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I LOVE BOOKS!
As a little brown girl one of the greatest and most pleasurable past times I had was reading. My parents were brilliant and always made me believe that a trip to the library was a treat and that bad behavior could result in the suspension of library privileges. The shock, the horror! I could not let that happen. I corrected my behavior and begged for forgiveness and leniency. Books were my refuge, my teachers, my friends after it got dark and play time was over.
About ten years ago the Chican@ Literature teacher I had at El Camino community college encouraged her students to keep the books we loved and could afford not to sell back. She talked of the importance of keeping our own libraries. It appealed to me and I started my collection. Every time I visited a university to check out which campus I might like to transfer to I bought more books. Little by little my collection grew.
Once I moved to the Bay I found all the used books stores in Berkeley and my collection exploded. Now I have a bonafide collection of my own.
OUR BOOK COVERS
This year we accomplished some really satisfying things as part of our work here at Dignidad Rebelde. Jesus and I each provided the art for the cover of books. Jesus’ print design “La Flores” was used for the cover of Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas.
Rebel Girls explores how teenage girls construct activist identities, rejecting and redefining girlhood and claiming political authority for youth in the process. Taft examines the girl activists’ social movement strategies and collective political practices, detailing their shared commitments to process-based political education, participatory democracy, and hopeful enthusiasm.
Jesus and I were invited to participate in a panel about the intersection of art and politics at this year’s Socialism 2010 conference. During our time there we had great conversations with a bunch of folks including folks at Haymarket Books. They asked me if I would be interested in designing covers for some of their books. So here is my first book cover. It’s a portrait of Rosa Luxemburg for the book Ideas in Action.
Written by a contemporary of (and sometime collaborator with) Rosa Luxemburg with an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the German Social Democratic Party, this biography strikes the right balance between personal insight and political analysis. Tracing Rosa Luxemburg’s development from a humble Polish girl with a keen interest in herding geese to the most important leader of the German Communist Party, the image that emerges from Frölich’s narrative is that of arguably the most remarkable woman ever produced by the international socialist movement.
A BOOK BY MANY ARTISTS
Firebrands Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas is a book that was collaboratively written and illustrated by Justseeds Cooperative Artists. Our new book published by Microcosm Publishing, is "full of art, American history, and dangerous information. These beautifully illustrated mini-poster pages showcase radicals, dissidents, folk singers, and rabble-rousers, from Emma Goldman to Tupac Shakur, Pablo Neruda to Fred Hampton. As say editors Shaun Slifer and Bec Young in the introduction, the book is for "anyone who has sat trembling with frustration and disappointment in a history class that was neither stimulating nor inclusive. It's for those tired of hauling to classes heavy textbooks that have been carefully removed of anything interesting or useful. It's for all our ancestors, especially those misrepresented in those textbooks, left out because they were too brown, too female, too poor, too queer, too uneducated, too disabled, or because they daydreamed too much." This is a real people's history, a book packed with dynamite, desire, and above all, courage."
Above you can see some of the pages from Firebrands. Jesus illustrated Commandante Ramona and Emiliano Zapata and I took on Tupac Shakur and Assata Shakur as well as others.
OUR ART IN OTHER BOOKS
Since 1998, Celebrate People’s History posters have documented feminist organizers, indigenous uprisings, civil rights leaders, union struggles, LGBT activism and much more. Now there is a book available. You can order yours here.
Above are images of the Celebrate People's History posters that Jesus and I designed that are included in the book. I designed a poster about the struggle in Atenco, Mexico and Jesus highlighted the youth movement in the Bay that shut down ICE office on Halloween 2008.
You can read more about Signal and the interview of our studio the Taller Tupac Amaru here. One of my illustrations from a solidarity poster for Palestine was used for the cover.
All of these book make great gifts. These are great resources for learning more about social movements and radical graphic artists.
Over the past ten years that I have been printing I have had the opportunity to collaborate with artists and screen print their artwork. It started working with Favianna Rodriguez, which I co-founded the Taller Tupac Amaru with, I've printed about 30 of her screen prints. These types of collaboration have been very enriching, i think every time I work with an artist I learn a little more about art making and get a glimpse of how an artist creates their art.
Top: Leslie Lopez, Emory Douglas, Favianna Rodriguez / Bottom: Ernesto Yerena, Enrique Chagoya, Barbara Carrasco
Top: Tony Carranza, Favianna Rodriguez, Estria Miyashiro / Bottom: Tony Carranza, Favianna Rodriguez, Estria Miyashiro
I also worked with Tumis' artists like Tony Carranza and Estria Miyashiro, printing the Tumis Holiday Portfolio, those portfolios have always been super fun to work on every year.
Top: Barbara Carrasco, Jesus Barraza & Favianna Rodriguez, / Bottom: Malaquias Montoya, Emory Douglas
In 2004 I was approached by the Center for the study of political to print a portfolio for their anniversary and I was able to work with Barbara Carrasco, Emory Douglas and Malaquias Montoya and Favianna Rodriguez who I designed a print with for the portfolio. That was a great opportunity to work with great artists and it was a lot of fun, after that I felt a lot more confident about working with artists.
