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praxis

Robust Imaginaries
             +
Informed Practice

Welcome to the Praxis Center, an online resource center for scholars, activists and artists hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. From action research and radical scholarship to engaged teaching and grassroots activism to community and cultural organizing, and revelatory art practice, we make visible imperative social justice work being done today.

Praxis is
the synergy between
theory and practice,
knowledge and relevance,
ideas, images, and the real.

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Contact

Bailey Mead
Managing Editor
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
bailey.mead@kzoo.edu
269-337-7398

For Hong Kong Artists, the Internet Is Freedom’s Last Frontier

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

By Kelly Go

In 2014, the city-state of Hong Kong was swept up in the Umbrella Revolution. Its leaders were youth, its medium the internet, and the results were hundreds of thousands of bodies on the street voicing strong political demands including the call for universal suffrage. In Hong Kong, political opinions are commonly discussed online and like many international movements – from Occupy to the Arab Spring to Ukraine’s Orange Revolution — the Internet served as a powerful platform to circulate political opinions and mobilize grassroots movements.

The 2014 revolution also marked the emergence of widespread political “derivative work,” more widely known in North America as ‘memes.’ Rather than reproducing the original, derivative work is “creative art that modifies, appropriates, and/or adapts an earlier work….to parody and comment visually on an event or to caricature a public political figure.” Once created, derivative work is uploaded on social-media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and shared widely. Derivative work is powerful because it is activism framed through images of popular culture, often making previously boring political issues come alive on social media. Continue reading →

Whole Foods, Black Wall Street, and My 13-inch Flat Screen TV

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

By Andre Patterson

It was “Groundhog’s Day” at Stateville Prison; that is to say, another redundant night. I sat on the top bunk in my small concrete box, head scraping the low paint-chipped ceiling, cursing my two-hundred dollar 13-inch flat screen television. It was defiantly cutting off every few minutes, despite my chastising finger mashing the power button and my verbal assault on its character: “piece of crap!” I’d only had it for a year. The joint had sold me a lemon. Continue reading →

Hope Is a Choice: Love, Struggle and Justice in 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An excerpt from Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto
By Bill Ayers

In our pursuit of a world powered by love and reaching toward joy and justice, imagination is our most formidable and unyielding ally—the people’s common asset, an endowment to each one and the indispensable weapon of the powerless. Yes, they control the massive military-industrial complex, the sophisticated surveillance systems, the prison cells, and the organized propaganda—and these are on constant display as if to remind us every minute that there is no hope of a world without the instruments of death and oppression—and we have only our minds, our desires, and our dreams—and each other. And, yes, in a fixed war or a traditional conflict we are finished before we start. But it’s also true that there’s no power on earth stronger than the imagination unleashed and the collective human soul on fire. In irregular combat or a guerrilla struggle that pits our free imaginations against the stillborn and stunted imaginations of the war-makers and the mercenaries, we will win. Continue reading →

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