Activist and journalist Leah Borromeo interviews two members of Lapiztola, a street art collective from Oaxaca about the roots of the 2006 uprising and their visual response:
You can see more of their work up at http://lapiztola.blogspot.com
In September 2014, the National Book Foundation awarded Ursula LeGuin its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement.
In her acceptance speech LeGuin had this to say about the power of art, change, and envisioning alternatives:
Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.
Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.…
Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.
A week ago I tweeted a link to a stunning collection of dramatic photos from protests around the world in 2014. It was an amazing year: Ayotzinapa, Bangkok, Catalonia, Euromaidan, Ferguson, Hong Kong, Taksim…
But it bugged me that such a list omits the many protests in 2014 that were less spectacular or photogenic, but just as vital to the participants.
So for your consideration, a heatmap of protests across the world in 2014:
I drew the data from the GDELT project, which monitors media around the world and logs people, places, organizations, and events into an open database. Doubtless, many actions did not receive the media hit necessary to make it into the dataset, but the map gives a better sense of the breadth of activity this year.
2015 should be interesting.
Happy new year!