Shaping San Francisco hosts Public Talks on a variety of topics on Wednesday nights, about 18 times a year. One recurrent theme has been Art & Politics under which we have featured an individual artist or group of artists speaking about their work and its politics over time. Here are the Talks we held at CounterPULSE at 1310 Mission Street in 2011-2012, and at Shaping San Francisco's then-new home at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics at 518 Valencia, 2012-2014.
November 12, 2014
Art & Politics: Janet Delaney
Janet Delaney has been documenting the changing South of Market since its days as a recently deindustrialized district in the early 1970s to its present boom in luxury residential towers.
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April 30, 2014
Art & Politics: Yolanda Lopez
Yolanda Lopez, Judy Drummond and Donna Amador cover the dynamic history of Los Siete de la Raza and Mission District politics of the 1970s. Yolanda dissects the popular iconography of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the context of racially exploitative advertising over the past few decades, to reveal her own creative processes that have produced beautiful "Virgin"-inspired representations of working Chicana women and more.
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March 26, 2014
Norman Nawrocki — Cazzarola!
Cazzarola! is a gripping, epic, political, historical, and romantic novel spanning 130 years in the life of the Discordias, a fictional family of Italian anarchists. It details the family's heroic, multigenerational resistance to fascism in Italy and their ongoing involvement in the anarchist movement. From early 20th-century factory strikes and occupations, armed anarchist militias, and attempts on Mussolini's life, to postwar student and labor protest, and confronting the newest wave of contemporary neofascist violence sweeping Europe, the Discordias navigate the decades of political, economic, and social turmoil. Norman Nawrocki, acclaimed comedian and performer, takes us on a wild ride in and out of history. Co-sponsored by PM Press.
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January 22, 2014
Songs of Freedom celebration
Songs of Freedom is the name of the songbook edited by James Connolly and published in 1907. Connolly's introduction is better known than the collection for which it was written, containing his oft-quoted maxim: “Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement, it is the dogma of a few and not the faith of the multitude.” Though most of the songs were of Irish derivation, the songbook itself was published in New York and directed to the American working class, explicitly internationalist in its aims. Songs of Freedom is a celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary socialist martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. It is at once a collection of stirring revolutionary songs and a vital historical document. Please join editor and composer Mat Callahan along with vocalist Yvonne Moore to indulge in the life, times, words, songs and contemporary relevance of James Connolly. Co-sponsored by PM Press and Freedom Archives.
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April 24, 2013
Art & Politics: Rebar
In recent years, much has made about the opposition between urban strategies and urban tactics. One is supposedly rooted in technocratic control of the city by a planning elite, the other is the response of artists and activists determined to reclaim the right to an environment generated by, and for, citizens themselves. Rebar has explored this territory through tactical urban interventions -- both sactioned and unsanctioned -- but is also interested in going beyond the simple opposition between strategy and tactic. How can people both inside and outside positions of power help the city benefit from the possibilities that urban art, tactical interventions, and other creative actions produce? Rebar founder and principal Blaine Merker will talk about their projects and others that are gaining new ground in the ongoing fight for the right to the city.
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November 7, 2012
Art & Politics: Clarion Alley Mural Project
Established in 1992 by a volunteer collective of North Mission residents, the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) was directly inspired by the mural cluster in Balmy Alley focused on Central American social struggles. Over the past two decades artists of all ages and levels of experience representing every social and ethnic group have created over 350 pieces on this one block street. Fresh from celebrating 20 years at the Clarion Alley Block Party on October 20th, CAMP collective members will talk about how their project has gone beyond outdoor public murals to gallery installations, indoor murals, and international exchanges.
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May 16, 2012
Art & Politics: Amy Franceschini
Amy Franceschini is a pollinator who creates formats for exchange and production that question and challenge the social, cultural and environmental systems that surround her. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between humans and nature. Her projects reveal the ways that local politics are affected by globalization. In 1995, Amy founded Futurefarmers, an international collective of artists. In 2004, Amy co-founded Free Soil, an international collective of artists, activists, researchers, and gardeners who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space.
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May 9, 2012
Rock, Posters, and Politics!
Mat Callahan and Lincoln Cushing present an incredible slide show of dozens of rock and political posters from the 1960s and1970s, discussing the role of music and art in the politics of the era, and the way the commercial culture worked to co-opt and reintegrate that burst of creativity into the demands of consumer capitalism.
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April 18, 2012
"Reel Hood Heroes": Conscious Youth Media Crew
A night of Conscious Youth Media Crew's latest collection of films by youth, "Reel Hood Heroes", chronicling the lives of everyday heroes who work to create a brighter future for the young people in our San Francisco and Bay Area communities. Conscious Youth Media Crew encourages youth to become life-long learners and positive, productive community members. Through our unique San Francisco-based digital multimedia training program, youth participants learn multimedia arts and filmmaking, develop creative voice through storytelling, gain marketable technology skills, and become involved in the community as media producers and young leaders.
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March 21, 2012
Jess Curtis: Body of Work
Dancer, Choreographer, and Director, Jess Curtis is interviewed by celebrated Bay Area choreographer Joanna Haigood. Together they will explore Jess' nearly three decades of body-based experiments through peformance and teaching. Like Jess' dancing this will be a night investigating the 'embodied intellect'. Short video clips will be interspersed with smart conversation about the theory and practice of Curtis' Body of Work. As always, there will be a lengthy Q & A so all will have a chance to directly engage with Jess about his artistic practice and interests.
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October 19, 2011
An Open Rehearsal of Trial of Lucullus
San Francisco State University's Department of Theatre Arts presents an open rehearsal of Bertolt Brecht's The Trial of Lucullus co-directed by Barbara Damashek and Joel Schechter. The play places an ancient Roman general (Lucullus) on trial for his leadership of a military invasion in Asia. Originally written for radio, subsequently staged as an opera, the play in this production includes songs and dialogue.
May 25, 2011
Lost Murals, Political Posters, Underground Comix: Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78
A dramatic visual presentation of the lost murals, forgotten political posters, and underground comix made in San Francisco during the 1970s, based on visual essays in Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78. With contributors Lincoln Cushing, Tim Drescher, and Jay Kinney.
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February 9, 2011
Art & Politics: Eric Drooker and HOWL
Eric Drooker, who designed animation for the recent film, "Howl," and the new book, Howl: A Graphic Novel, written by Alan Ginbserg gives a visual and musical tour through Eric's years of graphic work for the New Yorker, street protests, and Alan Ginsberg, including a visit to the West Bank.
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