Resistance Art Can Be both Inspirational and Transformational

Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, George 2.0   “Say Their Names”  There are far, far too many names to say all of them, but three missing ones for me are Tanisha Anderson, Marvin Booker, and Oscar Grant, at least as far as I could hear.)

Artists are able to invite you to see the world in a new way, and most often, the ways they’d like others to see it, or even to memorialize their Truths in the time and place of their creations.  During times of great oppression, artistic works seem to flourish, especially the sort that metaphorically hit one right between the eyes before one even has time to defend against the message. Street and poster art appears as if my magic.

Some resistance art, of course, is more subtle, and invites one to imagine a better world, more just or healthy.  Depending on one’s particular receptivity, preferences often develop over time as to which forms of artwork…bleed into one’s heart, soul, or mind, and stay forever, as some passages in novels do.  For this  diary artwork that I’ve curated  loosely concern the Black Lives Matter movement, the First Nations people still under siege, Greek citizens under the siege of austerity, as well as the deadly oppression of our home planet that we are so cavalierly destroying by way of the hubris and greed of our rulers.

(Another such post from days gone by is here.)

Visual art, including by Tweet












‘Comandate Ramona’






From Greece, by Balinese street artist WD currently living in Greece


‘No land for the Poor’, Athens


‘Welcome to Athens’


‘Mother Nature’, Athens

HopeDiesLast-main WD

hope dies last

The Audubon Mural Project; Where birds meet art…after dark. Loosely based on the release of the Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report, a collaborative project was born to paint threatened birds over shop steel night-security shutters in Harlem, not far from the estate on which John James himself had lived the last ten years of his life. (see and read more here)


More musical art and poetry; please feel free to add your own in any category.

Self-professed (<<side-splitting interview) punk/funk Communist revolutionary rapper Boots Riley and the Coup deserve two spots:  5 Million Ways to Kill a C.E.O.

Baltimore Poets on Black Lives: ‘Children Are Being Put Back in the Ground Before They’ve Even Lived’, guests Martina Lynch and Grim Jackson, Baltimore poets and rappers, guests on Democracy Now!  (Sorry, you’ll have to click in, but no one seems to have put it up on youtube.  Good stuff.)

Black Poets Speak Out as part of the National Poetry Slam and the Anti Police-Terror Project developed by Cat Brooks in Oakland (h/t Elon James White, TWIB Nation)

Ferguson Ev’rywhere Now’, a poem by Tim Mills.

No Sunshine: Young Moose and Martina Lynch (Freddie Gray)

Short films and a trailer

A documentary trailer shown at ‘Manifest Justice’, a ten-day art exhibit that ran in LA. last recently:

This ‘Playing for Change’ group covers Peter Tosh gloriously:

(Mr. wd loves this one particularly.)

Jah Guide I through
This valley
When I’m walking the
I know he will
When I’m smoking my
Pipe When I’m troddin the
When I’m driving the
When they dig pits in
My way When they try to keep
Me down


45 responses to “Resistance Art Can Be both Inspirational and Transformational

  1. it feels odd to leave this here, but: ‘Greek PM resigns to trigger snap elections – as it happened’

    @tsipras_eu 4h4 hours ago
    In these difficult times, we must hold on to – and champion- what matters most: our country and #democracy. Thank you

  2. Set Fire to the Stars, Comrade Orange Peel.

  3. ‘dylan thomas, whoever he was’ ~ paul simon. hadn’t heard of gruff rhys, myself; welsh dude he is. thank you, Cॐmrade X.

    “Unhollow souls will carry on,
    Without a care they sing their song
    Keepin’ up with hurricanes
    Spit up the week to start again,
    Tumbling to the ground
    Spinning to the ground

    I knew you’ll set fire to the stars,
    Like the match that ticks the bite
    I set it fire to the stars,
    Let’s built the dreams and crash the car


    you may like this late edition:

    Part one of George Jackson: Releasing the Dragon

  4. “It’s all right Ma. It’s just something I learned over in England” – Paul Simon mocks Bob Dylan, Mr. “I’m just a song and dance man”. How to have a famous ego but not be the Tallest Poppy?

    Do you feel the same confidence about the black panther party, about the revolutionary movement as a whole in this country?

    Jackson: We’re structured in such a way as to allow us to exist and continue to resist despite the losses we’ve absorbed. It was set up that way. We know the enemy operates under the concept of “kill the head and the body will die.” They target those they see as key leaders. We know this, and we’ve set up safeguards to prevent the strategy from working against us.

