Jihad is the best tourism,” a young Dutchman who calls himself Chechclear posted on his Tumblr. He was riding a camel, grinning, his face filtered into an Instagram haze. Chechclear is one of an estimated 1,700 Europeans fighting in Syria. He’s part of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which Al-Qaeda has just officially disowned, and seems to be having the time of his life. He documents his adventure for adoring fans across several social media platforms.
This is the reality of modern jihad, where the faithful chronicle their response to the cause in real time. But if Europeans like Chechclear are living out their Call of Duty fantasies, they do it at the expense of Syrian lives. In the territory it holds in Syria’s North, ISIS is imposing its harsh interpretation of sharia law with torture and beheadings. Its Western fighters are tweeting selfies in the ruins.
The VOICE fundraiser was quintessentially New York. $300 a ticket, guests packed bone to bone in the Spotted Pig, champagne and epic sliders. A bartender trying to pick up girls by saying they looked Russian. Music industry execs, bouncers, and a VIP section open only to Marina Abramović, or those who could pay $1000 to get in. It was that whole siphon-money-out-of-rich-people dance that all effective activist organizations do, but not very punk rock.
Nadya and Masha were in this world but not of it.
“A Brief Encounter with Post Pussy Riot Nadya and Masha” Animal New York. by Molly Crabapple
Age is a weapon society uses against women. Each year that you gain comfort in your own flesh, your flesh is seen as worth less. Thirty, like 40 or 50, is a demarcation line, but a particularly loaded one. Cross it, says the world, and you leave the trifling-but-addictive privileges of girlhood behind. Invisibility this way, ma’am.
India House — the Hanover Room
1 Hanover Square
New York, NY 10004
7 pm, doors at 6 pm
Hosted by India House Club member Lauren Cerand with special guests Molly Crabapple, Chris Abani, Filip Noterdaeme, and Daniel Isengart.
Reservations are essential, by phone only: (212) 269-2323 x26. Press 9 before extension.
Admission is one book, new or used, for the club’s library-in-progress.
Jackets are requested for men. No denim. Cash bar. Members of India House receive guaranteed admission and reserved seating.
If the media ignores refugees’ heroism, many governments deny their humanity. Refugees are often people with no place. No passports, protection, or pull. They don’t fit into neat boxes. To the state, it would be better if they didn’t exist.
Molly Crabapple’s cover for Matt Taibbi’s new book “The Divide“, available April 2014.
Because most women have spent most of history pregnant, nursing, burying miscarriages, and/or taking care of wealthier women’s kids, most “great” Western artists have been men. The male gaze is all mixed up with the gaze of an artist. When women started making art en masse, we were thought to see differently. Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, which reduced 39 oft perverse and argumentative geniuses to vagina-shaped plates, feels more trivializing than any odalisque. The odalisque had some style to her. The Dinner Party guests, bound together in a sisterhood imposed in retrospect, became as interchangeable as Spice Girls.
I turned 30 in 2013. Here’s a picture from that night
2013 was hard and fucked and fraught for personal reasons, and so I worked. Every year seems like one where you work to sublimate the noise in your head, but this one more than others.
perfer et obdura, 2013. Perfer et obdura
Here are things that I did, but really, what made it what it was were those 4ams with whiskey and those who loved me.
Friends are always where one is most lucky, and art is the excrement of action.
Here are things I made
+ Had my first real gallery show, Shell Game. Did 9 gigantic paintings on the revolutions of 2011. Had everyone I loved there for the opening and bathed in a bathtub of money like a louche horror while Kim Boekbinder sang me songs. No New York gallery has ever wanted to give me a show or had any faith in me. But you guys did. Thank you. Here’s the whole show released Creative Commons
+ I’m working on a book called Drawing Blood for Harper Collins. 13.7k brutal deathslog words in
+ Visited Guantanamo Bay twice, and wrote about the prison lots, angering the Department of Defense and getting shortlisted for the Frontline Award for Print Journalism. Banned from drawing guards’ faces, I replaced them with smilies.
