Molly has written and illustrated a new article for The Baffler about Puerto Rican political prisoner Nina Droz Franco, who was arrested in the 2017 May Day protests. This article is part of Issue 40 of The Baffler entitled “Forced Exposure” which is focusing on privacy and surveillance.
Droz has spent the last year in federal prison, waiting to receive her sentence. Outside, while the island combats the overlapping cruelties of fiscal austerity and post-Maria neglect, players on each end of the political spectrum have adopted Droz as a symbol. To many pro-independence leftists who supported the protests, she is a political prisoner. For the pro-statehood right, she is a folk demon, half-witch and half-terrorist: “The Girl Who Breathes Fire.”
Tonight (June 29th), Molly’s original paintings of life in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria will be on view at the Clemente Abrazo Interno Gallery at 107 Suffolk Street in New York. The show accompanies a book anthology of art and writing on contemporary activism, in which Molly’s work is also included. The opening reception starts at 7pm and will go until 10pm.
The When WeFight, WeWin! / ¡Cuando Luchamos, Ganamos! exhibition features over 40 artists, cultural organizers and artist collectives whose work bolsters people’s movements and builds solidarity across place, culture and struggle.
The opening reception will serve as the culminating event of the year-long When WeFight, WeWin! Arts & Culture Tour and a celebration of AgitArte’s 20th anniversary. We hope you’ll help us celebrate this project and our victories in struggle.
Únanse a nosotrxs el viernes 29 de junio, de 7 a 10 pm para la apertura de When We Fight, We Win! / ¡Cuando Luchamos, Ganamos! El programa de la noche incluirá comentarios breves del equipo curatorial y lxs autorxs de When We Fight, We Win!, así como presentaciones de AgitArte | Papel Machete y el estreno de End the Debt! Descolonize! Liberate! Movement Unity Scroll.
La exposición When We Fight, We Win! / ¡Cuando Luchamos, Ganamos! presenta a más de 40 artistas, organizadorxs culturales y colectivos de artistas cuyo trabajo refuerza los movimientos populares y crea solidaridad a través de lugares, culturas y luchas.
La apertura de la exposición será el evento culminante de la Jornada de Arte y Cultura de When We Fight, We Win! Esperamos que nos apoyen a celebrar este proyecto y nuestras victorias en la lucha.
Molly will be participating in this year’s Logan Symposium in London during October 19th and 20th.
Conspiracy! is about the growing machinery of surveillance and censorship, and what might be our response to it. Then there’s official propaganda and subterfuge. From paid Russian Trolls toiling to Western-funded “media activists” in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, what are the chances for real freedom and democracy when the new media machinery becomes a powerful new weapon of war? The proposed new Espionage Act in the UK, and the renewed threat of prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act in the US, deliberately blur the distinction between information-seeking investigative journalists and spies from a hostile state.
Molly has a new Sketchbook article published in the Paris Review about her experience at a recent presentation by New York’s 12th congressional district representative Saraj Patel regarding striking down SESTA and FOSTA
“As crises so often do, SESTA and FOSTA provoked unprecedented activism: art shows, protests, performances, fund-raisers. There was powerful, beautiful work that made me proud to belong to this harlot mafia. (I had too many friends of too many years in that room, friends who I’ve drank with till too many bleary dawns, to fake some sterile sort of distance.)”
The Guggenheim Museum – Summer of Know – June 19th at 7pm
Summer of Know is a conversation series pairing contemporary artists with practitioners and thought leaders at the forefront of today’s most urgent social, political, environmental, and legal issues. Held in The Wright restaurant, these informal discussions are moderated or introduced by Guggenheim curators and engage with current issues as they are filtered through the generative lens of art.
Molly and writer Anand Giridharadas will be in conversation, speaking about the nature of journalism as activism in the age of Trump. The session will moderated by Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Guggenheim Museum. The event is free for museum members and students, and $10 for guests but the price of the event may be deducted from cost of admission to the museum. More details about the event are available here on the Guggenheim website.
The Guggenheim is located on the upper east side of Manhattan at 1071 5th ave.
Molly will return to the venerable Shakespeare & Co. on May 31st at 7:00 pm to speak about Brothers of the Gun with Marwan who will be joining in by video link. RSVPs are highly encouraged. Shakespeare & Co. is located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie right off the Seine.
