Molly is featured in Vogue India’s upcoming publication. Here’s a sneak preview:
Frida never denied pain. Instead, with her art, she looked it frankly in the eye, and said, yeah, I see you, you ugly beast. You think you’re all powerful, but you’re just my raw material, same as my brushes. I’ll polish you and paint you, and make you serve me. You’ll be my most beautiful weapon of all.
The next entry in Molly’s series with the Paris Review is live.
The text in the drawing reads: “They say these people at El Local aren’t ‘Puerto Rican’ but this is what Puerto Rico looks like to me”.
“Before Hurricane María it was kind of hard to be an artist in Puerto Rico and now it’s almost impossible,” she continued.“Our art scene thrived on ‘underground’ cultural spaces and galleries willing to give a chance on nontraditional art. Now those spaces are closed, inaccessible or like El Local, repurposed for worthier causes. I have no doubt these spaces will be open once more, but it might be too late.
The next entry in Molly’s Puerto Rico Sketchbook for the Paris Review is live.
Puerto Rico was colonized before the United States, and by the time U.S. gunboats boomed into its harbor in 1898, it had enjoyed its hard-won autonomy from Spain for several months—not that this helped the island in the eyes of its new overlords. In the opinion of many U.S. politicians, Puerto Rico was populated by members of the deficient “Spanish” race, too lazy and primitive to be granted either independence or statehood. How little some attitudes change.
Molly’s next entry in her Sketchbooks from Puerto Rico series with the Paris Review, There Are Dead in the Fields, is up now.
Sugeily, Rocio, and Augustin sang together now, tenderness replacing the mockery in their voices, and the crowd joined them. Fuerte fuerte como hacha y machete. Strong, strong, like machete and axe. When the last chorus finally ended, the whole cantastoria had lasted only five minutes, but it felt far longer, and hit far deeper, too.
Full article and illustrations here: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/12/18/puerto-rico-sketchbook-dead-fields/
These greeting cards feature reproductions of murals Molly painted at the Karam House this past year. This is the first time the paintings have been reproduced in any print form. Each card includes an English translation of the individual’s quote and a short biography. The collections also include a blank envelope for each greeting card.
The Karam House is a community innovation workspace where Syrian refugee youth turn their passions and ideas into realities. It is a place where they can build strong relationships with peers and mentors. It is a place where they can learn competitive skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics that are essential to advancing their educations and futures. Most of all, Karam House is an inspiring, safe, and healing space for Syrian teenagers – who have lost so much through the trauma of displacement and war – to be teenagers.
American illustrator Molly Crabapple’s Scenes from Syria, published in 2015, is the result of a remarkable collaboration and a vivid exchange undertaken clandestinely in 2013 between her in New York, and Syrian journalist Marwan Hisham, in his native Raqqa. The duo later worked on Aleppo and Mosul and is putting together an 82-page memoir about their work, to be published in 2018. According to Hisham, “more subjects, such as refuge and the idea of homeland, will be included.”
“Our first collaboration was about Raqqa,” Hisham, now based in Turkey, recalled. “Molly (at the time a Twitter acquaintance) suggested if I can take photos that give an idea about the general life in the city under ISIS occupation. The idea, we both knew, was risky but was also very tempting. We agreed to make up to ten illustrations. Since it was my city, I knew exactly where to go, and in some cases, what to capture. We were in daily contact exchanging ideas. Molly ended up drawing all my photos of nine scenes. We had one thing in mind: Depicting civilian and human life in Raqqa and other cities away from stereotype.”
During the #J20 protests, a small group of demonstrators smashed the windows of Starbucks and Bank of America, spray-painted cars, and overturned several newspaper boxes. Importantly, the prosecution has made no attempt to claim that the defendants were among them. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff has instead argued that the defendants were “playing a role” in the violence. That’s right: The government is trying to set the precedent that if you’re at a protest and someone else smashes a window, it’s your fault.
Yet these artists had done something that neither Puerto Rico’s neglectful colonial overlords nor its governor had bothered to try. After the hurricane hit, they loaded their cars with donations from Defend PR and the Puerto Rican diaspora and drove into the mountains, determined to find out what people needed.
