Rikers seems an unlikely destination for perhaps the most important citizen journalist of the last year. But though the video Orta shot was shared around the world, he stayed right where he was, a young, working-class Latino man in Staten Island. Anyone in circumstances like those would be vulnerable to police harassment—and doubly so when you make it your business to watch and record the cops and their abuses …
Orta described police violence as being endemic to Staten Island, and in the summer of 2014, he began to document it. Of the videos Orta told me he shot, he posted a just one on his YouTube channel, on July 12, 2014. In it, a gang of white cops force a handcuffed black man into the pavement. As two officers hold the victim down, another officer systematically beats the man’s legs with his baton. The man is not seen resisting arrest.
“Y’all tough as hell with them sticks,” Orta can be heard saying while holding the camera. When a bystander complains, police slam him onto the pavement, then arrest him.
In May 2013, Monica Jones, a student and LGBT activist at Arizona State University, was arrested for “manifesting prostitution.” Monica said she just accepted an undercover officer’s offer of a ride home from her favorite bar. Monica is among the tens of thousands of people arrested every year for prostitution-related offenses. According to the FBI, police arrested over 57,000 people on such charges in 2011. The vast majority were women.
— via Fusion
ZEITOUNA is a creative therapy and physical wellness program designed to inspire and heal the youngest victims of the Syrian humanitarian crisis: the children.
Karam Foundation’s Innovative Education programs counters these traumatic factors by instilling a love of creativity and athletic sports, caring for the youths’ physical and mental wellbeing, restoring confidence by building trusting bonds between mentor and child, exposing youth to advanced technology, and developing leadership skills for the future.
ZEITOUNA SPRING 2015 will take place on April 26-30 in the Jeel School for Syrian refugees in Reyhanli, Turkey. Our fourth Zeitouna mission will be lead by over 30 mentors traveling from around the world. They will serve over 350 Syrian students, grades 1-8, who are currently displaced along the Syrian-Turkish border.
The theme of this year’s Zeitouna program is Holistic Healing. The program focuses on serving the psycho-social needs of refugee students because educating also requires healing from the trauma of war and displacement. Zeitouna’s professional, multi-talented team includes therapists, dentists, doctors, writers, photographers, artists, architects, athletes and journalists. These mentors are experienced in working with children and are dedicated to their learning and development. They are not only experts in their fields, but also in the use of their work to serve the physical and psychological health of refugee youth.
Molly Crabapple is proud to work with Zeitouna yet again this year in creating new murals for the school with their students. For more info, and the option to donate, please click here.
Photos from 2014 Zeitouna project.
CARTOONISTS AND OTHER SUBVERSIVES
P A N E L I S T S
GARRY TRUDEAU, the new George Polk Career achievement winner
JULES FEIFFER, prize-winning cartoonist, author, and playwright
DJANGO GOLD, senior writer for The Onion
MOLLY CRABAPPLE, artist, writer and contributing editor for VICE
8″ x 4″ pen, ink, dye and gouache on Arches watercolor paper. Signed by Molly, this piece is up for auction to benefit Young New Yorkers. Auction lasts until April 1st, 9 pm EST. You can bid here.
Molly will be speaking at The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival on March 28, 2015. Click here for all the deets and to purchase tickets.
CRAFTING MEMOIR: OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Memoir=You writing about you. But you are not a deserted island. How do memoirists portray themselves in the context of significant and non-significant others? Outside the personal sphere, a writer’s own perspective is set against larger realities—race, gender, sexuality, and nationality. How important is the recognition of the writer’s point of view—and position in the world—in memoir? Can a reconciliation between the You and the many Others happen on the pages of a memoir? Or are memoirs just fine as single and singular stories? Writers on this panel have taken on love, race, and activism in their works. They’ll be considering these questions and more in this panel. Bring your own for the Q&A.
Moderated by Lauren Cerand.
