We Shall Not Be Moved: Posters and the Fight Against Displacement in L.A.'s Figueroa Corridor
Editors:: Gilda Haas, Tomas Benitez and Carol Wells
Publisher: PM Press/SAJE
Page count: 51
Size: 8.5 x 11
Subjects: Social Justice, Art
We Shall Not Be Moved brings together full-color graphic arts and grassroots voices to describe the impact of gentrification and development in central Los Angeles, and how people fight back to protect their communities. This book emerged from a unique collaboration between SAJE, Self-Help Graphics and Art, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. It is a visual and written story of how grassroots organizing can both inspire and be inspired by the creation of original art and the recognition of the intermingled traditions of art and struggle on a global level. It combines a gripping narrative of what gentrification looks like in L.A.’s Figueroa Corridor where the city’s wealthiest developers rub shoulders with its poorest residents. It speaks to how artists can work with activists, and gives a full-color view of posters from housing struggles around the country and the world.
“How can art and community so magnificently united, ever be defeated?”
“We Shall Not Be Moved is a virtual primer on how to get artists, community arts people (you know who you are) and grassroots community organizing groups to work together to fight for neighborhood rights (and whatever lefts we have left). In more than 20 years of doing guerrilla street postering—without the example of this book as a guide—my creative team and I have tried many times to collaborate with several of our favorite non-profit community organizations. The results have been decidedly mixed, like a can of mixed nuts deciding who’s the nuttiest nut in the can. Fuggedaboutit! However, we wouldn’t want to offend anybody, so let me lay it on you from the grassroots organizations’ point of view: working with artists is like herding cats. Until now! Reading We Shall Not Be Moved (and—thank you-thank you—there are lots of pictures), historically contextualizes the movement, articulates the symbiosis of collaboration and addresses specific issues of the moment in a way that even an artist can appreciate.”
About the Editors:
Gilda Haas is the Executive Director of SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy), that has accomplished significant economic advances for working class people in Los Angeles by using a popular education approach to community organizing. SAJE’s approach involves poor people in developing organizing strategy and policy initiatives themselve—ranging from creating the first welfare-to-work bank account in the nation to negotiating a package of community benefits with a company owned by the richest men in the world.
Tomas Benitez is the Executive Director of Self-Help Graphics and Art, Inc. (SHG), which is the leading visual arts organization that serves the Latino community of East Los Angeles. From its origins in an East Los Angeles garage, SHG has risen to international stature for producing the largest collection of Chicano prints in history, for cultivating local Chicano artists, and for promoting the rich contribution of Chicano art and culture to the American landscape. Building from a firm foundation in Chicano and Mexican cultural identify, SHG is also recognized in Los Angeles as a center for multi-cultural artistic exchange, and symbolizes the creative potential of L.A.’s diversity.
Carol Wells is the Executive Director of Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), which collects and preserves international and domestic human rights and protest posters. From this archive of more than 45,000 grassroots graphics, over 40 social-justice theme exhibitions have traveled to over 160 venues throughout the United States and internationally. Through its traveling exhibitions, workshops, and publications, CSPG is reclaiming the power of art to inspire people to action.
See and hear editor interviews, book reviews, and other news on Gilda Haas's page HERE
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