Art Action Union Stuff – October 2009
Happinin’ Stuff …
I probably should spell properly better!
Hmmm…Now! There are a couple of things that are requiring artistic and/or activist attention, I thought I’d send a little circular …
Art Action Union … http://www.artactionunion.org
+ Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 2009 (and the AAU)
We’re gonna get a little personal here!
A few years ago now I had the pleasure of listening to one of Australia’s climate change ‘youth’ leaders speak of her amazing experiences at an Australian Conservation Foundation (http://www.acf.org.au) supporter function, it was inspiring to enjoy her enthusiasm and excitement, having just finished her education as an Al Gore Climate Change Person. Hope was flowing!
About a year ago I saw her speak again on television on one of the ABC’s (Australia) current affairs question programs, she went head to head with some of the most right wing and narrow business minded people this nation has to offer about climate change – and she kicked ASS! I was really grateful to have been in her presence and even though I haven’t yet told her, she was part of the road to where this whole AAU thing is heading now, which is something very dear to my heart.
Cutting a long story very short … or am I making a short story long? Anna Keenan joined the AAU on facebook somehow, can’t exactly remember how (this is a small town with many mailing lists) I got overly enthusiastically excited.
Anna has been in Copenhagen for bloody ages now warming up for the discussion the world will watch about the “Warming Up!”
I really hope some of you will join me and my annoying hellos on her facebook wall, by sending her and her fellow active army an AAU well wishing for all that is to come, share the love and spread positive magicK from us to all the change agents spending their lives working for a better future.
Send personal notes to Anna in Copenhagen via AAU by emailing email@example.com and then I can send them to her private email. We would want to do this asap as the time is approaching!
+ We’ve been blogged about in Russian … http://community.livejournal.com/music_action
Do you publish a blog??? Contact the collective (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can easily prepare a blog package for you … if you would like to do an article on anything that the AAU have, are or will be involved in! It would really be great if you could write about us!
+ MUSIC AS TORTURE – we all have particular styles of music that we might consider torturous and inflicted on us, but spare this thought now for the artists who have been used by the previous US Government’s sanctioning of torture at Guantanamo Bay.
A number of artists have formally launched a protest against the former Bush government to advise of their discontent and disappointment in using music as a form of American led torture, many of these artists are known activists in some way. They are demanding a complete list from the government of all the artists’ works that have been taken advantage of in this inhumane and twisted way. I ripped this straight off the Pearl Jam fansite (http://www.pearljam.com/news/pj-joins-campaign-close-gitmo), from their blog:
PJ Joins Campaign to close Gitmo
10.22.09 – A coalition of US and international musicians, including Trent Reznor, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Jackson Brown, Rise Against, Rosanne Cash, Billy Bragg and the Roots today announced they were joining the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo—a campaign led by retired Generals Robert Gard, John Johns, former member of Congress, Tom Andrews, and Vote Vets Chairman and Iraq War veteran, Jon Soltz. The musicians also launched a formal protest of the use of music used in conjunction with torture that took place at the prison and other facilities and announced they would seek the declassification of all secret government records pertaining to how music was utilized as an interrogation device.
“As Americans, many of us were alarmed and ashamed to learn what happened at Guantanamo in our names. For musicians, it’s been made even more personal given that music was used as a sort of soundtrack for the torture that went on there. While we don’t believe our music was used in this way, we lend our voices in support of the musicians, Generals and American citizens who are calling for the closure of Guantanamo with the hope that it signals to the world a renewed commitment to a humane America.” – PJ
If you want to learn more about this follow the blue lines:
The organisation that drives this legal campaign is Reprieve (http://www.reprieve.org.uk/). Become active in this campaign in 5 easy ways:
1. Sign up to Reprieve’s “Stop Torture Music” initiative by contacting email@example.com
2. If you are a musician adopt the No Torture clause into your contract. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details
3. Let us film you making a statement supporting the initiative for a video that Reprieve is producing
4. Promote Reprieve’s Stop Torture Music initiative on your website. Tell other musicians. Spread the word.
5. Fundraise for Reprieve. Hold benefit gigs. Donate. Reprieve is entirely dependent on grants and fundraisers to continue its work.
