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2021 – Year in Review

In the quiet nights before New Years, I like to sit with my notebook and try to remember what I did in the twelve months prior — to pick out moments from the procession of meals cooked and phone calls made, of glasses of whisky emptied, drawings inked, words edited and ink spilled.  Most of these memories stay in my notebook, but here is the place for a more professional accounting.

This year I wrote more of my book on the Jewish Labor Bund, which is made slower because I have to do so much for the research in Yiddish (bless you, CYCO books). I wrote less for publication, but here are a few favorite pieces:

“How the Taxi Drivers Won” for The Nation– a cover story on how New York’s cabbies pulled off one of the year’s most inspiring labor victories.

“Occupy Memory” for New York Review of Books – a meditation on Occupy Wall Street, which turned ten this year, and changed both me and the world. 

A love letter to New York City for Lithub 

I painted murals for Bluestockings Bookstore and the Clemente Soto Velez Center.

My art appeared on walls all over New York.

Photo by @michaelhermidaz

I made a video about debt for The Intercept with my ever collaborators Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt. Our video series Welcome to the Zowon an Edward R Murrow award, a gold medal from the Society for News Design, and a bunch of other awards I forgot. It was nominated for two Emmys.  

I illustrated a year of covers for Dissent.

I illustrated a massive Amnesty International report on the persecution of Uighars in Xinjiang 

My friends at Radix Media released Fanning the Flames, a coloring book of my old school burlesque drawings.

I’ve travelled little since COVID began.  To make up for it, I had New York. I cooked for the Chinatown free fridge and left flowers at my great grandparents’ grave, and walked with BombaYo’s annual parranda in Bushwick, warmed by the joy of every old lady who stopped to dance. I went out to Hunts Point for the Teamsters strike. I hung with the taxi drivers since the first night of their sit-in at City Hall. I stayed up till dawn at the Chelsea Hotel, where a few old-school bohemians have held onto their apartments like fortresses. I made a million bottles of coquito. I had my friends, my man, my parents, my city… and though I miss the world terribly, these are enough.  

“Your Debt Is Someone Else’s Asset”

The newest video for The Intercept is out now.

“A collaboration between The Intercept; artist Molly Crabapple and her creative partners at Sharp As Knives productions; and writer Astra Taylor, this short film invites us to understand our debt in new ways. Our monthly payments are a source of profit, a form of wealth transfer from struggling borrowers to the well-to-do. These profits are a source of power; debt is never just about money. In the United States, debt has long been used as a form of social control and a tool of white supremacy.”

-The Intercept

Suffolk Street Solidarity – December 8th

Bluestockings and The Clemente are putting together an exciting event for Dec. 8th at 6:30pm! Both in-person (vax required) and online. Live musical performances by @chokedupnyc and Claudi of @pinclouds! Remarks from writers, artists, and organizers in our communities including @alokvmenon @ritaindianalamontra @yinq13 & @mollycrabapple! Raffle prizes! Community love!

Tickets available HERE

Black Friday Sale!

New Prints!

Free 8.5×11 Mini-print with each print order!

15% off EVERYTHING in the shop!

From now until 11/30

We’re also doing another

GIVING TUESDAY GIVEAWAY

If you donate at least 25$ to a local food bank between now and Giving Tuesday, you can enter to win one of five signed copies of “Fanning The Flames, A Molly Crabapple Coloring book” from Radix Media

Just send proof of donation to [email protected]

Five winners will be selected by Dec 1st
Offer only valid for shipping addresses within the US

“Fanning the Flames, A Molly Crabapple Coloring Book”

Coming soon from Radix Media!

Here is the first look at the cover of Fanning The Flames, A Molly Crabapple Coloring Book. We are so proud to be collaborating with NYC-based, worker-owned, print shop Radix Media. Be sure to follow them to catch the pre-order link that’s coming very soon!

This cover reflects the collection’s themes out loud: a penchant for political theater and satire, disdain for capitalism and profit, and a critique of voyeurism and entertainment. After all Fanning the Flames is no ordinary coloring book—it’s one that forces the user to reflect in the act of coloring, performance, and its consumption. ” – Radix Media

“Women Refugee Voices from Asia and Africa, Travelling for Safety”

Molly contributed a chapter to the new book ” Women Refugee Voices from Asia and Africa, Travelling for Safety” which is now available for preorder from ActionAid Association.

The book brings “together first-hand accounts from women refugees and interventions by activists, academics, journalists, filmmakers, humanitarian workers, and international law experts, this book will be a must read for scholars and researchers of migration and diaspora studies, development studies, sociology and social anthropology, and politics and public policy. It will be of special interest to NGOs, policymakers, and think tanks.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Two Emmy Nominations!

We are so proud to announce that the series of short films “The Zo” has been nominated for two Emmy Awards in the categories “Outstanding Interactive Media: Documentary”, and “Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction: Documentary”.

The Zo is a 3-part animated series illustrated by Molly Crabapple, wirtten and directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt, and narrated by Michael K. Williams for The Marshall Project and First Look Media’s streaming service, Topic.

This is the groups second and third Emmy nominations, after “A Message From The Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” was nominated last year. 

“All That’s Utopian Melts Into Asphalt” on The Nation

Illustration by Josh Gosfield

“I see Utopia Parkway like this. All the grandiose plans have faded into the prosaic present, the small houses inhabited by people from everywhere on earth, struggling each day to build for themselves and for their families a private sliver of a better world. Behind the chrome railings racked with roses, their kids grow up into New Yorkers. Like me, they will forget the old languages of their old countries but will grow up striving for their own utopia, their very own no place.”

“A Miniaturist Goes Large” by Molly Crabapple

Shahzia Sikander/Sean Kelly, New York
Shahzia Sikander: Pleasure Pillars (detail), 2001

Molly’s review of Shahzia Sikander’s latest show “Extraordinary Realities” at the Morgan Library is on the New York Review of Books.

In this show, the juxtapositions are scintillating. Tantric acrobats. Brooklyn water towers. Horses that resemble the letters of a language that never was. The purported manuscript pages become palimpsests, entries in a sort of Borgesian library or archive, a repository as vast as the Earth itself. Her images invite the viewer down a rabbit hole papered with the detritus of empire, its wars and masquerade balls…