    But perhaps not. We must be prepared to wage a long struggle. If this is the case then we’ll probably see a different cycle, one in which the revolutionary energy of the people seems to have dispersed, run out of steam. But – and this is important- such cycles are deceptive. Things appear to be at low ebb, but actually what’s happening is a period of regroupment, a period in which we step back and learn from the mistakes made during the preceding cycle. We educate ourselves from our experience, and we educate those around us. And all the while, we develop and perfect our core organization. Then the next time a peak cycle comes around, we are far readier then we were the last time. It’s a combination of military and education, always. Ultimately, we will win. You see?

    I’m trying to get across that I’ve always been fundamentally anti-authoritarian. Communism came later. And when the Cuban revolution happened, the very fact that it upset the authorities here so bad made me favor it right off and made me want to investigate it much further. The idea was that if they don’t like it, it must be good. You see? And that’s what led me to seriously study socialism.

    You can see why we live in a world of psychological distortion. They’d be better off with fuckhead evangelists, pervert kwistians, neoconmen and fraudster realists than let the imprisoned liberate.

    • gosh, you might have saved a foot of space and just used your final paragraph, ॐ.

      i admit that i wasn’t quite sure why you’d brought the ‘set fire to the stars’. was what i bolded the applicable part?

      yeah, i did a take-off on it to poke some fun at the van jones’ book salon at FDL. they suspended it for hours as the PTB held a council…. ;-)

  5. I’ve been transfixed with various versions of “Hell You Talmbout” since I first heard/saw it. It’s a very powerful and direct statement about police violence and murder of so many Americans, and it mentions just a few… there are too many more. The title in street dialect is an act of resistance in itself.

    I’ll spare you the long essay about resistance art/the art of resistance in our lives and among indigenous peoples but I will mention the time we spent yesterday at the Indigenous Fine Arts Market in Santa Fe where we came upon the Leonard Peltier booth almost by accident. There were dozens of his paintings on display for sale — all well beyond our budget unfortunately. (I know, I mentioned it in the other post.)

    His art is long term resistance to gross injustice. And it helps to show how the art of resistance takes many forms.

    So many examples. I recently acquired one — at least I think it’s a piece of resistance art. Called “Geronimo Sipping Latte” by Tyrone Headman (Diné/Ponca). (sorry if the link doesn’t work)

    Meanwhile, the struggle continues. I wonder what is so difficult for so many to understand about the fundamentals of Dignity, Justice, Community, and Peace.

    • the drums and drummers in this version literally blew me away. i could hardly stop playing it.

      i plucked most of these pieces from the ‘creative resistance’ website, but there weren’t all that many US first american works. i can’t begin to say that i like all of peltier’s, but i will say that his work’s improved over time. my faves are ‘grandma jumping bull’ and (iirc) ‘protector of the forest’.but i hadn’t seen his self-portrait crouched on his cell floor before. powerful anguish.

      dagnabbit; i’d meant to leave this for you.

      i’d also ask what’s so hard about realizing that ruining this big blue planet for greed and profit…and stopping it? fool that i am, twenty-five years ago i’d actually thought that human-caused climate change would force cooperation among the nations and regions of the world. but no.

      • “Science Porn” indeed. Heh. That image is the image in our minds when we look up to see that glorious, glittering arch overhead, something impossible to see in so much of the nation and I suppose the world. We’re blessed when it appears over our place…

        May have a bit more about Peltier and his works this evening or tomorrow depending on how this afternoon goes…

        (Indeed, but no, regarding climate change cooperation. Instead, it’s a race to see who can grab the most before the collapse…)

        • peering through the edge…. (talk about whooosh)

          been too much smoke from all of the zillions of acres burning all over CA, idaho, and WA here to see the milky way much. dayum, three more firefighters died this week in a crash racing into a crazy, random wind fire in WA. thirteen so far this year, and now CA prisoners are firefighters, as are some national guard.

    • i confess that i’ve been enchanted by the verve of the young rappers in the movement, and i do like buffy’s new one above, although it’s a bit of a different sound for her. her new ‘uranium’ lyrics rawk the world, a always.