About Reprieve (sourced from http://www.looktothestars.org/charity/1107-reprieve)
Reprieve is a legal action charity, founded by Clive Stafford Smith in 1999. Reprieve uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates. Working on the frontline, Reprieve provides legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves, promoting the rule of law around the world, and securing each person’s right to a fair trial. In doing so, Reprieve saves lives. Reprieve’s current casework involves:
+ representing over 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.
+ working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty.
+ conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret
+ detention of ghost prisoners in the so-called war on terror.
+ New Tactics in Human Rights … http://www.newtactics.org/en/dialogues/home
Invited us to provide feedback on one of their online forums, Art spaces hosting activism & strengthening community engagement … the site has many online resources, particularly for people in the US and has some fascinating ideas. Email me (email@example.com) if you would like an invitation to the New Tactics community and I will send an email, we have 1000 of these to dish out so don’t be shy!
+ Mashable Open Web Awards … http://mashable.com/owa/votes?v=http%3A//%3Ca%20href
It would take a lot of oomph to get us over the line, I realise we are a modest group in many places but the publicity of feeding the AAU name through the awards nominations feed list could get us some attention. In an unprecedented step I have taken it upon us to enter these silly little awards… They are cute aren’t they? We need ALL ACTIVISTS/ARTISTS on deck for this for it could be a good way of getting some more exposure… for all the team! There is no excuse for it is a topic to benefit all artists who NEED to express their situation to whichever audience they can whenever and where ever they are … Please consider nominating the ART ACTION UNION IN ALL THE CATEGORIES WE LOOSELY CAN BE FIT INTO… For your ease I have included the links and categories below… Then – and this is an order from the Captain – viral it EVERYWHERE!!! Who cares if it’s ‘spam’ it tastes nice and keeps people from starving 🙂 ummm… here are the links:
ART ACTION UNION NOMINATIONS
Best Facebook App
Best Non-profit Use of Social Media
Best Brand Use of Facebook
Best Social Media Ad Campaign
Best Social Media Agency
Best Social Media Maven to Follow
+ Art Action Union Supporting Friends of the Earth Brisbane with graphics consultation and design services for FREE!!! Yay it feels good!
By word of mouth suggestion from an esteemed climate activist, we had the gracious invitation to provide some design consultation to Friends of the Earth Brisbane and the 6 Degrees Climate Change group (http://www.sixdegrees.org.au/) as they gear up for their biggest next protest against the Queensland Government – No New Coal in Queensland!
‘Cause you know we don’t need to mine more coal if we think constructively and sustainably, someone may have told you that before 🙂
There will be stickers, a politically active ‘send to your politician’ post-card and t-shirts for the climate campaigners. Kindly, they have allowed us to place our ‘brand’ and website on their t-shirts and postcards. I tell you this for I hope that our collection of actions will gain some more exposure to encourage you to keep the wonderful ideas and creative actions flowing, but also that we may collect more images and stories and archives of thoughts.
Just last week 6 Degrees raised a ruckus in Brisbane with an action at Brisbane’s Coal Port involving Kayaks and such (http://www.sixdegrees.org.au/content/climate-change-kayakers-blockade-coal-ship).
Sticker Design supplied by Art Action Union (kath)
Speaking of FoE – Friends of the Earth International now have nine testimonies you can view on their site of people from Central America affected by climate change. The testimonies are in Spanish, with subtitles in English. This material was shot by CESTA/ FoE El Salvador at the first gathering of climate change victims, in 2008.
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=0F77605C21231F3A – Please share this with your friends.
Climate action group 350.org organised an international day of action to bring attention to the number 350 🙂 Why? Visit their website and read about their awareness drive.
See photos from the action day http://www.350.org/.
+ Hey Hey It’s Racism – http://www.redbubble.com/groups/redbubble/forums/4/topics/77677-hey-hey-its-racism
I should know better than to get involved in forum discussions, but sometimes there is a higher purpose that you feel makes you participate, if only to counter-balance opinions. I really hate to draw attention to anything negative but I believe that this is bigger than any individual or company or community, because it’s very much the tell-tale opinions of a world scrambling to figure out a balance between morality and freedom of expression.
