“A brilliant spark that will fly through the air and set the vapors of our insurrectionary imaginations alight.”John Jordan, founder of Reclaim the Streets
Beautiful Rising: Creative Resistance from the Global South, just did a mini-tour of the freezing Global North, and we are excited to tell you all about it!
At the volunteer-powered Bluestockings bookstore in New York’s Lower East Side, Beautiful Rising co-editors Juman Abujbara and Andrew Boyd, along with contributor Nadine Bloch, riffed with activist-author L.A. Kauffman on the lessons of resistance documented in Beautiful Rising. They read excerpts of the some of the book’s most inspiring stories, including “Replacing cops with mimes,” in which Bogota’s late-1990’s mayor, Antonin Mockus fired the city’s entire corrupt traffic police force, then retrained some of them as mimes (!!), shifting the entire traffic culture, as well as reducing gridlock and decreasing traffic fatalities. The cherry on top of the evening: In a reprise of her amazing 2012 performance at Beautiful Trouble’s original launch, diva Laura Newman sang (yes, sang) Beautiful Rising’s table of contents.
Two book launches in Canada followed, hosted by the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC). In Saskatoon, the Indigenous Poets Society began the evening with beautiful readings on land, resistance, and existence, and Monique Blom closed the night with a powerful performance on solidarity, action, and empathy. In between these artists, Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro engaged in a conversation with Beautiful Rising co-editors Dave Mitchell and Juman Abujbara (as well as Beautiful Trouble’s Training Director Nadine Bloch) about the challenges, possibilities, and hope for making change in a world of increasing autocracy and repression. They highlighted other stories from the book, such as “Stop Prawer Plan” where Palestinians organized a massive campaign to defeat a bill in the Israeli Knesset that tried to expel 70,000 Bedouins from their ancestral land.
The book launch in Regina was also opened by poets, and was closed with a show by the blues band Deaf Crows. The panelists Bloch, Abujbara, and Mitchell showcased more examples from the book, such as the principle “Change is the only constant,” which makes a case for the need to change not only the status quo of the world around us, but also of the status quo inside our own heads. Then Dr. Patricia Elliot, the facilitator of the session, used “The onion tool,” a Beautiful Rising methodology that helps activists uncover a deeper understanding what motivate individuals in power, to peel back the political rhetoric of Canadian politicians. Everyone concluded that regardless of the claims of those in power, at the end of the day the people of the world just want to live in freedom and dignity.
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If you haven’t already, order your copy of Beautiful Rising today!