activism

A Movement Begins in a Million Pink Bedrooms

by tatiana on December 17, 2009

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A few weekends ago I ventured out to one of my favorite streets in San Francisco (Valencia St) to visit this amazing zine show that I read about in SF Weekly at Goteblud, You Are Her: Riot Grrrl and Underground Female Zines of the 1990s. I was way too excited about this show. I know I say that a lot, but this time I mean it times 20. To be able to be surrounded by the zines and writings and manifestos that created a small yet extremely significant movement in the world and in my life… I was beside myself. Seriously out of body HOLY SHIT I CAN MAKE COPIES! AND TOUCH EVERYTHING?! experience. [click to continue…]

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About 3 years ago, I took my roommate at the time to see what I thought would be “a little play about the war.” I so was incredibly wrong. We escaped from Irvine for the night to see the Los Angeles Theater Ensemble’s Wounded. It was not just a “play,” it was an emotionally gripping experience that opened my eyes to a world I am not familiar with: the world of a wounded Iraq War Veteran.

Now, at a time of economic recession, the LA Theater Ensemble brings us Survived which is the follow up to Wounded, and the second play in what they are calling The War Cycle. As actor, Albert Meijer stated, “As artists, we are not ignoring the headlines that have been buried behind those concerning the economy, politics, and celebrity. We have chosen to bring the overlooked to light.”According to the website:

late

“Survived is inspired by true accounts of the families of soldiers fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It follows the lives of the Harper family as they prepare to scatter the ashes of 24 year old Lt. Michael Harper on the anniversary of his combat-related death in the Iraq War. A surprise visit from a soldier who served with Michael at the time of his death ignites a powder keg of emotion and throws the family into crisis as they strive to preserve their memories of Michael while learning to let go.”

The Ensemble holds “Talk Backs” after their Thursday shows where they make themselves available to engage in discussions with the members of the audience. The members of the LA Theater Ensemble are a very accessible group of individuals.  Survived will run through April 25th in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit: http://www.latensemble.com

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“There are some glimmers of hope.”

by tatiana on March 24, 2009

About a month ago I attended/volunteered at the 10th Annual FACTS Benefit, which was held at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, their current exhibit titled “A Dream Realized” compared the life and legacy of Dr. King with that of President Obama through a series of similar photographs.

A Dream Realized Exhibit

I had never been there, and definitely want to go back sometime and check out all of the museums in Exposition Park. It seems like a fun place to take my sisters. Anyway, the event was really thought provoking. I learned so much about how many individuals and families are affected by Three Strikes. It was heartbreaking to meet so many mothers who have sons or daughters in prison for non-violent crimes that do not warrant a life sentence. After meeting these families and hearing their stories, it infuriates me to think that Californians could ignore these injustices. According to Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who was the keynote speaker, African Americans make up 7% of California’s population, yet they represent 45% of those in prison because of three strikes sentencing. Something is definitely wrong here.

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

The Benefit held a silent auction for artwork made by prisoners at Security Housing Unit — or the SHU, at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California. Prisoners are not allowed to use art materials in “the hole” so prisoners improvise and use paper pulp from magazines or toilet paper and place that on drawing paper. Colors are obtained by using the coating of vitamins, candy or coffee.

SHU Art by Gabriel Ramirez

A lot of individuals and groups were present to support FACTS and it was really great to see so many grassroots and non-profit organizations come together to create visibility for an issue that seems to be so hidden and unspoken. The Youth Justice Coalition was in attendance and a young activist performed a spoken word piece that was as gritty and dark as her experiences on the rough streets of LA. As she said in her poem “we’re the children who rose from Watts in ’65… we’ve had enough, take the system down, and build something, now.”

It is imperative that the three strikes law be amended. The prison industrial complex is flawed, prisons are astoundingly overcrowded, and there are obvious racial implications when looking at the statistics. Funding really needs to go to rehabilitation rather than putting people away for life for non-violent crimes. Until that happens, the injustice will continue, and these individuals and their families will continue to be oppressed by the system.

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For the record…

by tatiana on November 4, 2008

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I do not agree with or support some of the ads that are showing up on my blog. Just for the record, and because I don’t care if you all know how I’m voting, I’ll be voting no on Props 4, 6, and 8, and yes on Props 1 and 7. I’m still undecided on everything else. I’m bummed that pro prop 8 ads are showing up. I apologize for that.

But anyway, don’t forget to vote today! I’m sure you are, or already have. Tonight’s gonna be effing nuts.

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Hey guys! I will be heading up to USC tomorrow evening for this, so I thought I’d spread the word. If you click on the image you will find more information about the event. Here is a link to the trailer for the documentary Juvies that will be screened. I’m pretty excited about this, and hope to see you there!

juviesflyer.jpg

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Say Your Piece

by tatiana on September 15, 2008

In keeping updated with the web world, I have a handful of credible, wonderful sites/blogs I read on a daily basis. One of which is Best Web Gallery. Maintained by the same guy who writes Web Designer Wall, this is a great way to see the latest and greatest in web design. Today, my attention was brought to this site:
poster.gif
Power to the Poster
which, obviously, is a well designed site, BUT it’s the mission of the site that pulled me in. Anyone can download their political posters for FREE, and utilize them to make the members of their communities think about the issues we are facing as a nation. I love it.