Saturday, March 28th
Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
214 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA
THE TRANSNATIONALISTS: AMERICAN WRITERS ON BORDER CROSSINGS
The U.S. literary landscape has always been a transnational space—America goes on excursion into the world and the world comes in—as seen in works of authors from Faulkner on to the many multiply-hyphenated, diasporic writers. In this panel of consummate border crossers, authors will discuss what it means to be an American writer in the world today, at home and abroad. Phil Klay, an Iraq veteran and author, Molly Crabapple, an activist, writer, and artist, and Laila Lalami, a Moroccan-American novelist and linguist, will discuss point of view, writing from within (and about) the U.S. borders and looking inward from abroad.
Moderated by Pamela Paul.
Saturday, March 28th
Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
214 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA
As of 2013, there were 80,000 men and women in solitary confinement in the United States, some of them as young as 14 years old. In this illustrated op-ed video, artist Molly Crabapple explains the psychological and physical trauma suffered by those forced to spend 22-24 hours a day alone — sometimes for arbitrary reasons, like reading the wrong book, or having the wrong tattoo — in a grey, concrete box. (According to the U.N. 15 days in solitary is torture.) “There is no limit to how long someone can be held in solitary confinement,” says Crabapple. “And very little evidence is needed to justify holding a person in solitary indefinitely.”
— via Fusion
Celebrate the release of sex worker magazine $pread’s anthology and the opening night of Spark to a Flame, an art show celebrating the artists of $pread.
On the ten year anniversary of the launch of $pread, the first U.S. magazine by and for sex workers and allies, Feminist Press is bringing its most memorable voices back to life with the book $pread: The Best of the Magazine that Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution, edited by Rachel Aimee, Eliyanna Kaiser, and Audacia Ray. Join us for an evening of readings and performance, and for the opening night of ‘Spark to a Flame,’ an art show celebrating the artists of $pread, curated by Damien Luxe. FREE BOOK WITH ADMISSION!
Readers and performers include: Brendan Michael Conner, Hawk Kinkaid, Syd V., Marisa Brigati. Video art by Morgan Page, Xandra Ibarra/Chica Boom, The Incredible Edible Akynos, Ofelia del Corazón, visual art by Fly Orr, Molly Crabapple, Hawk Kinkaid and Cristy Road.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.
Spark to a Flame is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Spark to a Flame is also supported by HOOK, a publication by and for men in the sex industry.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
161A Chrystie Street
New York, NY 10002
Launch party 7:30 – 9pm. After party in the Dixon Lounge 9 – 11pm. Tickets are $20 and include a free book. Purchase yours here.
Molly will be speaking at Freedom to Connect, an “exploration of the technology, economics and politics of the Internet and a celebration of its bottom-up, innovative, democracy-enhancing, life-affirming properties,” on March 2nd. If you wish to attend, register here. A webcast of the event will be available from 9am – 5pm for $25. Sign up to view the webcast here.
Click here for more details about this year’s F2C as well as for past events.
Freedom to Connect 2015
March 2nd and 3rd
156 Fifth Avenue at 20th Street
New York, NY 10010
Doors open at 7:30 am. Molly is scheduled to speak on Art and Internet Freedom between 11 am – 12:30 pm, but all times are subject to change.
Organized by PEN American Center and the National Coalition Against Censorship, the panel discussion “After Charlie: What’s Next for Art, Satire and Censorship,” illustrated some of the problems inherent in offering a civilized response to an utterly uncivilized act …
Cartooning is particularly “inflammatory,” said comics artist and illustrator Crabapple, because “it is visceral and irritates authoritarian assholes.” But she also noted that it’s easy for cartooning to be “taken out of context,” stripped of ironic intent and nuance, and used to provoke and offend. Indeed, she suggested, in the age of social media, where images are regularly recontextualized and recirculated, the ability to demonize an image, and its creator, will likely worsen.
