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.
The artists of Charlie Hebdo join a long and tragic tradition. Mocking pen strokes send authoritarians into paroxysm of rage. Governments and extremist groups around the world target cartoonists for arrest, beatings and execution. Bullies can never take a joke.
New York State’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs) are the first of their kind in the nation. Launched with great fanfare in September 2013, these courts redefined prostitutes as trafficking victims rather than criminals.
“Human trafficking is… a form of modern-day slavery that we simply cannot tolerate in a civilized society,” Judge Jonathan Lippman, the court’s creator, said at a press conference announcing the formation of the special courts. “We now recognize that the vast majority of individuals charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation. By offering vital services instead of punishment to these defendants, the Human Trafficking Intervention Initiative will act to transform and save lives—and, in turn, enable law enforcement to identify, investigate, and punish the traffickers.”
Despite the claims of reformers like Judge Lippman, HTICs are as controlling as any other court. Prostitutes might be called victims, but they’re still arrested, still handcuffed, and still held in cages. The only difference is that they’re now in a system that doesn’t distinguish between workers and trafficked people. To the courts, anyone who’s been arrested for sex work is raw material, incapable of making his or her own choices. Those like Love, who did sex work out of financial necessity, before leaving of her own volition, might as well not exist.
The Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights is proud to present a special Freedom Flicks program on Wednesday, January 14th in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library using art and film to bring you rarely told, human stories of Guantánamo prison.
The night will begin with a private reception/gallery exhibit featuring artworks by artist and writer Molly Crabapple, photographer Debi Cornwall and former Guantánamo detainee and CCR client Djamel Ameziane. Following the exhibit we will screen the original short film “Waiting for Fahd”, which tells the heartrending story of CCR client Fahd Ghazy, a Yemeni national unlawfully detained at 17. Now 30, Fahd continues to languish in Guantánamo without charge or trial.
After the screening, CCR Staff Attorney Omar Farah will be joined by Molly Crabapple and Debi Cornwall to discuss the role of art, law, and storytelling in challenging dominant narratives of Guantánamo and surfacing the human impact of indefinite detention.
Seating is limited. Register here to reserve your free ticket.
Wednesday, January 14th
6:30pm – 8:45pm
Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Doors open at 6:30pm for the private reception/gallery exhibit. Light refreshments will be provided. Screening starts at 7:15pm sharp.
Molly Crabapple will not be silenced. The New York artist has come a long way from nude modeling and doodling, asserting herself as an important political voice, pen and brush of the art world. Whether she’s on the Islamic front in Syria sketching, writing an article for VICE, or working on her forthcoming illustrated memoir, Drawing Blood (out in 2015 published by Harper Collins), Crabapple is a force to be reckoned with.
— by Lori Zimmer with photos by Jonathan Grassi, for Creem Magazine
This week we talk with Molly Crabapple, an artist and writer who has worked in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi’s migrant labor camps, and with rebels in Syria. Crabapple is a columnist for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. We talk about art, journalism and the tensions that can exist when your work traverses the boundaries between the two. Molly also shares some advice for those who hope for a career in art. Shownotes available at sourcesandmethods.com.
Stream or download the mp3 here.
On Wednesday, Chelsea Manning – heroine, whistleblower and inmate – turns 27. She has been behind bars for four years and eight months, ever since her arrest for leaking classified US documents. There isn’t much prospect that she will be released any time soon … It is against this gloomy and unpropitious backdrop that leading writers, artists and public figures from around the world are today sending Chelsea birthday greetings. Their contributions include letters, poems, drawings and original paintings. Some are philosophical – yes, that’s you, Slavoj Žižek – others brief messages of goodwill. A few are movingly confessional.
All send a powerful reminder: that for millions in the US and beyond, Chelsea Manning is an inspiring moral figure who deserves our continued support.
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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