      ‘geronimo with latté’ did prove quite memorable, and i wonderered if it weren’t meant to be an updated version of ‘geronimo’s cadillac’, given that after he’d surrendered and told he would never, ever, be allowed to return home to his fellow chiricahua, the Powers ‘allowed’ him to become a pet Indun, performing at fairs, signing autographs (they even allowed him to keep a dime of every quarter!). he agreed to be shanghaied to the 1904 world’s fair, rather memorably; did he ride in a cadillac parade there? (the car here is actually and high-lariously a ‘locomobile’ brand, i’ve discovered.

      • I read an account of how Geronimo’s image changed from the most reviled and feared man of the West to an icon of the Old West, within a few years of the final subjugation of the Apache Nostalgia and the end of the frontier era made him a celebrity in the East, not the West where his grandchildren still receive death threats, and he took advantage of this business opportunity while it lasted. To impress the rubes he would remove his shirt and hold a pebble to one of his many gunshot wounds and toss the pebble down stating that bullets could not kill him. He also carried a pocket full of brass buttons to replace the genuine souvenirs he cut and sold from his coat to bypass his greedy handlers.
        None of the surviving members of Geronimo’s band were allowed to return to NM until he was dead, these were the longest held prisoners of war in US history. Even the young Apaches who went to the Carlyle School were returned, under guard, to Fort Sill.

        Today’s Apaches seem to have learned from Geronimo’s example and are doing well servicing/fleecing the White rubes with their casinos, lodges and other enterprises.

        • One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.

          One wonders how many generations of being compradors it takes to bury the covert resistance.

        • on edit: my guess is that know all of this already; others may not.

          there have been so many Native warrior chiefs and holy men (often the government thought they were chiefs) who fought and resisted, fled to canada (sitting bull), almost made it to canada (chief joseph), red cloud (?, i’ve forgotten), ouray (ute)…until they were forced into a hobson’s choice of fighting to the death…or surrendering in order that their people might survive. i can’t imagine it, and some accounts, like that of crazy horse finally surrendering that his remaining small band might live…are too sorrowful to contemplate.

          but iirc, black elk, sitting bull, and others became part of the ‘wild west shows’, whether (*the wild*) cody’s or hickock’s i can’t remember. did they use their earnings to buy food for their tribes on the reservations? we do know that all of the promises of commodities were bullshit…or worse, coupled with no hunting privileges.

          i dunno who was chief when kit carson burned down the hogans and peach orchards in canyon de cheeley (manuelito was otherwise engaged at the time in the north) leading to their final demoralization that led to the Long Walk to bosque redondo. but there was warfare among the navajo, utes, and raids on the hopi villages at the time. ute scouts were apparently aiding the (spit on the ground) kit carson against the diné, and that tribal enmity exists even today.

          yeah, geronimo joined the war against the mexicans after they killed his family, and must have burned out most of his warrior energy after a time, and i reckon it was so for so many of them. at least crazy horse refused to be imprisoned and was killed for it; he is still the iconic warrior spirit in the west, yes?

          but heh; the mountain utes have a casino, and are corrupt as hell, just as their BIA rulers taught them. the southern utes under leonard burch invested all their minerals money long ago, and are rich now, and the members seem to share in that bounty.

          the diné,of course, haven’t voted in favor of casinos, nor have the lakota, nor have they taken the blood money ‘settlement’ for the stealing of their sacred black hills, bless their hearts, but there are those in both tribes itching to give the okey-dokey to gambling and divvying up the blood money for the paha sapa. will they be able to hold out? the current navajo president is another putz in a long line of them. all gung-ho for coal.

          yeah, apaches fleecing the rubes in NM and AZ casinos, but at least in towaoc, ute mountain tribe, gambling hasn’t been so good for a lot of tribal members, either. but sure, they’re entitled to casinos, and even now to high takes gambling, which afik, is a step they haven’t taken…yet.

          on edit: were you inspired by any of the artworks i’d brought? come to think of it, comrade x never mentioned any he liked, either.

          • The kid with the feather is poignant and it with many of the others seem to me more depressing than inspiring, we live in a dark age but resistance must continue.

            The Navajo nation has four casinos operating today three in NM and one in AZ and I can’t fault them for seeking these badly needed revenues even with the local problems, those problems can be minimized. I think most of the casinos are on I-40 and one off Rez in Farmington.

            The Fort Sill Apache, some descendants of Geronimo’s band who stayed in OK. built and tried to open a casino in southern NM but ran into legal problems and I don’t know what has become of that controversial project.