Molly Crabapple is a pseudonym but it’s somehow fitting for the artist who learnt to draw a proper nose aged only four. She has a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, but remarkably Crabapple is self-taught. Her trajectory into the world of illustration was unconventional: having dropped out of FIT (New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology) she launched her own leftfield drawing school in 2005 at the tender age 22. When she founded Dr Sketchy Art School Anti-Art School, she entered into a world of burlesque dancers, drag queens and underground performers. However, this was a familiar world to Crabapple. At 19 she started working as a life model, and that was in fact when Molly Crabapple first adopted her alias.
“When I go on TV, Twitter digs up old photos of me at parties and asks the producers why they have such a bimbo on air,” says Crabapple. “But the thing about proving things? Your jaggedness just goads you on – it makes you sharper and harder. It gives you swagger.” And boy, does she have swagger.
The massacre at Charlie Hebdo brought urgent questions about censorship, satire, offense and artistic responsibility to the forefront. In response to this, a panel of cartoonists will discuss the future of satire, censorship and self-censorship, as well as the unique power of images especially when married to language.
This panel will feature Art Spiegelman, best known for his graphic novel Maus, cartoonist and journalist Molly Crabapple, editor and New Yorker Art Director Francoise Mouly, and Emmanuel Letouzé, socio-political cartoonist. These acclaimed graphic artists will help us examine the current landscape of cartoon and satire and what the attack at Charlie Hebdo means for the future of these essential components of our culture.
Hosted by PEN American Center, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).
Thursday, February 19, 2015
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tickets are $10 for PEN/FIAF members, $15 for the public. Click here for more details.
Molly recently spoke with Longform. Stream or download the podcast here.
Last summer, a New York city police officer choked a black grandfather named Eric Garner to death. Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes. The arrests of people like Garner are part of a controversial policing tactic called Broken Windows. Broken Windows claims to prevent large crimes by cracking down on small ones. But it’s really about controlling and punishing communities of color, through police encounters that can sometimes be deadly.
Written, illustrated and narrated by Molly Crabapple
Directed by Jim Batt
Sound Design by Kim Boekbinder
Shot by Keith Jenson
“In America, where the fetish for foreign dissidents runs deep, Ganzeer could have dined out for years on his revolutionary cred, making do-gooders feel brave by proxy just for buying his paintings. But it was a role he rejected as Orientalism; he was sick of how the Western press reduced him to nothing but an avatar for the Egyptian Revolution and ignored his critique of their own countries.
“When you see injustice somewhere you want to call bullshit on it,” he told me. “There’s just so much injustice in the United States.”
“The Revolutionary, No Bullshit Art of Ganzeer”- Molly Crabapple. VICE
Hosted by PEN American Center and the ACLU. Artists, authors, and activists unite to read passages from Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s diary — the only diary by a still-imprisoned Guantanamo detainee to be released (Little, Brown & Company, January 20, 2015). Followed by a conversation with Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, and editor Larry Siems, moderated by Philip Gourevitch.
Monday, January 26th @ 7pm
45 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
General admission is $15, $10 for PEN & ACLU members, seniors, and students. Purchase tickets here.
Molly Crabapple illustrated the cover for this month’s New Internationalist.
Inside this issue: Icelandic activist and founder of the Pirate Party, Birgitta Jonsdottir, guest edits an issue on the theme of ‘democracy in the digital era’. It tackles some of the thorniest issues of the day: privacy, censorship, mass surveillance, media freedom. But it goes several steps further than most media reports by presenting powerful and practical ways in which we can create a deeper and more meaningful democracy and a richer more rebellious political engagement, using the tools of the internet age.
Molly is featured in the second issue of The Great Discontent, which “offers a candid glimpse into the lives of those who create for a living.”
Preorder here. Orders begin shipping the week of January 26th.
Molly Crabapple is an artist, journalist, and author of the memoir, Drawing Blood. Called "An emblem of the way art can break out of the gilded gallery" by the New Republic, she has drawn in and reported from Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi's migrant labor camps, and in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Crabapple is a contributing editor for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
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