On November 6, 2011, two Iranian activists involved in the Green Movement visited Liberty Square, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement, to deliver messages of solidarity, and to ask for support in return.
In this interview with activist poet Steve Bloom, we discuss the role of the arts and poetry in social justice movements, the trouble with bringing art and culture to the Left, and the issues with bringing poetry to the masses in the United States. Bloom ends the interview with a reading of his poem, "April 10, 2006: New York City."
Chris Mansour is an independent artist and writer based out of New York. He received is BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will complete his MFA at Parsons School of Design in the Spring of 2011. Currently he curates shows at the Janus Project, a gallery he founded. His research interests include Critical Theory and the New York Intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century, and he is a regular contributor to the online art journal, 491. Chris was one of the many Platypus Affiliated Society representatives at Left Forum.
Interview with Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou is a reverend at the Lemuel Haynes Congregational Church in Jamaica, Queens. Sekou is the author of the forthcoming Gods, Gays, and Guns and is associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
In this interview with writer, director, performer, and theater maker Kayhan Irani, we discuss the importance of art and artists in social movements, her experience working with artists in war-torn Afghanistan, the roles of artists in conflict zones like Libya and Egypt, as well as the role of artists on the American homefront.
At Left Forum 2011, we sat down with scholar and Unitarian Universalist minister Anthony (Tony) Johnson, of the famous Community Church of New York City. We discuss the religious Left in the United States and its role in social justice movements in the Sixties and today.
On Sunday March 13, I sat down with Seth Adler, the coordinator of Left Fourm, an annual gathering in North America of the U.S. and international Left. Continuing a tradition begun in the 1960s, Left Forum brings together intellectuals and organizers to share perspectives, strategies, experience, and vision. Last year, The Mantle provided more coverage of the conference than any other media outlet.
Tucked away down under Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, the Powerhouse bookstore cum arena cum gallery played host to the latest PEN World Voices Festival offering: "The Writer as Activist." The Powerhouse’s large airy space and piped acid jazz music gave it a very contemporary feel, perhaps not surprising given its location in the heart of New York’s hippest borough. The snarled up traffic due to the Five Borough Bike Ride meant the event started 30 minutes late.