“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
The Artist Network (AN) of Refuse & Resist! (R&R!) used art to create a colorful culture and community of resistance. R&R! was a non-partisan, national activist organization, founded in New York in 1987 by lawyers, artists, activists, students and other youth who saw a trend in the U.S. toward greater state control. Founded in 1997, AN connected engaged artists to members of the resistance movement and put out calls to artists to use their tools for the cause. Some AN projects include “Inside the Culture of Resistance,” an ongoing series of interviews with socially conscious artists, and “Not in Our Name,” a statement resisting the political direction the U.S. has taken since 9/11. On September 22, 2001, 100 artists wearing all black stood in silence in Union Square, holding signs reading “OUR GRIEF IS NOT A CRY FOR WAR.” Two more such performances took place at Union Square, and a larger number of artists repeated the action in Times Square.