November interview and studio tour with Nylon Mag.
Crabapple takes us through her studio and talks about her career path and, below, read our conversation about the devastation in Puerto Rico, the problems with Democrats, and how George W. Bush ushered in the Trump era
The efforts of the islanders are matched by help from the diaspora of which I am part. In the Bronx, a Puerto Rican boxing gym and cultural center named El Maestro has collected and distributed a hundred tons of aid. On one of the gym’s walls is a mural celebrating the independence fighters: Lolita Lebrón, the Macheteros, Ramón Emeterio Betances, Pedro Albizu Campos. Organizers for the New York arts collective DefendPR have toured the island with solar-powered movie screenings, and are helping rebuild the Paloma Abajo neighborhood in Comerio.
Jibaro Soy print, limited edition of 25.
Printed in archival ink on heavyweight acid-free fine art paper. 17″x22″
Half the proceeds go towards supporting Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo Mariana, which provides daily free meals, children’s classes, wifi and a weekly health clinic to Barrio Mariana, a small town in Eastern Puerto Rico.
New Article by Amanda Petrusich, Illustrated by Molly in this month’s VQR, online and in print.
Here, justice works like this: When a man is murdered, his family avenges his death by similarly executing either the killer himself or a male member of his clan. Sometimes, after a killing has been successfully vindicated, the feud is settled. Other times, the head of the family that initiated the feud, while admitting both sides are now ostensibly “equal,” nonetheless chooses to perpetuate the cycle by killing a second male from the avenging family. “In this way the feud might rage backwards and forwards for years or even generations, each family being in turn murderer and victim, hunter and hunted,”
Molly, Kim Boekbinder, and Jim Batt partnered with the Human Rights Watch and Samantha Bee in anew animation to explain why deporting immigrants makes America neither greater nor safer.
A year after a U.S. election marred by divisive rhetoric, thousands of families have been torn apart and millions are living in fear because of cruel and ineffective immigration policies. Every day, people who call the United States home – including the parents and spouses of U.S. citizens, tax-paying employees, and respected community members – are arrested, locked up, and deported, under laws that treat their deep and longstanding ties to this country as a thing of no consequence.
Molly has just finished installation of her most recent mural this time in the Fishtown neighnorhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The painting, titled No Borders, features a woman with monarch butterflies in her hair and flying around her – monarch butterflies being a widely used symbol for immigration given their annual migration from south to north.
Molly will be helping host the annual Words Without Borders Globe Trot gala tomorrow and we encourage all who can to buy a ticket and join us in supporting this great organization.
Words without Borders promotes cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.
In this special book event, Pearlman will be discussing her book with the Molly and the two will share stories about their respective work related to Syria and reflect on how art and writing can serve in solidarity with struggles for freedom and justice.
From 2012 to 2016, Wendy Pearlman interviewed over 300 Syrian refugees across the Middle East and Europe, collecting testimonials from ordinary people transformed by revolution, war, and displacement. Her new book WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED: VOICES FROM SYRIA tells the story of Syria exclusively through these intimate, first-hand narratives. The book forms a testament not only to the power of storytelling, but also to the resilience of those who face darkness with courage, hope, and conviction.
Today (October 18th 2017) Amplifier, MPower Change, CAIR, ACLU’s People Power, MoveOn, Oxfam, and others, came together along with hundreds of protesters to march upon DC in protest of the Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban. Molly worked with Amplifier to create these posters that were made freely available to all who showed up. The posters are still free to download and print on the Amplifier site here.
I visited the village of Mariana, where two friends have brought the community together to cook for and support each other in the wake of the hurricane.
The municipal government did not visit Mariana until September 30, 10 days after Maria. A truck pulled up at the bottom of the hill, and when people spent their scarce gas to drive down to it, they were handed two small bottles of water, a tin of Virginia sausages, a Nutri-Grain bar, and a pack of tropical Skittles. More aid, in the form of MREs and water delivered by the military and the FBI, would not arrive again until October 8.