Globalisation seems to have been pushed on us, as governments pander to business we’re left with little choice but to support the economics of it through massive global consumption and political agenda. As a whole, consumption has driven globalisation and whether we are individually responsible or not, we have evolved to operate in masses, generally referred to as democracy and popularisation.
The fear is that we are not tolerant or educated enough to deal with mixing our markets en masse. Especially as entertainment is a big ticket item and so very prone to aiding in the opinions that the public may form en masse.
So being the staunch believer in public morality and anti-discrimination that I try to be I jumped into this discussion and it overcame me, and made me depressed, and I resented that good people HAD to become the conscience of this particular discussion forum.
My particular interest in this forum was the fact that in a creative community where there are bound to be a variety of opinions, freedom of speech is somewhat a little confused and mixed with what I consider to be negatives about the perpetuation of anti-social stereotypes here and abroad. I felt there was a particular thriving pertaining to the argument and stage and presentation of the topic at hand. I felt ashamed that a topic that was watched so very closely for over 2 weeks was not monitored to exclude discrimination and there seemed a definite lack of respect afforded to the victims of hatred and racism.
I read a saying recently, “silence equals consent” … which reminds me of this saying, “bad things happen when good people do nothing”.
So – where does this leave the RedBubble user policy? Where does this leave Facebook? Where does this leave YouTube? On the scale of ethics and positive community interaction it is NOT enough to say you take a reactionary technocratic approach to open discrimination. It is NOT enough to aspire to a commercial community based on a lack of willingness to provide community support and mechanisms, for a community that is NOT inclusive!
And these communities can never be fully inclusive, because they do NOT actively promote and monitor positive content from the inception to the addition of the content that is driving the community itself. There may be a definition somewhere about the expectations of the users, but they only move to exclude anti-social members if there is a large body of complaints received – which then further raises questions about reporting procedures and community management of individuals. For harassment has many faces!
Oh but Silicon Valley praise these content driven social networking sites. The reason for this is because they can provide masses and masses of content for masses and masses of people for little outlay. They can completely wash their hands of the responsibility of positive engagement of social groups, cultures, sub-cultures and creatives, meanwhile they save on overheads (ie. Community re-enforcement of positive community outcomes for interaction and engagement in the customer service system) and make money from all and sundry. They can be non discriminatory about whose money they take and for what purpose with a clean globally legal conscience.
Now, Freedom of Speech is one thing but I say:
Does the KKK deserve freedom of speech?
Does a rapist or pedophile deserve freedom of speech?
Does a sexist despot deserve reign to control under freedom of speech?
Do racists deserve freedom of speech?
Hmmm … I guess you’ll all answer that in your own way, but the lines blur even still when people start arguing points that are ignorant and out of context or just plain under-educated. So do we blame the government, the media? Do we blame the education system or perhaps our fear?
Blame ourselves! Because we don’t do enough to repress each other’s negative attitudes, personally or politically!
Our local primary school lives the adage, “you own your own behaviour”, but if you actually believe that belittling, undermining, ridiculing and reducing the self-esteem of another individual or group of individuals is ethical and moral … I can only imagine that it doesn’t take a psychologist has a mental picture of this state of being as anti-social and non-inclusive. Who doesn’t want to be accepted?
I was raised to be nice to people, no matter who they were and are. I refuse to accept a society based on anything else.
Here are a couple of images to add a context.
This is the current situation of a particular forum that has continued far beyond reasonable debate.
This is a news article stating the obvious.
Australia is more racist than is could be, no matter which level you live at – education could be a contributing factor, housing demographic whatever you think. But at the end of this day, genocide has maintained that an immigrant majority gained power over the traditional owners of a piece of land that was seized and exploited. Then, the European majority decided they could pick and choose the spectrum of acceptability of further immigration and afforded some of them shades of rights that were superior to others’, superior to those the land was taken from.