THEN I stumbled upon Smashing Magazine’s feature for today, which ties into this whole concept of sharing our thoughts or showcasing ideas in a public space.
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Although, sometimes grafitti is not always 100% political, I think that the simple act of reaching outside of social norms and utilizing space that is not meant to be utilized for expression is in and of itself making a bold statement. A very brave one, at that.

This idea of rebellion got me thinking of one of my favorite anarchist collectives, Crimethinc Ex-Workers Collective. Although I cannot forsee ever not having a job and being content with that (unless the U.S. decides to provide Universal Healthcare, which it should), I really respect Crimethinc and admire what they do. They’re such a giving group of people. I’ve probably written about them before. They don’t care about profits, or publicity, all they want to do is spread their message of ultimate autonomy. One of my favorite books Off the Map was purchased from their website (for a measly $2, seriously! seriously awesome), and not only did I get a handful of free posters, stickers and zines, someone from Crimethinc wrote me a handwritten message thanking me for my purchase. I can’t say enough good things about them and the work that they do for no money. Again, love it.

Lastly, going with my theme of bad-ass-ness, I think more people should know about the SPRFKR line of apparel. Why more people aren’t as crazy about them as I am is a mystery to me. I am a plain kind of girl, but the only graphic apparel I seem to like and want to support is SPRFKR.
SPRFKR - “Because you can’t be naked all the time”
Their illustrations are amazing, and I love that they don’t put their label name all over their clothing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy paying money to be a walking billboard for clothing companies. And that is why I like SPRFKR. Good design. Smart design. Great conversation starters.

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Booger is a feminist too!

by tatiana on March 25, 2008

In case you were ever wondering what a feminist looks like, here’s a neat video from the Feminist Majority Foundation in honor of Women’s History Month. Enjoy!

Booger, Revenge of the Nerds, 1984

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Sometimes Size Does Not Matter

by tatiana on November 7, 2007

I’ve been wanting to see this show ever since I found out it was going to be at San Diego State. I missed that boat, but luckily for me, the show was also traveling to good ole’ Cal State Los Angeles. I’ve never been to Cal State LA, and I must say, their Luckman Arts complex is gorgeous. Me gusta mucho. I love how accessible it is from the parking structure, and how easy it is to find from the freeway. Two thumbs up from a tourist’s perspective. (Everytime I go to LA I feel like a tourist). So anyway, going on as we speak…

The Graphic Imperative: International Posters for Peace, Social Justice & the Environment, 1965-2005
Libertidad Para Angela Davis, Beltran Felix, 1971

Where?
Cal State Los Angeles
Luckman Gallery
5151 State University Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8116
(323) 343-6604

When?
October 27-December 15, 2007
Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs. and Sat. 12-5pm

How much?
FREE, except for the dollar that you’ll pay for parking… which is a bargain for parking in LA.

I STILL don’t get it.
What initially drew me to this exhibit? Two words: Guerilla Girls! I love seeing their pieces at different exhibits. They’re so inspiring, I would never pass up an opportunity to experience their work up close. The aura of powerful women is always palpable. I know their pieces are posters, and it’s not exactly the same as viewing a painting, because it’s not one of a kind… but I think that’s what’s so great about this exhibit, and about the graphic arts in general. Graphic art, for me, has so much cultural influence and resonates loudly irregardless of which form it takes; whether it’s a billboard, graffiti, a sticker, or in this case, a poster. It’s a piece of art that is utilized in the mainstream of everyday and in turn may be discussed outside of the political arena, making these issues everyone’s problem instead of just the government’s. It’s kind of sneaky if you think about it. We are advertising a social movement like we’re advertising a consumer good. If you capture someone’s attention, the product becomes more popular, and then more people will jump on the bandwagon. Well, that’s in the utopia for social movements in my mind, but I guess in the real world it’s a little more difficult.

The Graphic Imperative exhibits 111 posters that have served to create awareness of social issues or injustices that existed, and in turn created a discourse to try to make change happen. The exhibit includes posters from the past 40 years; four decades that were critical to many issues such as unfair labor, racism, violence against women, AIDS, the environment, and many more.

The Luckman Art Gallery at CSLA is pretty small space, but an average size for a University art gallery. Although the exhibit is small its message is anything but.

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Creative People Unite!

by tatiana on November 2, 2007

Pledge to buy handmade this holiday season! So far over 3,000 people have. Do itttt.

http://www.buyhandmade.org/

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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Yes friends, you guessed it. According to the American Library Association next week (September 26th-October 6th, 2007) is officially Banned Books Week. Every year in cities all around the world literary works are being challenged or even banned from being accessed by the public. So support these authors by reading a banned or challenged book next week. Here’s one of the many lists of banned/challenged books I found searching online. I think I’ll continue my journey through the Harry Potter series. I’m beginning Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I know, I’m way behind. :o) I started late in the game. And did I mention I’m totally into witchcraft now? Expecto patronum!
Banned Books

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books from 1990-2000
1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by
Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by
Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Sho rts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Where’s Boob-do?
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Here are some links to more lists of books that were banned at one time, or may still be banned in some parts of the world:
http://www.highlands.edu/academics/library/banned/books.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_books

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