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New Media We Recommend

August 21, 2012

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Signal: 02, a Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture, edited by Alec Dunn and Josh MacPhee – In the follow up to Signal 01, this collection of articles, posters and prints is an inspiring and fabulous tribute to visually driven political art. Included in this volume are stories about the political art of famous Mozambican artist Malangatana, political street murals in Portugal in the 1970s, early 20th Century anarchist broadsides that were distributed in northern California, political Gestetner art in the US in the 1960s, Oaxacan street art during the political uprising in 2006 in Mexico, Japanese anarchist sketches and the political printmaking work of the Danish collective Red Mother (1969 – 1978). The visuals that accompany the stories are incredible and truly speaks to the power of visual art for resistance and revolutionary change. A delightful book that should be shared widely.

The 1937 Woolworth’s Sit-Down: Women Strikers Occupy Chain Store, Win Big, by Dana Frank – This 55-page booklet by labor historian Dana Frank is a fabulous read about the courage of 105 women that participated in a seven day strike at a Woolworth’s store in Detroit. Inspired by the Flint UAW strike, the young women who worked long hours for little pay, decided that if it could work for the GM workers, it could work for them. Frank’s recounting of the historic event is lively and insightful. The author notes that the strike not only gained tremendous support from other workers in Detroit, but workers all across the country. Other unions provided supplies and money, but it was the creativity and solidarity of these women at Woolworth’s that won their demands. Frank also notes that the strike inspired workers at other Woolworth’s across the country and service industry workers in general. The 1937 Woolworth’s Sit-Down is a fabulously inspiring read and lesson about the importance of direct action for today.

Social Movements: 1768 – 2008, by Charles Tilly and Lesley Wood – This is an expanded second edition of Tilly’s 2004 book, which brings this analytical history of social movements fully up to date. Tilly and Wood cover such recent topics as immigrants’ rights, new media technologies, anti-Olympic organizing in China, new mobilizations against the Iraq War, and the role of bloggers and Facebook in social movement activities. The co-author’s case studies, reflections and insights into global social movements today provides readers with a useful framework to both understand the power of social movements and the strategic importance of such movements. The book even comes with discussion questions that could be useful for group discussion.

Mic Check: Documentary Shorts from the Occupy Movement (DVD) – Mic Check is a collection of 19 short documentaries that deal with aspects and perspectives on the US Occupy Movement. The shorts deal with topics such as people’s motivations for participating in the Occupy Movement, police abuse, people of color and the Occupy Movement, occupying homes, Occupy Oakland, actions against foreclosures, Occupy the DOE, Food Democracy Now, student organizing and an interview with Naomi Klein. What is most refreshing about this collection of videos is the prominence of voices of color and working class people talking about their involvement, their issues and their aspirations for the future of the world. An inspiring collection of videos that demonstrate that people all across the country are pissed off at the system and want to create something different than what we have all been subjected to our whole lives.

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