My views are nothing when collectively they are joined with other compassionate people who need to counteract the negatives that they find on the internet, in the media and in the social world at large. From wandering around certain spaces it seems there are an increasing band of them, you may call them ‘do-gooders’ or ‘moralists’ or ‘socialists’, ‘commies’, ‘radicals’ and ‘anarchists’, ‘activists’ even – they are necessary. They are recruiting ever-more because we can’t make this sinister, insidious ‘negative’ disappear, it seems to grow and we feel inclined to try minimise the growth of it.
Oh the struggle to not drop the wall and stoop to levels of discrimination ourselves, for it is not people we hate, but what they do. To see ‘negatives’ openly and wantonly promoted goes against the grain of the peaceful progress humanity should be experiencing for those with this ‘positive’ ethos.
Conservative radicals? Or radical conservationists?
With the challenges that Australia is going to face comparatively to other nations in the future, all I have to say to the discriminators is you are not as special as you think you are! We will overcome, and educate you in the same ideas that define our justice system, the ancient rules of morality!
So when did that Moses allegedly scribe those Commandments?
AAU – FACEBOOK … http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20811007244#/home.php?ref=home
+ Facebook Group Gallery – http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=20811007244&view=all#/photo_search.php?page=1&oid=20811007244&aid=-1&auser=&view=all
There are some great pieces here, but it’s a scanty room at the moment! IF you have a penchant to post art to Facebook, it would be great to see some more additions!
+ Green Left Weekly – is a publication that has a long history and fine reputation for activism and exploration!
“POETS I am seeking quality poems with political bite (or at the very least, a pumping heart!) for publication in GLW. Send your poems to: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Incidentally, Sara also is working on: [The]Synaptic Graffiti Collective are a multi-arts collective based on the gold coast, Australia with an arts meets activism focus. They are working on their second multimedia project, MEMORY – A Video Poetry Project and are now seeking submissions: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112705815950&ref=ts
You can check out Slam the Body Politik poetry DVD here: http://www.scart69.net/synapticgraffiti/SLAM-CDROM.html
AAU – NING COMMUNITY … http://artactionunioncommunity.ning.com/
+ Sorkar Haider’s play Water War – goes live in the first week of November …
From Bangladeshi people, you can learn about the fears in their community for the most precious of resources.
More details: http://artactionunioncommunity.ning.com/photo/water-war?context=latest
+ Prolific AAU member Christine-Joy is holding her solo exhibition at the MLC gallery in Sydney.
More details: http://artactionunioncommunity.ning.com/photo/my-solo-exhibit-mlc-gallery?context=latest
AAU – REDBUBBLE … http://www.redbubble.com/groups/art-action-without-violence
+ New AAU User Profile http://www.redbubble.com/people/artactionunion
Add the above ‘person’ to your RedBubble watchlists to follow specifically activist art material on RedBubble.
+ Did you know we also host other RedBubble activist art groups? Namely …
Anticonsumerism – http://www.redbubble.com/groups/anticonsumerism-art-writing
Current Issues – http://www.redbubble.com/current-issues-art-photography-writing
Left Wing Values and Positive Global Awareness – http://www.redbubble.com/groups/left-wing-values-and-possitive-global-awareness
We publish to these groups AND as many other places that I can get to, if you really MUST know here are a few more AAU pages:
There are more satellite sites and groups under construction in other spaces, feel free to ask me about making some of your own AAU sites if you think there is a place worthy of our presence!
MORE AND MORE …
+ SPEED POETS – if you are in Brisbane this Sunday and fancy some open mic in a dingy little room in a creative precinct, you should pack out the Alibi Room at New Farm. Speed Poets is the longest running open mic event in this town and this is the LAST gig for 2009, bringing the timeline up to an 8 year run! The organisers are passionate!
Graham sends out an e-newsletter for the Brisbane poetry scene aptly titled “the poetry express”, find Graham’s blog (Another Lost Shark http://grahamnunn.wordpress.com/) and hassle him for subscription.
SpeedPoets wraps up its 8th year this Sunday… so get along and be a part of Brisbane’s longest running spoken word event. Features this month include Jeremy Thompson & Brent Downes.
SpeedPoets, Sunday November 1, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St New Farm.
Get on it artroops!
Aspire to inspire!