Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy Links, plus Zines & Education

The People's Plaza (previously or otherwise known as Dilworth Plaza, outside City Hall) is peppered with handmade signs and chalk writing. I've heard a lot of discussion in the past week of Occupy Philly about how to clarify our message, and the protest signs reflect this sense. I disagree. I think the first thing we need to do is share our stories. Empathy is how those not moved to spend their time at City Hall will begin to understand what people are doing down there, and there is no way to spark that empathy unless we start communicating who we are as individuals and why we are moved to protest.

To this end, I'd like to share a couple of projects:

  • Today I will be facilitating a zine making workshop at the Education tent, which is at the southern end of the People's Plaza. Printer friends Leah & Alex will be making screens based on participant zines, & bringing them back to the plaza Sunday afternoon for on-site printing of distributable copies.
  • Occupy Philly Voices is a blog started by Julia to record, visually, textually, and audibly, the stories of those involved in the occupation. More content should be coming in the following days, including some photos I've contributed. But there is some good stuff from the first couple of days to get you started.
The Education tent

Please consider sharing your own story when making signs. Keep an eye on the Occupy Philly Facebook page to keep up on the daily events, marches, and other direct action. More good links coming soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Do Art Workers Have Time to Blog?

Book Arts Jet Set is getting a revival here as I experience Occupy Philly, the City of Brotherly Love counterpart to Occupy Wall Street. I haven't blogged on arts, politics, and the economy since leaving a desk job for a juggling act of teaching, editing, and other independent contracting. I refer you to this post's title: do art workers have time to blog?

Right now I struggle to find a balance of time and attention to put to the activity going on at the west side of City Hall and to put towards my own livelihood. What is going on at City Hall anyway? A fluctuating community of several hundred individuals are: (1) speaking out against economic inequality, (2) working to educate themselves through discussion, reading, and expression so that they might better understand what has happened to our economy and what alternatives might be possible, and (3) practicing community based on respect, care-taking, and alternative economies.

I want to participate. I also find my email full of queries that need tending to, apropos prior commitments and future work. I work to define myself.

I work hard.
I make less than the median income.

I paid $2400 more in federal taxes than:
Bank of America

Look for images and commentary in the coming days.