “small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything”. Of the twelve points listed she states that the three with of most leverage are the goal of a system, the paradigm used to design it and most importantly our power to transcend that paradigm. What she means is think utopian, present new sets of values and empower people with hope and confidence! Three things that are the stock strategies of art activism." I've always felt that "Tactical Frivolity" is wonderful for this. Major Waldemar Fydrych
, leader of Poland's Orange Alternative is said to have stated the following, in opposition to an authoritarian regime:
- In Poland there are only three places when you can feel free: In churches, but only for prayers; in prisons, but not everyone can go to prison; and on the streets: they are the freest places.
- The Western World will find out much more about the situation in Poland from hearing that I was sent to jail for handing out sanitary pads to women, than from reading books and articles written by other members of the opposition.
- Can you treat a police officer seriously, when he is asking you: "Why did you participate in an illegal meeting of dwarfs?"
This is not to say that we have nothing to fear. We are living in a highly technologically advanced time. We are constantly being surveilled and infiltrated. But if we cannot keep each other safe, WE MUST KEEP EACH OTHER LOVED. Since a performative organizing meeting I was able to facilitate at the Hammer Museum November 11th, I have been helping to organize a group called "In Real Life Operating Systems," which is an intentional community of culture workers interested in building skills for thriving under fascism, economic and environmental collapse, and white nationalist violence.
We are educating ourselves in digital security, self defense, food co-opts, diy solar energy, and other forms of self/community reliance. I encourage you to develop your self-reliance skills as well. We can fight for a democratic governance, while simultaneously building up the independence of our communities, in preparation for a regime that has very little concerns for the needs of its most vulnerable citizens. Here is another website with great resources: http://www.theworldisaterribleplace.com/ohcrap/
I'd also like to encourage you to talk to elders. There are wise folx among us- those who have thrived in spite of autocratic and authoritarian governments. We have much to learn and they have much to teach. Reach out to The American Indian Movement
, Act Up
, The Black Panthers
, Black Lives Matter, The Brown Berets,
the War Resister's League
, Industrial Workers of the World, Revolutionary Autonomous Communities
, Food Not Bombs
, the Southern Poverty Law Center, The ACLU
, Critical Resistance
, Support FM
, and Earth First
and see how you can help and if they can help you organize!
This week, I was fortunate enough to be asked by GOOD Magazine
to be their featured Social Practice artist at GOODFest LA. I created a tree, inspired by the work of Edith Abeyta
, that was constructed out of coats, jackets, and cold weather items donated by festival goers. The items are off to be donated through TransHaven L.A.
to the LA LGBT Center
. The money from GOODFest was all donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. I couldn't be more thrilled to support all of those organizations, and I suggest you check out how you can help as well.
In February, KCHUNG will be developing a mobile news desk at the Getty Museum for our News Body
project. We are seeking to approach news in a way we would like to see the free world operate. We will be poetry. (https://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/kchung_radio.html
Lastly, I must tell you that we cannot normalize injustice. We cannot love it away either. We MUST organize, we MUST resist, and we MUST agitate. The LabOfII reminds us that "more information is not going to motivate us to act, neither are representations or pictures of politics, what makes us move is tasting dreams of what could be, stepping into the cracks where another world is coming into view". This is best articulated by the Bolivian Anarcha-Feminist Collective, Mujeres Creando when they said: "Be careful with the present you are creating. It should look like the future you dream of."
So Happiest of Holidays Loved Ones. May we Love fiercely and Resist with the same passion. I'll leave you with this video my partner, Def Sound, and I made for you. Def wrote, produced, and performed this song and I made the video. Enjoy and keep each other loved.