            I read an autobiographical memoir that described the last known confrontation between armed Mescalero Apaches, in frontier period costume, the US military and local sheriffs, in 1957 near Carrizozo NM. A strange but apparently true story involving the expansion of the White Sands Missile Range, a local rancher, his Apache friends including a Judge and a University professor that ended without bloodshed and with a nice picnic. This ranch was the only ranch in the area that was not taken by the military for the expansion.

            • yes, when mr. wd read my comment, he said that there are indeed casinos on the navajo rez; i checked and found five, the first one near gallup was built in 2008. (i seem to live most often in the wayback machine) yes, the revenues are vastly better than minerals extraction, but that continues apace, sadly.

              the person facing the armed mounties is a woman, and the painting is commemorating an Idle No More civil disobedience action in new brunswick in 2013. folks were trying to stop pre-fracking seismic testing there, and were blown away that the response was so heavy-handed, down to snipers in the grass.

              hmmm; depressing. well, i suppose the point to some of these is to spike outrage, then action. the same for a lot of the music videos.

              what an interesting tale about the 1957 events with the mescaleros and white sands. thanks for it. a picnic? my stars.

              on edit: it’s interesting to me that few here recently seem to have listened to the music videos, or at least mentioned them.

  6. Oh, but it has forced some cooperation. The quicker y’all are austerized, the better for mamma eaarth, shee.

    “Where I come from, if there’s a buck to be made, you don’t ask questions, you go ahead and make it.”
    – Cagney

    • there are times when your cynicism is too much to bear, Comrade x. it didn’t have to be this way: almost no potable water, failed crops due to extreme temps, gmo mono-culture, dying oceans, melting polar caps. it’s not ‘austerized’, it’s closer to ‘osterized’.

  7. I’m translating the evil hypocrites for you, comrade. How do you think I know the game aforehand?

    Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός) is a school of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). For the cynics, the purpose of life was to live in virtue, in agreement with nature.

    That’s a more accurate use for me.

    All my ‘graphs are appropriate. I’ve logged them elsewhere so you may now pull the plug.

    • thank you; done, or at least i shortened it. i should have just asked if you knew of this jackson fellow; i had just wikied him. but i should have said thank you for the transcription, without which i am often lost at sea trying to understand.

  8. In connection with Resistance Art/The Art of Resistance relatively close to us, I’ve mentioned Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo) from time to time. He’s got a major exhibit at the Denver Art Museum at the moment featuring his works in clay titled “Revolt 1680/2180”. He’s created an elaborate series of works in clay and a variety of other materials dealing with the theme, including various movie and video snippets that he’s made. His “Venutian Soldiers” exhibit was (I think) the first gallery exhibit we attended after moving to New Mexico. Recently, he’s been collaborating with Rose B(ean) Simpson — Roxanne Swentzell’s daughter — on a series of works that continue the theme of revolt and are (to my eye) quite disturbing — I’m sure deliberately so. Some of them are on exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe.

    His primary audience, of course, tends to be The Swells, not the groundlings and rabble. His works are beautifully finished, really expensive, and…deeply subversive. It’s that subversive part that has attracted us to his work and the works of his family — potters and subversives all — as well as historic Cochiti works, some of which mock and insult the hordes of tourists who descended from the Santa Fe Railroad cars to coo and condescend toward the “cute little Indians with their charming little pots and figurines…”

    We’ve seen some of The Swells parading around Santa Fe in their outfits made by Virgil Ortiz, outfits that contain strong messages about Revolt in general or the Pueblo Revolt in particular, and we wonder if these people have any idea they’d be first against the wall in the event of renewed … hostilities… ahem. Probably not… I can hear them now, “But Virgil! We love you! We spent thousands on your clothes, your bags, your pots! We made you who you are!


    One of the things that so many of the Indian artists we know and admire try to do is break through the stereotypes of and about Indians, something that is still necessary. Those stereotypes have not yielded, not yet. Every artistic act they do to break through those stereotypes is an act of resistance or revolt.

