Art & Revolution


Ursula K. Le Guin on Racism, Anarchy, and Hearing Her Characters Speak

This interview originally appeared in Issue 14 of Structo Magazine.

It’s not hard to see why Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her early novels.

In the space of six years came A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Lathe of Heaven (1971) and The Dispossessed (1974). These books and many others—including Lavinia (2008), an astonishing take on Virgil’s Aeneid—have been a steady influence on authors of the imagination, notably Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith, who said that “Le Guin writes as well as any non-‘genre’ writer alive.”

We talked at Le Guin’s home in Portland, Oregon.

Euan Monaghan: Lavinia was your most recent novel. It’s an interesting book to come at this point in your career. I’m interested to know how it came about.


Russia: Those who didn’t give up

The leftist culture center «Rosa» in Russia was closed by phone call from police department three days after the official opening. It is not surprising, repressions against such initiatives, festivals and activists are common occurrence recently.

«The Rose» lived for three days

A few weeks ago the project “The Rose Culture Project” was forced to close. The artists’ collective “What is to be done?” founded the project. The project was a mixture between a social center and an art studio. The organizers themselves presented the project as a socialist installation and a part of the House of Culture in contemporary life — that’s where the name came from.


Banksy's Dismaland: 'amusements and anarchism' in artist’s biggest project yet

A mermaid and castle by Banksy at Dismaland. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Mark Brown
The Guardian
Thursday 20 August 2015

He describes it as a “family theme park unsuitable for small children” – and with the Grim Reaper whooping it up on the dodgems and Cinderella horribly mangled in a pumpkin carriage crash, it is easy to see why.

Banksy’s new show, Dismaland, which opened on Thursday on the Weston-super-Mare seafront, is sometimes hilarious, sometimes eye-opening and occasionally breathtakingly shocking.

The artist’s biggest project to date had been shrouded in secrecy. Local residents and curious tourists were led to believe that the installations being built in a disused former lido called Tropicana were part of a film set for a Hollywood crime thriller called Grey Fox.


Anarchy and Art: Exploring the Art and Political Views of Camille Pissarro

by Josh Wilmoth

Anarchy and Artwork

Camille Pissarro’s artwork is best known for the influence it had on Impressionism. He is lesser known for his anarchist beliefs, which permeated his artwork. Nevertheless, Pissarro’s artwork did not overtly call for a violent revolution as one might expect. His paintings featured bright colors, detailed figures, and pleasant settings. Without understanding Pissarro’s background and belief system, it is likely that one will not understand what he hoped to convey through his pieces. It is unlikely that an observer unfamiliar with Pissarro would ever gather from his artwork that Pissarro was an anarchist; however, Pissarro’s anarchism motivated him to paint as he did. A cursory examination of his pieces may not reveal anarchistic themes, but a careful study of Pissarro’s paintings demonstrates that he subtly integrated his anarchistic political beliefs into his artwork.


An Interview with the Persecuted Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei

By Jamie Fullerton
July 10, 2015

Every morning, Ai Weiwei places a new bunch of flowers in the front basket of a bicycle outside his studio in Caochangdi, northeast Beijing. He plans to keep making these colorful little daily protests until the government returns his passport, which has remained confiscated since the dissident artist was detained and psychologically tortured for 81 days in 2011.

The flowers, and the studio door behind them, are in the sight of a cluster of CCTV cameras that help the authorities keep tabs on Ai's every move. Not that Ai does much moving, having been told that he's not allowed to leave Beijing.


Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

by Kristian Williams
Bitch Magazine
April 13, 2015

Before she was a poet, journalist, documentary filmmaker, anti-prison activist, and college instructor, Walidah Imarisha was fascinated with Klingons and elves. She still is.

Octavia's Brood, a new anthology edited by Imarisha and sci-fi scholar, writer, and facilitator adrienne maree brown, collects fiction from 23 political activists and organizers. The writers use science fiction, fantasy, and horror to reflect on the experiences of oppression, the challenges of resistance, and the possibility of new just worlds.

In early April, just before the book's official release, Imarisha and I sat down to talk about the connections between science fiction and activism. Imarisha also wrote about this topic in the article "Rewriting the Future: Using Science Fiction to Re-Envision Justice" in the Law & Order issue of Bitch.

KRISTIAN WILLIAMS: Why science fiction?


Interview with IRL, anti-tech graffiti artist

February 22, 2015

I'd been seeing anti-tech graffiti around my town for the better part of a decade. Over the course of months it would appear in bursts, then slowly fade as the authorities cleaned it. Some places, images, or slogans only seemed to appear once, while others were clearly contested territories where cleaning and painting happened regularly. For years I wondered who the vigilantes that made my walks and bike rides so much more exciting could be. In a funny synchronicity, I finally met “IRL” through a mutual friend the same week another friend of mine started an anti-technology journal. We wandered for an hour all over town, behind warehouses, down train tracks, and beneath bridges discussing this very particular subset of graffiti. Some edits have been made for clarity. — Renzo

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