Inaugurating Resistance, Creativity, and Self-Determination

[Updated 1/13/2017]

If you want to make things happen in this democracy this month and beyond, there’s lots to do.

Christine Wong Yap, Strike!, 2017, ink/digital. Preview of a forthcoming project, available as a downloadable graphic for protest under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

Christine Wong Yap, Strike!, 2017, ink/digital, dimensions variable. Detail of a forthcoming project, available as a downloadable graphic (PDF, 22kb) for protest under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

When I attended an upstander training last month, it was really emotional for me to say, in unison with others, “You belong here. We all belong here.” It was a fraught, and powerful, thing to say. We have to keep saying it, and backing it up with actions.

I’m heartened to see that the disbelief and grief have not led to pessimistic apathy. Instead, many are mobilizing to protect our democracy from hate-mongering billionaire conservatives.

Rights are not won nor defended easily. If we let our vulnerabilities limit us, we’ll never know the extent of our capabilities.

I’m happy to use my modest platform to spread the word about these opportunities for enacting our agency…

January 8:

January 14:

  • Rolling for the People: Self-defense, wrestling-coloring, and an ACLU fundraiser. 3x power: Oakland + Women + Jiu-jitsu.

January 14–15:

What is a propaganda party? It’s where we invite dozens of organizations, activists, designers, and artists producing materials around a political issue to hang out, meet each other, and distribute their flyers, stickers, posters, buttons, and more. All propaganda is FREE, and we encourage all to come by, grab a drink, and load up on as many posters and stickers they can carry.

BTW, Just Seeds has just added my solidarity poster to their database of downloadable graphics! I love Just Seeds’ statement of affirmation. We have to take the long view; recognize the freedom fighters whose shoulders we might stand on, and consider the responsibility to carry on the work.

We will be avoiding art with an explicit focus on Trump and his catchphrases. The more we represent him—no matter in what light—the more we re-inscribe him with power. Instead, we’re focusing on supporting the social movements that existed before Trump and will be fighting with us and for us long after he is long gone.

  • First 100 Days: United in Resistance @ PICA (Portland ICA, Portland OR). Numerous friends and allies, including make things (happen) artists and the fab c:3 initiative, are participating. PICA will host the first in a series of workshops on organizing, safety, and protest to encourage the resistance to the Trump regime. Artist organized by: Julie Perini, Sharita Towne, Ryan Pierce, Jodi Darby, Erin Yanke, Roger Peet, Amy Harwood, Esther Forbyn, Patricia Vazquez, and others with support from c3:initiative, Mississippi Records, and PICA.

January 17:

  • Protest Sign Work Party @ SOHO20, 6–9pm. I’m co-hosting this “informal protest sign-making work party, where we will share ideas and design tools.” Let’s make protest signs that are legible and memorable. I’m looking forward to dialogues, message brainstorming, and fun hand-lettering.
  • Resist Government Sachs. Actions taking place at Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, NYC at 3pm.

Inauguration Day/January 20:

  • J20 General Strike. In case you don’t know, a general strike invites everyone to strike—no business, no work, no school. There are marches planned in multiple cities.
  • J20 Art Strike. Not sure that artists and cultural institutions need to distinguish from a general strike, but in any case, strike. No business as usual. The right to assemble is part of the First Amendment for a reason.
  • Not My President silent action in Washington DC
  • Wall of Song Project goes live with its inauguration iteration. It’s the project of Bay Area artists Michael Namkung and Mel Day—a massed singing of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” to “mark this moment with something both permeable and powerful.” Submit your video by January 14 for the first version, or during the first 100 days for a larger version.

January 21:

  • Women’s March on Washington. They’re having a call for art, due tomorrow, January 8 at 2pm. (I have reservations about calls that violate NO-SPEC principles, but maybe it’s for you if you already have suitable graphics in their required dimensions.)

First 100 Days/January 20–April 29:

  • 100 Days Actiona counter-narrative to Trump’s one hundred day plan. A calendar of activist and artistic strategy, 100 Days Action is a call to thinkers, artists, and writers to propose gestures that can be carried out either at home or in the world. Many of my artist-friends in the Bay Area are organizing this effort. It’s a chance to be creative and enact some much-needed poetry in the world. Submit here; the first review is on January 15, with more dates following.