Creative Activism

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Elf Advocates and Environmentalists Join Forces

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Urban Legends

From Ellie:

Iceland’s hidden elves delay road projects
by Jenna Gottlieb
World News
December 22, 2013


REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the “hidden folk” — thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness.

So perhaps it was only a matter of time before 21st-century elves got political representation.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.


Protestors Accused of Terrorism Hoax

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

Glitter-Covered Banner Got These Protesters Arrested for Staging a Bioterror Hoax
by Molly Redden
Mother Jones
December 17, 2013

Energy giants have lobbied police to treat environmental activists like potential terrorists. Looks like it’s working.


It’s not uncommon for environmental protesters to face arrest, but here’s an apparent first: On Friday, Oklahoma City police charged a pair of environmental activists with staging a “terrorism hoax” after they unfurled a pair of banners covered in glitter—a substance local cops considered evidence of a faux biochemical assault.

Stefan Warner and Moriah Stephenson, members of the environmental group Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, were part of a group of about a dozen activists demonstrating at Devon Tower, the headquarters of fossil fuel giant Devon Energy. They activists were protesting the company’s use of fracking, its role in mining of Canada’s tar sands, and its ties to TransCanada, the energy company planning to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. As other activists blocked the building’s revolving door, Warner and Stephenson hung two banners—one a cranberry-colored sheet emblazoned with The Hunger Games “mockingjay” symbol and the words “The odds are never in our favor” in gold letters—from the second floor of the Devon Tower’s atrium.


Epic Don’t Drink and Drive Prank

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Practical Jokes and Mischief

From Tom Mabe and MabeinAmerica: Tom and Jim teach an alcoholic a lesson after his fifth DUI. When he wakes up from having passed out, they convince him he’s been in a coma for 10 years.


Watch the video

Bombing for Peace

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

15graffiti-graphic-200More than a dozen street artists from around the world, including New York, Britain, the Czech Republic and Hawaii, traveled at the behest of Artists 4 Israel to the Golan Heights, where, with $12,000 worth of spray paint, they left their mark on the edge of this 1.8-mile-wide demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria.

“Most of the group’s time, and paint, was spent at the military and intelligence base, a huge two-story structure that a local tour guide said was built by the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The guide, Chen Kristal, said it had been the headquarters for the Syrian top brass, and that the famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who was eventually hanged in Damascus, had also been stationed there.” New York Times




Read more and view additional photos here

Fast Food Activist

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An unknown artist paints recipes for healthier meals over fast food ads in Cologne, Germany:



via FastCo

The Heidelberg Urban Revival Project

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From Atlas Obscura, Your Guide to the World’s Hidden Treasures:

The Heidelberg Project: Bringing Color, Art, and Controversy to a Decaying Part of Detroit
by Ella Morton
November 19, 2013

Watching the deterioration of his impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood of McDougall-Hall two decades after Detroit’s 1967 race riots, artist Tyree Guyton felt the need to do something. So he picked up a paintbrush and painted pastel polka dots all over his grandfather’s Heidelberg Street house.

Guyton’s paint job was the first act toward what became the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor community art project aimed at breathing life back into his decaying district. Encouraged by his grandfather, and with the help of local kids, Guyton began decorating the abandoned homes beside the polka-dot house and installing art made from salvaged materials.


The project now spans two blocks and is constantly evolving, anchored by the altered houses. One ramshackle two-story home is covered in stuffed animals. Another is painted with numbers of wildly varying sizes and colors. Strewn across the yards are sculptures incorporating decorated cars, shopping carts, doors, shoes, and household appliances.


Read and see more here

Comic Activism

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Filed under: Creative Activism



Read more:

  • Exclusive: Meet India’s Comic Activists Whose Wall Art Is Inspiring Movements — And Changing Policy, Truthout
  • Russell Brand Speaks on Truth and Change

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    Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”
    by Russell Brand
    October 24, 2013

    But before we change the world, we need to change the way we think.

    [Article follows the video]

    Russell Brand on BBC’s Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman, October 24, 2013

    Russell Brand, guest editor of the NewStatesman:

    russellbrandnewstatesman-200When I was asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me. I chose the subject of revolution because the New Statesman is a political magazine and imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.

    When people talk about politics within the existing Westminster framework I feel a dull thud in my stomach and my eyes involuntarily glaze. Like when I’m conversing and the subject changes from me and moves on to another topic. I try to remain engaged but behind my eyes I am adrift in immediate nostalgia; “How happy I was earlier in this chat,” I instantly think.

    I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites. Billy Connolly said: “Don’t vote, it encourages them,” and, “The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.”

    I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance; (more…)

    No Woman, No Drive

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Parody

    From Naomi:

    ‘No Woman, No Drive’ Is This Year’s Best Saudi Driving Protest Song
    by Michael Ballaban
    October 26, 2013

    No Woman, No Drive video

    Saudi Arabia has some of the most repressive laws against women in the entire world, prohibiting them from even sitting behind the wheel of a car. Today, brave women across Saudi Arabia are protesting those laws by simply by driving, and brave comedians are protesting by making absolutely hilarious songs.

    It’s not strictly illegal, per se, for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, but they just won’t let you get a driver’s license unless you have what they consider to be the requisite equipment between the legs. So that makes it illegal, to the tune of ten lashes. Yes, ten lashes.

    Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh posted the excellent “No Woman, No Drive” today to bring more attention to the plight of women in the Middle Eastern country. It’s not only sarcastic and sharp, but relevant as well, with references to the new and absurd claim that driving might damage one’s ovaries.