    • i had to go to his site to recall what you’d said some time ago about the context of ‘venutian soldiers’, to say the truth, but found a review that said, “Enter Virgil Ortiz, a painter, fashion designer, stylist and ceramicist from Cochiti Pueblo whose work challenges every notion of how native art should look. At once traditional and futuristic, whimsical and post-apocalyptic, Ortiz’s art transcends classification altogether.”

      but of course i’d been trying to highlight more spontaneous visual oppression art by everyday people, most often…for free. thus, not so much by way of fine arts, as i may have said in the OP (i’ve already forgotten). ;-) i won’t even try to comment on virgil’s prices or hook-ups with donna karan, or if he’d necessarily be left standing if…(grin). unless of course, he redistributes that wealth in magnificent amounts and ways.

      • Seems to me that resistance art serves a particular function. Some of it (most of it?) is intended to attract attention — propaganda, in a word. Some is indirect, some is in your face.

        Leonard Peltier’s art is more like a survival mechanism, at least that’s the way I see it. He does it as a means of blocking out the prison experience to the extent he can and as a means of seeing beyond the injustice he’s suffering. The sale of his art funds his legal defense team and a host of Indigenous support efforts. It’s really kind of amazing how much he’s actually giving from his prison cell. It’s resistance on a number of levels, but not so much propaganda.

        On the other hand, I think that Virgil is actually producing highly subversive propaganda. He seems quite clear about what he’s doing and his intent in doing it, but I doubt his typical purchaser has any idea, any more than tourists who bought the charming/insulting figurines Cochiti potters offered them at the railroad stops a hundred years ago understood they were being charmed and insulted simultaneously.

        As for Virgil’s “wealth.” Ha. While his works go for plenty much money, he spends a great deal to produce and market them, and he is very generous with anything he has left over, helping to fund youth education on the pueblo and further education beyond it. He left the high fashion world to return to Cochiti — where he says he will stay, no matter what — and his focus has been on developing and marketing his re-vision of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 to Swells, while teaching the young of his pueblo and others about the Revolt and what it means for today and the future. It’s not just style or entertainment, it’s resistance taken to another level.

        I see him as a Po’pay like figure, socialized among the fanciest of fancy people– and knowing their vulnerabilities… When the time comes, they better be packed and ready to flee…

        If a revolt/revolution is to succeed, it has to work from both ends, through a riled up populace to be sure, as well as through the subversion of established power and the de-legitimization of authority.

        Art and artists have always been part of making that happen, sometimes in a leading role — though it isn’t always the best idea…;-)

        • i agree with what you’re saying about leonard’s artwork and the various functions it serves. mr. wd bought his ‘prison writings: my life is my sundance’ book forever ago, and while i never read it, i reckon that his words served as both inspirational and transformational to readers. part manifesto, part memoir, and a clarion call to conscience.

          now how did i guess that you’d find a way to honor virgil’s wealth along with his subversiveness? ;-) but i do hope that the young uns are learning through his work, *and* that he may have Seen the Light as his moving back to cochiti hints.

          gotta go look for the police state overnights; some nasty things have been afoot in st. louis, in particular

          • Taking the risk to repeat myself:

            If a revolt/revolution is to succeed, it has to work from both ends, through a riled up populace to be sure, as well as through the subversion of established power and the de-legitimization of authority.

            Ms Ché read the “grandfather prayer” from Peltier’s Prison Writings at the get together in Albuquerque yesterday with Leonard’s son Chauncey with the Indigenous Rights Center.

            Peltier is the longest held political prisoner in this country’s history, perhaps the longest held in world history, I don’t know. A major push is underway to secure clemency. Given the lies and threats from the FBI that have characterized previous efforts to secure his release, there’s no way to know whether this time will succeed. But no one is giving up hope.

            In the meantime, his art continues his resistance, and the resistance art his case has inspired continues to be created…

            Power will be subverted; authority will be de-legitimized.

            • good on miz. may i ask why you are repeating that? re: my snark about virgil? or about all people of conscience all over the world asking for Peltier’s clemency…for decades and decades? as in: is there part of your message you reckon i’m failing to grasp?

              also iirc, dino butler confessed before his death; the fibbies don’t care, nor did Janklow, they’ve even stipulated that they know he didn’t pull the trigger, but someone has to pay, and he was there. wish i’d kept hillary clinton’s letter back to me enumerating the reasons bill couldn’t give him clemency.

            • i’ve been gas-lighting myownself after your having said that “A major push is underway to secure clemency.”

              given that i live in a time-warp bubble, even down to remembering what came first, later, or tra la la, i’d thought i’d remembered putting up news about the most recent clemency for peltier push. i’d failed to tag the post somehow, but finally found it in the bing cache.

              anyhoo, that push was for june 5 and 6, i did get on their website, and that was the most recent mentioned. (it does feature native high fashion, though, lol.) i easily could have used this artwork by tweet, though.

              and as always..