Bant Magazine has put together an exhibition of Molly’s ink illustrations that will be on display in their Bant Mag Havuz/Bina at Caferaga mah. Kadife sok. 26 Kadıköyuntil June 15th. On June 3rd at 17:00 Molly and Marwan will talk about Brothers of the Gun together in person (for the first time during the tour). The presentation will be followed by an open Q&A. RSVP encouraged.
In the Pacific Northwest? Molly is talking with Lidia Yuknavitch (The Book of Joan, The Misfit’s Manifesto) Sunday at Powell’s at 7:30pm, and the event tops The Portland Mercury’s list of ways to enjoy the arts this week.
Monday night, Molly will be in Seattle in conversation with co-author Marwan Hisham, who will join by video conference at the legendary Elliott Bay Book Company at 7pm. The Seattle Review of Books asked Molly what she’s currently reading.
Thursday, back in New York, Molly will be in conversation with Alexis Okeowo, winner of the 2018 PEN Open Book Award for A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa, at the Strand, as part of PEN’s Out Loud event series, at 7:00pm. Admission details are here.
On Friday, May 25, Molly will be in DC, in conversation with Latoya Peterson, deputy editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, at East City Book Shop at 7:30pm, and details are here.
For details on upcoming London, Paris, and Boston appearances, click here, and all tour bookstores have signed copies in stock.
A few great clips from this week’s launch in the U.S. that we’d like to share with you:
Molly Crabapple on Using Art to Expose Injustice from Syria to Guantánamo to Puerto Rico [Democracy Now]
A Searing Memoir Recalls How Syria’s Civil War Tore Apart Three Friends [Mother Jones]
15 Books You Should Read This May: Memoirs, Mothers, Crumbling Empires, and More [Literary Hub]
“Syria in Ink” an exhibition of art from Brothers of the Gun is on exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library until June 30.
Need a copy of the book? Order a signed copy from a tour bookstore, or click here
We are honored to announce that Molly’s second book, a collaboration with Syrian author and journalist Marwan Hisham is out today, May 15th. You can order copies hereor from amazon or your local bookstore or anywhere books are sold.
poster in the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch lobby
The event and installation will be at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch at 10 Grand Army Plaza.
We will start he evening at 7:30 pm with an Author Talk. Molly will be joined in conversation by the renowned and poet, novelist, translator and scholar Sinan Antoon. They will speak about the subjects covered in Brothers of the Gun and the process behind its creation.
An audio tour will also be available to visitors that presents author Marwan Hisham’s stories behind the images and in his own voice.
Molly flips through the pages of Brothers of the Gun
Molly has a new essay out in 3am Magazine charting the Arabic influences in the formation of Puerto Rico.
There is no victor but God. This calligraphy (copied, unread, from the Nasirids’ Alhambra, brought over, un-comprehended, as decoration for a French restaurant on a hurricane-gutted island) might just be the best epitaph for our age. Who wins, really, in the end?… Who built the thing that lasts? Or are the winners merely those who find their most cherished mottos repurposed as ornament, in glazes of blue and emerald, glazed over by bored tourists’ eyes?
New article out about Julia de Burgos in today’s New York Review Daily.
Puerto Rico’s most famous poet and greatest literary figure, De Burgos is as significant a cultural icon for the island commonwealth as the artist Frida Kahlo is for Mexico. Every line of De Burgos’s verse is imbued with passion, feminist self-assertion, and love of homeland. As with many female artists, De Burgos’s life story added to her legend, though her romantic life and untimely death threatened to overshadow her work by turning her into an allegorical figure for the patria’s humiliations. Yet, outside of Puerto Rican communities, she is largely unknown despite the fact that her poetry, while firmly rooted in place, addresses the universal human subjects of love, war, and self-creation.
Brothers of the Gun as 82 illustrations, the same number as Goya’s Disasters of War
This spring, Molly and Marwan will be touring physically and by video link to meet readers of Brothers of the Gun, the book they created together that One World/Penguin Random House will publish on May 15.
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn Public Library will host a conversation with Molly (in-person) and Marwan (joining by video link), and Sinan Antoon. There will also be an accompanying art exhibition, Syria in Ink, opening that night. Free, with reservations requested.
Bookstores hosting events will have specially signed bookplates by Marwan (limited quantities, while they last), and Molly will be signing copies as well–– to order a signed copy, contact the bookstore directly before the event.
