Red, White, and Beard

“In response to stereotypes and intolerance, one man — with a flowing beard and bright blue turban — dashes  around the Big Apple in a Captain America uniform.” Learn more about the project by visiting:  http://www.redwhiteandbeardfilm.com/   


24 pieces of life advice from Werner Herzog – via Kottke.org

Wener Herzog

Paul Cronin’s book of conversations with filmmaker Werner Herzog is called Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed. On the back cover of the book, Herzog offers a list of advice for filmmakers that doubles as general purpose life advice.

  1. Always take the initiative.
  2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
  3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
  4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
  5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
  6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
  7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
  8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
  9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
  10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
  11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
  12. Take your fate into your own hands.
  13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
  14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
  15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
  16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
  17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
  18. Develop your own voice.
  19. Day one is the point of no return.
  20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
  21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
  22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
  23. Take revenge if need be.
  24. Get used to the bear behind you.

via 24 pieces of life advice from Werner Herzog.

Call for Applications: School for Creative Activism – Campaigns to Support Sex Work Activism in South Africa

barcelona_sca__50We’re pleased to announce a call for applications to a School for Creative Activism training session taking place this March, in South Africa.

“In an open society sex workers should have the same rights to safe working environments as all other workers.” (Open Society Foundation)

We’re inviting grantees of the Open Society Public Health Program and their allies supporting the human rights of sex workers to apply to participate in a 4-day School for Creative Activism (SCA) to be held in Cape Town, South Africa on March 30 – April 2, 2015.

You can download the application form here: SCA Call for Applications – Sex Work Narratives – Cape Town

Deadline is Sat 31 January!

Please note: this workshop is only open to grantees of the Open Society Public Health Program. Don’t worry, we’ll be doing more workshops in the coming months, so if this doesn’t apply to you this time stay tuned for future programs.

Actipedia Revisited: #occupysmallstreet

This week we’re giving a shout out to small-scale activism with the #occupysmallstreet movement.

First inspired by a doll-sized action in Siberia, this example has been created by Arts X Activism  from Melbourne, Australia. Signs are made collectively, by regular Occupy Small Street-ers and members of the public (adults and children) who stop by and have something to say. The idea has since been re-staged in London, Indonesia, Brisbane and Sydney.

Simple to do and playful enough to draw people in – they’re diminutive in stature, but big on ideas.

Occupy Small Street

Read more about the project on our sister-site Actipedia 

Letters of Note: Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope.

“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”
–E.B. White

Letters of Note provides a snapshot into the faxes, memos, letters, telegrams, and any other fascinating tidbits of correspondence that Shaun Usher can get his hands on. Originally a blog-based archive, it has grown into a captivating collection of correspondence from the enigmatic to the everyday.

Though we’ve found many meaningful letters, we direct your attention to one written by author E.B. White (and highlighted by Maria Popova on Brainpickings) as a response to a letter received by a  particularly despondent man.  His words remind us of the importance of hope and perseverance:


Dear Mr. Nadeau:
As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.
E. B. White

Read more about E.B. White and Letters of Note on Brainpickings! 

Actipedia revisited: Public Movement – ‘Re-Branding European Muslims’ (2012)

Each week we’ll be calling back to an example of creative activism from our website Actipedia – an open-access, user-generated database of creative activism.

This week we’d like to highlight this really powerful piece of arts activism by Public Movement, a Tel Aviv based ‘performative research body’. In 2012 they created Re-Branding European Muslims to investigate conflict around Islam in Europe and the use of branding by nation states, such as the EU, in the management of multiculturalism. World events often bring our practices – art and activism – and the space in which they meet, into sharp focus.

Find out more on Actipedia: http://actipedia.org/project/rebranding-european-muslims

Public Movement ‘Re-Branding European Muslims’ (2012)

An African’s Message for America

A volunteer trip abroad has become almost a rite of passage for a certain set of Americans, particularly students. Head over to NYtimes.com for an Op-Doc video profiling a Kenyan activist who has one simple question for them: “Why?” 

“Nearly one million people from America volunteer abroad each year. They are mostly young, mostly affluent and overwhelmingly white. It made me wonder: when we look to do community service, why do so many — particularly the privileged among us — look to places so far from home?”