+After eight years of illegal flashmobs and lavish art parties, every other weekend, we closed Dr. Sketchy’s in New York. It lives on in 140 other cities, from Cape Town to Paris, Lima to Shanghai. For our very last night, Jo Boobs dressed as death, but sparkly
+ interviewed snipers and refugees for the New York Times
+ Learned I had a 3,000 page FBI file. The FBI still has not told me what is in it
+Made as many free political posters as I could
+ Spoke at lots of places, including the London School of Economics and Harvard
+ the Museum of Modern Art bought one of my prints, as part of an Occupy collection. It feels sort of like a butterfly pinned to the wall, but never expected to be in MoMA.
+ Illustrated The Divide, for Matt Taibbi, one of my favorite journalists
+ Did the artwork for Patton Oswalt’s latest CD
+ Interviewed Warren Ellis for The Paris Review, thus rendering the whole joint terribly low-class on both of our accounts
+ Travelled to London (x3), Mexico City, Guantanamo Bay (x2), Havana, Beirut, Portland, Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans. Danced in the rain while a jazz band played on Frenchman, in the red light of Radio Beirut, walked with a thousand jeweled skeletons and bribed a band to play La Bruja over and over and over in Zona Rosa.
+ Was on the teevee a bit
+ Creative Time and Rhizome commissioned me to do Glass Gaze, where I streamed drawing Stoya directly through my eyes. Had the added benefit of letting me see much-missed Stoya’s face
gifs by Brainwomb
Until the gunmen came, Michel was having the party of his life.
Michel, 32, was once a gay celebrity. A DJ and underground party promoter from Damascus, for eight years, Michel spun for drag queens and diplomats, Gulf millionaires, military men, tour groups and even a cross-dressing relative of Assad. Homosexuality is illegal in Syria, but Michel paid off the police. While security services sometimes interrogated him about about his foreign guests, he was never beaten. His parties were legend.
On December 4th of last year, Michel threw a costume ball in a villa outside Damascus. Michel described the pools and gardens, the dancing. “It was the best party ever. Everyone was peaceful… happy.”
At 4AM, the gunmen came.
Art was in his Borgesian-library/studio—“The Haus that Maus Built”—surrounded by a century’s worth of illustration books. He climbed a ladder propped against his tall, wooden shelves like a mad archivist, grinning, pulling out the volume that might best speak to my ink-stained heart.
Seth Rosenblatt of CNET did a Q & A with Molly Crabapple today on the Glass Gaze project, which ran today from 3-3:30pm EST on rhizome.org.
Creative Time Reports will release the video and an accompanying essay on Glass Gaze in 2014, for those who missed the live event.
At least 110,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war. Here, as anywhere, fighters are glorified in death. Abdulqader Saleh was the commander of the Al Tawhid Brigade, which led the rebel victory in Aleppo … Saleh died in a hospital days before I arrived in Tripoli; his martyrdom photo was posted to Twitter.
These images are framed like Instagram selfies, but corpses have no selves — the dead exist as projections by the living. See how beautiful they are, these photos say. Be righteous like them.
— Syria’s Spreading Bloodshed in The New York Times
Creative Time Reports and Rhizome present Glass Gaze, a one-time performance in which artist Molly Crabapple, wearing Google Glass, will create life-drawings of Stoya, porn star and advocate for fair labor practices in the pornography industry, as she strikes a variety of poses.
The performance will be streamed live on the Rhizome website on Dec. 11 from 3pm to 3:30pm. In early 2014, Creative Time Reports and Rhizome sites will co-publish the video along with an essay that Molly will write about the project.
It is also the last day to pre-order the new apparel released for the holidays. Once the pre order ends today at 8pm EST, the items will not be available for purchase again!
The online shop accepts credit cards, Paypal and bitcoins. Shipping is guaranteed for holiday delivery if ordered by 12/12 for international orders and 12/19 for domestic orders.
Molly Crabapple’s art for Patton Oswalt’s “Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time” one-hour special that makes its world premiere on EPIX, on Jan 17th, 10pm EST. Learn more: http://www.epixhd.com/patton-oswalt-tragedy-plus-comedy-equals-time/
Gearing up for the holidays, there are currently four new items in the Molly Crabapple store.
A coffee coloured scarf, hand printed on an incredibly soft tri-blend fabric.
A new dark green hoodie in men’s and women’s sizes, featuring the “Fuck You” print.
A brand new item just for children, this toddler-sized t-shirt features a two colour print of a painting cat.
And fourth, “The Kiss” a two colour design on men’s and women’s sized t-shirts.