Molly has a new article out in the NYRB on the current state of life in Afrin, Syria.
photo- Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
To be a Kurd in Afrin, once a majority Kurdish city, Mohammed says, is now to find oneself a member of a despised group, suspected of disloyalty, and liable to be robbed, beaten, put to flight, or worse. In its seventh year, the Syrian civil war has seen the warring parties and their foreign sponsors foster and exploit ethnic and sectarian divisions in order to realize their strategic ends. The looting and ethnic cleansing of Afrin by Turkish-backed militias is the latest ugly episode of this grim and cynical logic.
Last week Molly returned to Puerto Rico to continue her work speaking to those affected and documenting the rebuilding efforts. She also installed two new wheatpaste murals just outside of the town of Mariana.
Portrait of some of the local men playing dominoes.
We’re excited to share the first few of what we hope will be many positive reviews come in this week for Brothers of the Gun. Book officially drops May 15th. Stay tuned here for a tour schedule
Syrian refugees hiding from Turkish border guards near Afrin, northern Syria, June 2015
NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS:
Their initial pieces were published in Vanity Fair. It was, as he puts it, an “art crime” for which he would probably have been executed had he been discovered by ISIS. A body hanging from a lamppost, a small child with an enormous rifle, people running down a rubble-strewn street—such images rendered beautiful by the pen are disturbing. Crabapple used vibrant, sometimes lurid color in the original magazine pieces, but the black-and-white illustrations in the book, carefully blotched and smudged, invite more thought, not least the cover illustration of a violinist playing an instrument that, on closer inspection, turns out to be a Kalashnikov. -Lindsey Hilsum, NYRB 4/19/18
Along with Crabapple’s haunting images, the author’s words offer both an elegy for what has been lost and an angry plea for all that remains. This is memoir at its most powerful, ensuring that we cannot forget lives we never knew.— Colleen Mondor
As he recounts the events leading to the increasing repression on the part of the Assad regime and the eventual descent of Syria into civil conflict, Hisham writes with a wryly observant eye for telling remarks. If the customary cry of faithful warriors was that God is great, then the quietly subversive retort of a Raqqawi graffiti artist makes for a fine rejoinder: “Tomorrow is better.” Tomorrow is a rare commodity in Hisham’s fast-moving account, which is enhanced by Crabapple’s powerful ink drawings.
psssstt: have we convinced you yet that the book is absolutely amazing!? It really is an incredible read filled with gorgeous art. You can already pre-order your copy at your local bookstore or amazon or b&n.
Molly has joined twelve other artists in collaborating with the art collective INDECLINE to do an art installation and performance piece in Trump Tower NYC. INDECLINE came to notoriety in late 2016 after installing nude and excruciatingly anatomically accurate statues of Trump in cities across America.
Their statement about this exhibit:
On March 29th, #INDECLINE checked into a suite at the Trump International Hotel in New York City. Over the course of 24 hours, the collective clandestinely erected an unauthorized, large-scale art installation entitled, “The People’s Prison”. In addition to the installation, 13 American artists were chosen to paint portraits on American Flags, each one representing a different iconic freedom fighter or activist. Select media outlets were invited to attend and report on the private unveiling. This project celebrates America’s long and vibrant history of political activism, poetic dissidence and radical thinking and serves as a call to all artists to engage in direct action against President Trump, his administration and their fanatical followers. The installation will be recreated at Gallery 30 South in Pasade
Next Friday (March 16th) Molly will be helping kick off the Girls Write Now 20th Anniversary Spring Celebration and the beginning of their 2018 CHAPTERS reading series with a reading from Drawing Blood. The reading will be held at the New York Historical Society and goes from 6-8pm. Tickets are by suggested donation here.
About Girls Write Now:
Girls Write Now mentors underserved high school girls from throughout New York City’s five boroughs — over 90% high need and 95% girls of color — who must rise above the race and income-based inequalities of the city’s public school system and the nation’s workforce. Through one-to-one mentoring with professional women writers and media makers, writing and technology workshops, and leadership, college prep, and professional development opportunities, we inspire women to share their craft and empower girls to find their voices and tell their stories.
If you are in NYC please consider stopping by, saying hi, and helping support this great program.
From now until April 9th Farmingdale University in New York is presenting Sribing Reality, a retrospective of Molly’s reportage work from the past five years. Below are some shots of the installation. If you live near or you’re going to be visiting the NYC area sometime soon please considering taking some time to go out and see it.