Bringing Art and Change to Bronx

For all you Gramscians!

Critical Design

The New York Times recently published a piece on the artist Thomas Hirschhorn’s current project at Forest Houses in The Bronx: “The Gramsci Monument”, dedicated to the influential Italian political philosopher, Antonio Gramsci. Hirschhorn’s stubborn convictions to remain autonomous and political as an artist, and his rejection of the consumerism and elitism that has sullied so much of contemporary art, are features of critical design at its best. His attempts to transcend boundaries–between philosophy, public art, and inhabitable space, in this case–while challenging conventional determinants for where cultural projects are located, are all commendable.

Just something else to check out if you happen to be in New York this summer. Here’s the project website with lots more information and links.


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Protests in Turkey

Sadly, the wave of international upheavals in 2011 and 2012 might make recent events in Turkey seem less momentous. But perhaps after a lull (aside from Syria), we might be witnessing the re-emerge of where we left off. I frankly haven’t been following the minute-by-minute details of the events across Turkey, but what I have found striking has been the media’s change in coverage methods since only a couple years ago. I can recall how  most outlets were caught off guard during the Arab Spring: many movements went largely ignored given the lack of on-the-ground journalists, any those that were covered depended on Twitter and other social network sites for “accuracy”. Now that there seems to be a contemporary model and method that protesters are following, mainstream media sources are finding more appropriate and creative ways of covering the story, not only incorporating crowd-sourcing but actually providing better background for the unacquainted. 



From the mainstream media:

NYTimes article about the fight over Taksim Square that sparked it all.

Al Jazeera’s extensive coverage, including a dramatic photo reel.

BBC’s coverage, including the interactive image above.

Feel free to post other links that you come across.

Antipode Grants/Scholarships

This year’s round of Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist Project and International Workshop Awards is now open.

Grants of up to £10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency) are available to critical geographers collaborating with non-academics and activists or holding events such as conferences, seminar series, summer schools, etc.

Read all about them…

…and please share with colleagues and comrades everywhere.