              • Actually, what we learned from Chauncey and the Indigenous Rights Center in Albuquerque is that the current strategy for clemency for Leonard Peltier — which lord knows follows on clemency and other legal strategies that go back decades — is focused on building greater public support for his release over the next year and then after the election, convincing the White House and Obama personally that it’s time. There can be no more excuses.

                Leonard is old and ill and in jeopardy in prison in Florida. He didn’t do what he was convicted of, something the FBI and the courts are well aware of. He’s being held as a political prisoner, that’s all.

                There are of course many moving parts to this push, including the more widespread exhibit and sale of his resistance art, a(nother) global pressure campaign, Chauncey’s personal appearances on behalf of his father, even more legal wrangling, petitioning and many, many ideas for building greater public awareness of the injustice faced by political prisoners in the United States, not just Leonard.

                We’ll do what we can from our little corner of rural New Mexico… and we’ll prolly yak about it, too.

                It seems to me there’s nothing wrong with repeating these sorts of posts and comments. It’s appropriate as all-heck if you post something in June or whenever and I post something now and someone else posts something tomorrow or later. I think it’s important.

                But I don’t know why it’s important to you to snark on Virgil Ortiz. We know him as a very serious, committed and determined (resistance) artist who has been using every bit of his knowledge, talent and skill to build a contemporary vision of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and to translate its meaning for today’s Pueblo youth — and for others who might be interested. The Pueblo Revolt was the single most successful Indian resistance action in North America, and it can be deeply inspiring to Pueblo people and other rebellious types today — as long as they know about it and can relate to it. Enabling that knowledge and relationship, while subverting the power and authority of some of his high and mighty clientele, seems to be his consuming mission these days, and I have nothing but respect for him and his efforts.

                Not that everything that he does or that anyone else in the field of resistance art does is to everyone’s taste. It’s isn’t. But it all serves the purpose…. ;-)

                • i believe if you’d read my comment again, you would see that in no way was i faulting you for repeating leonard’s story, but i don’t need to repeat what i said.

                  as for virgil, you made a case for what he does with all that money he makes, and why and how his work is so subversive. but iirc, you’d also said that the average purchaser didn’t cotton on to that fact… in the end, i just don’t travel in those high-dollar circles, so it’s easier for me to poke some fun about it.

                  it’s hard for me to imagine obama granting leonard clemency, but i suppose stranger things have happened as a president goes out the door.

                  • You have made very clear that you get annoyed with people who post things you’ve already posted or who repeat themselves as I often do. Abundantly clear.

                    What I posted about Leonard Peltier had to do with our experience at the Peltier booth at IFAM and at the Indigenous Rights Center with Chauncey and what was discussed about the coming efforts to gain him clemency. The only repetition was the fact that I posted the IFAM story in two places — which I figured might annoy you simply because I had already posted about it somewhere else.

                    As for Virgil, your comments about his “wealth” strike me as surreal. The notion of personal wealth in a Pueblo community context doesn’t make sense, as I assumed you knew. Pueblo society doesn’t work that way, and the Anglo concept of private or personal wealth is bizarre in that context. He lives and works on Cochiti Pueblo with his family. Not in New York or on a vast ranch in Colorado or a European style palace or in an adobe compound in Santa Fe like some of his clients do. We’ve been to his studio and home, met many members of his family — most of whom are renown ceramic artists and jewelers in their own right whose pieces command high prices too (but not quite as high as Virgil’s), we’ve shared food at their table — and we have formed some idea of a) the kind of money it takes to do what he does, and b) how very modest are his personal circumstances. I don’t know what concept of wealth you’re working with, but I can all but guarantee you he ain’t it.

                    Maybe you’re put off by his style, though. It’s not traditional “Indian” that’s for sure, and it pushes the borderlines of what some of us think of as — for lack of a better word — “propriety.” Nor is it typical resistance art — if there is such a thing. But Resistance Art it is just the same, and that’s why I bring it up in comments on a post about resistance art and its powers of transformation and inspiration. That’s exactly what Virgil does, has been doing for years since he returned to Cochiti and that’s what he is dedicated to doing for the foreseeable future. I respect that.