All items will be available for pre-order until December 1st, after which, they’ll be printed & shipped out before the holiday delivery cut off. View them, and more, in the Molly Crabapple store
On this week’s Vice podcast, Reihan Salam sits down with Molly Crabapple to discuss how she uses her sketchpad as a lock pick to the larger world, from sneaking into Manhattan at the age of 14, to illustrating the trials at Guantanamo Bay.
This week’s New Statesman includes a short article by Molly Crabapple, guest edited by Russell Brand and also featuring: David Lynch, Rupert Everett, Noel Gallagher, Amanda Palmer, Naomi Klein, Alec Baldwin, David Shrigley, Graham Hancock, Gary Lineker, Ai Weiwei, Judd Apatow, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Deepak Chopra, Evgeny Lebedev, Martha Lane Fox, David DeGraw, Howard Marks, Francesca Martinez, Diablo Cody, with exclusive cover artwork by Shepard Fairey and a new Mr. Gee poem: “360° of Separation”
The Russell Brand issue (dated 25-31 October, cover price £3.50) is now on sale. International buyers can obtain digital or print copies through their website: www.newstatesman.com/russellbrand or on the iTunes store.
In January 2012, Molly Crabapple created the Ineffable Mustachio’d Goat of Science which appeared on special fundraiser BBotE bottle runs, to help fund the trip to Greece with Laurie Penny that resulted in Discordia. Funranium Labs has decided to re-release them to the public and you can grab one of the 1000ml Goat bottles here.
Additionally, there are vinyl stickers with the art alone that you can pick up in their online store.
StopWatching.us is a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum. Join the movement at https://rally.stopwatching.us. This video harnesses the voices of celebrities, activists, legal experts, and other prominent figures in speaking out against mass surveillance by the NSA. Please share widely to help us spread the message that we will not stand for the dragnet surveillance of our communications.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit civil liberties law and advocacy center that has been fighting the NSA’s unconstitutional spying for years. Learn more at https://eff.org.
Three years ago, Marissa Alexander, who had recently given birth to a daughter, fired a warning shot as her ex-husband attacked her. She was refused Stand Your Ground and convicted of aggravated assault with a minimum of 20 years in prison, where she awaits a new trial.
The poster above was done for the Free Marissa Alexander Campaign. Click it for a hi-res copy and share it to spread the word, with credit please.
For more information on Marissa’s case, click here.
As you may know, I’ve been an active supporter of New York Communities for Change (NYCC), a grass roots community group that organizes low and moderate income families. You may have heard of NYCC’s Fast Food Forward campaign that helped launch a movement of fast food workers in over 40 cities nationwide fighting for higher pay.
Whether through city-wide and state-wide campaigns or through their neighborhood chapters in communities throughout New York City and Long Island, NYCC members are leading the fight on some of the most important issues facing New Yorkers — like workplace justice, affordable housing, good public schools and ending Stop and Frisk.
That’s why I’m proud to be a “Friend of NYCC” who’s committed to enabling NYCC members to become a powerful force fighting for working families throughout New York. NYCC is holding its annual fundraising gala on December 3rd where we’ll celebrate the past year’s victories and the work to come. If you want to see more victories like the ones listed above, I hope you’ll join me by purchasing a ticket to the NYCC annual gala or by becoming a friend of NYCC (Friends of NYCC who commit to a monthly contribution of $25/month or more will receive a complementary ticket to the NYCC Gala.)
In just the last few months, NYCC members won a new shortened timeline for the removal of toxic PCB lights from all NYC public schools, joined the fight to keep Long Island Community Hospital and Interfaith Medical Center open for care, and prevented low income victims of Superstorm Sandy from being kicked out in the streets before they could make arrangements to move into affordable housing.
But despite NYCC’s success, true progressive change in this city requires more work. For the first time in decades, New Yorkers have the opportunity to elect a true progressive, Bill de Blasio, to the Mayor’s Office, but in order to make the most of it, our city needs groups like NYCC mobilizing around the real issues that affect working families in NYC. And outside of the city, with some real movement-building, there’s a real opportunity to make the 2014 state elections a referendum on Albany’s broken politics.
NYCC relies on grassroots funding to do some of the most exciting and innovative social justice work in New York State.
Will you join me in the movement and become a Friend of NYCC? For more information and to sign up, see our page here.