Top: Leslie Lopez, Natalia Garcia P. & Leslie Lopez, Natalia Garcia P. / Bottom: Natalia Garcia P. & Leslie Lopez, Natalia Garcia P., Leslie Lopez
Earlier this year we collaborated with Xochitl Ceive to produce five screens with Natalia Garcia P and Leslie Lopez. I worked with them to design and create their separations and they came into the studio to print these pieces with me. Since copleting our first project, we have continued collaborating and mentoring Leslie and Natalia so they can continue creating screen prints.
Above: Ester Hernandez, Emmanuel Montoya, Emory Douglas
It has been great when an artist calls us and asks if we can help them print their piece, we have worked with several artists and it is great to see how they work and how they approach their art. A artist that contacted us and wanted to work with us this year was Ester Hernandez, she was inspired by all the organizing and art being produced around immigration issues and wanted to make a Wanted poster of the Virgen de Guadalupe. This was a fun project and we hope to continue working with Ester in the coming year to make some new stuff.
Top: Ana Teresa Fernandez, Enrique Chagoya / Bottom: Julio Cesar Morales, Rupert Garcia, Shizu Saldamando
The latest project was working with the Galeria de la Raza to print their 40th Anniversary portfolio and work with Enrique Chagoya, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Rupert Garcia, Julio Cesar Morales and Shizu Saldamando.
There are many other artist we have collaborated over the years and we hope to continue working with artists. I find it a really big honor to be able to collaborate and build working relationships with artists whose work we love and help them continue creating.
All Photos by Lincoln Cushing
ONE DAY ONLY
Poster Exhibit - Book Release Party - Artist Panel
CELEBRATE PEOPLE’S HISTORY: the Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution
Edited by Josh MacPhee
Foreword by Rebecca Solnit
Published by the Feminist Press
7pm – Friday Dec. 17
AK Press, www.akpress.org
674 A 23rd St
Sabiha Basrai, graphic designer, Design Action Collective, www.designaction.org
Lincoln Cushing, poster historian, www.docspopuli.org
FREE admission. Donations go to MacPhee’s partner, Dara Greenwald, who is battling cancer. This event is wheel-chair accessible.
There's a good chance that during some point in your life you've seen a Celebrate People's History poster, decorating the walls of your classroom, community center or neighborhood book shop. Initiated by Josh MacPhee in 1998, this far-reaching project uses poster art to expose the hidden history of feminist organizing, indigenous uprisings, civil rights leaders, union struggles, LGBT activism and much more.
For the first time ever, a complete set of these posters has been released in hardback by the Feminist Press. Edited by Josh MacPhee with a foreword by Rebecca Solnit, Celebrate People's History: the Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution reprints over 100 posters along with many new designs commissioned for this affordable, 256-page volume.
Bay Area history stands out prominently in the book with tributes to the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz, the 1966 transgender riot at Compton’s Cafeteria and the 10-year anti-eviction battle by Filipino seniors at the International Hotel. The posters also honor San Francisco's youth-led demonstrations of 2008 against immigration raids and the successful defense of Los Siete de la Raza, a group of Mission activists who were framed for the murder of a policeman in 1969.
The book includes talented Bay Area printmakers Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Eric Drooker, Art Hazelwood, Fernando Marti, Jos Sances and Miriam Klein Stahl along with many well-known national artists such as Sabrina Jones, Cristy Road, Nicole Schulman, Chris Stain, Swoon and Laura Whitehorn.
Come to the book’s West Coast premiere for a poster exhibit, book signing by Bay Area contributors and artist panel.
Josh MacPhee is the co-editor of Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures - 1960s to Now (2010), Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority (2007) and Reproduce and Revolt (2008). He is also the author of Stencil Pirates: a Global Study of the Street Stencil (2004) and the founder of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.
Guest speaker Sabiha Basrai is a graphic designer with the Design Action Collective, a former-staff member of Philadelphia’s Public Interest GRFX and co-coordinator of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA).
Guest speaker Lincoln Cushing is the author of Revolucion: Cuban Poster Art (2003), co-author of Chinese Posters (2007), co-author of Agitate! Educate! Organize! – American Labor Posters (2009) and editor of Visions of Peace & Justice (2007).
Dignidad Rebelde will be tabling at EastSide Arts Alliance's Holiday Art Sale from 12-5pm on Saturday, December 4th. Pick up some prints for yourself, for your friends or your family. We will be at celebrating EastSide's new mosaic mural and community artists. EastSide, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland, CA
Eastside Arts Alliance
The EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) is an organization of artists, cultural workers, and community organizers of color who live and/or work in the San Antonio district of Oakland. They are committed to working in the San Antonio and other Oakland neighborhoods to support a creative environment that improves the quality of life for our communities and advocates for progressive, systemic social change.
EastSide Arts Alliance uses the voice of art and culture to nurture a genuinely multi-cultural community that benefits all people in our neighborhood and provides creative opportunities for youth and adults to share their own cultural traditions and innovations. They present community workshops, events, and festivals at which individuals learn to use the arts as a way to identify and express their views on issues which affect their lives, as well as the life and health of the community they live in.
Join us! Please come to Dignidad Rebelde's opening at Artillery in San Francisco on December 4th at 7:30pm. We have had a busy year You can support local artists and locally owned businesses all in one shot by getting prints here!ARTILLERY APPAREL GALLERY PRESENTS
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