    Read the whole article here.


  • Saudi Ministry Warns Women Not to Defy Driving Ban
  • If Women Drive They’ll Damage Their Ovaries, Says Stupid Saudi Cleric
  • COMBO Street Art: Same Spectacle, New Meaning

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    Culture Jamming Street Artist COMBO Stages Topless Spectacle in Paris
    July 18, 2013


    In the face of 21st Century misogyny and a general discomfort with public nipples of the female variety, a male street artist named COMBO just staged a high profile half naked protest with wheat-paste, brushes, and breasts in Paris on July 14. Reinterpreting the painter Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People that commemorated the July Revolution of 1830, COMBO brought the famous topless symbol of Liberty into the streets of 2013 by way of tribute to a brash new feminist movement that is appearing more often across Europe.


    “By hijacking such an iconic piece of art,” says the twenty something art director cum Street Artist, “I want to denunciate the discrimination and other misogynistic behavior that women still suffer too often and to pay a tribute to the activists’ fight.” The activists in this case are people like Inna Shevshenko, the Gen Y leader of Femen, a theatrical and warrior-like group of women who advocate in public displays of power and bare chests to address issues like sexism, misogyny, homophobia, religious hypocrisy, and sex trafficking. (more…)

    Pink Mass For Westboro Baptist Founder’s Mother’s Grave Nets Charges

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    Lucien Greaves, Officiant Of Satanic Temple’s Anti-Westboro ‘Pink Mass,’ Charged With Desecration Of Grave
    by Andres Jauregui
    Huffington Post
    July 24, 2013

    o-PINK-MASS-200The officiant of a ritual in which gay couples kissed at the gravestone of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr., has been charged with desecration of a grave in Lauderdale County, Miss.

    In a phone interview with The Huffington Post July 24, Meridian Police Capt. Dean Harper confirmed that the spokesman for New York’s Satanic Temple, who goes by the name Lucien Greaves, faces a misdemeanor charge stemming from the July 14 incident.

    Earlier, area news outlet WTOK reported that charges of “trespassing, indecent exposure and malicious mischief” had been sought against multiple individuals, but Harper told HuffPost that the judge refused to sign a warrant on them.

    Harper told HuffPost that Greaves would be arrested if he returned to Lauderdale County. The charge carries no jail time, and Harper estimated that the associated fine would be “less than $500.” But he said that’s beside the point.

    “He broke the law,” Harper told HuffPost. “A secondary effect would be to deter anyone else [from performing the ritual].” (more…)

    Edward Snowden wins Whistleblower of the Year Award… in Germany

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    From Jon:

    Edward Snowden awarded with German ‘Whistleblower Prize’
    IBM Live / Press Trust of India
    July 25, 2013


    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed the most extensive US global surveillance operations, was on Thursday awarded this year’s German “Whistleblower Prize” worth USD 3,900 in absentia.

    “Mr Snowden has done a great public service by exposing the massive and unsuspecting monitoring and storage of communication data by US and other western intelligence agencies, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies,” Berlin-based whistleblower prize jury said in a statement.

    Top secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked by Snowden since the beginning of June “made it possible and unavoidable” intensive investigations to establish whether the operations of domestic and foreign intelligence services have violated the existing rules applicable to them, the jury said. (more…)

    Attack of the Love Police

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    Filed under: Creative Activism

    From Linda:

    By Charles Veitch

    New York’s Annual April Fools’ Day Parade

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    The New York April Fools’ Committee Is Proud to Announce:

    “Forget the Big Bang Theory, Let’s Just Go Out With a Big Bang!”

    jesternoborder.200For three decades, New York City’s Annual April Fools’ Day Parade has offered the public an opportunity to express, in a comical way, its outrage against the foolishness of mankind. Thousands of participants in look-alike costumes with satirical floats creatively mock the thoughtless, corrupt and selfish acts of the past year. Kicking off at noon on Monday, April 1, the parade will march down 5th Avenue from 59th Street to Washington Square Park where revelers will party like there’s no tomorrow. It will conclude with the annual crowning of the King of Fools.


    New York, New York — The 28th Annual April Fools’ Day Parade will begin at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street at 12 noon, Monday, April 1, 2013. Rain or shine, the parade will march down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park for the climactic selection of the King or Queen of Fools from the costumed marching look-alikes.

    The New York April Fools’ Day Parade was created in 1986 to remedy a glaring omission in the long list of New York’s ethnic and holiday parades. These events fail to recognize the importance of April 1st, the day designated to commemorate the folly of mankind. In an attempt to bridge this gap and bring people back in touch with their inherent foolishness, the parade annually crowns a King or Queen of Fools from parading look-alikes. (more…)

    Artist Hermann Josef Hack’s Bread Army Invades Paris and Cologne

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    From Hermann Josef Hack:

    Just back from Paris and Cologne, where the BREAD ARMY conquered the streets with bread tanks in a peaceful invasion. The tanks were airdropped by parachutes made of tents. Passers-by were surprised getting confronted with them in the shopping malls and tourist hot spots. The BREAD ARMY critizises the waste of food by the wealthy nations, also water trading and the monopoly of food management causing millions of lives in the poor regions of our planet.



    Paris klein Centre

    Related links:

  • Artist Hermann Josef Hack and the Bread Army Faction, Sunday, September 25th, 2011
  • Hermann Josef Hack’s Art Procession [English & German], Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
  • World Climate Refugee Camp, Dresden, Monday, June 8th, 2009
  • World Climate Refugee Camp Leipzig, Saturday, May 16th, 2009