                    This has got to be a joke, right: “I just don’t travel in those high-dollar circles…” Personally, I find it hard to imagine traveling in the high-dollar circles some of the ranchers in your part of the world appear to live in, ranchers you apparently know quite well. That kind of wealth is almost unbelievable to us, and none of the circles we travel in are that high dollar, not even close. But even if they were, I don’t see how it would matter.

                    What I’ve been trying to get across — and have apparently failed to do — is that Resistance Art takes many forms, involves all kinds of people and artists in many genres, has great powers both obviously and subtly to change lives and inspire actions, and that it is incredibly important to us, Ms Ché and me. It is becoming more so day by day.

                    Thus, your posts about it are important. I think my own are. And I think that growth and spread of resistance art in this country, especially since Occupy and #BLM, is a harbinger of… things to come — which probably won’t be anything like the Revolution of our imaginations. But it still will mean the end of an intolerable status quo.


                    • You’d said: “Taking the risk to repeat myself:”
                      “If a revolt/revolution is to succeed, it has to work from both ends, through a riled up populace to be sure, as well as through the subversion of established power and the de-legitimization of authority.”

                      and that’s why i asked why you were repeating it, and offered two possibilities.

                      Sorry that you can’t see my befuddlement over your ‘coming great push for clemency’ explanation as evidence of my increasing dementia. when i thought i’d remembered posting about it in the semi-recent past, but couldn’t even *find* it at the Café, for a time i’d assumed it was another case of my silent rehearsal creating a false memory as *something done*, or that it was from other time or venue. so…when i did finally find it in the cache, i was relieved as all giddy-up.

                      i seem to have seriously harshed your mellow about virgil’s high prices as indicative of his economic situation, but i believe i did concede that if he’s influencing the young uns, and has returned to cochiti…i got it. seeing art in a catalog is different from seeing it in person, but please don’t try to read my mind about liking only traditional native art. but never, ever, would i even think of being able to afford any of it.

                      jane fonda owns the original of the small Peltier print i bought for mr. wd for his birthday or chistmas; but she can afford it, and redistributed some of her vast wealth for a very righteous project: getting Leonard out of prison after 38 years due to a *known* false conviction.

                      and peace to you as well.

                    • i did remember that on my ‘radical MLK’ diary, you’d pasted in part of his riverside speech that i (erroneously) again, thought i’d included in the OP. and of course, i’d just read it, not included it. and yes, one day i reckon y’all will laugh or jibe me off the internet, and i’ll just shut down the site and…do something else; ave the $225 or what.ever. this site costs…and we can ill afford.

                      it also occurred to me that knowing you are friends with virgil would have made you much more sensitive to my initial teasing, then…the rest.

                      yes, mr. wd worked for ten years for a large ranch, but oh, no; both she and her wealthy artist neighbors for whom he’s also done finish carpentry make darn sure that he/we know that we aren’t ‘friends’ (we are minions we laugh, even i, since i tithe food to them). now he did help the first woman to die at home, an that was…a very friendly act on his part. he is helping her son out a bit now to keep the place going until someone else buys it, even knowing he won’t get paid for his work until it sells.

                    • over the past two days, this that you had said kept rattling around in my noggin, concerning posting things: “I think my own are.” i guess i’d reckoned that went without saying, as you may be one of the pithiest posters online, and regret that this jive about virgil escalated to the extent that i doubt we’ll see you here again.

                      i’d also been considering whether or not i like virgil’s pottery. i confess cochiti earth palettes on white don’t thrill me, but modernizing might even include using some blues, say the color of the deep night sky, azuls, and so on.

                      but i did discover that he uses those blues in his carpets and tiles, so one day he may expand his earth tones pottery.

                      and i saw my first glory today. ;-)

  9. 3 new sher-luck holmes mysteries back to back tonight on kued. sorry: Priorities. ;-)

  10. Yesterday I went out into the fiery world quite literally, since on my usual grocery trek I found myself surrounded and immersed in the offscourings of the demise of great forests in the western states – not ours (long gone our side of the mountains at least) but from so far away I was amazed we saw the dank, dark proofs of it, and death was in it – we could not help but breathe it in. Lord have mercy.

    It is as you say in your post, wendye – it is the best of times; it is the worst of times. I came home and read about the pueblo on whose land I live, Cochiti (spelled various ways in the informative links) and the Great Pueblo Revolt, the art coming out of it, as Ché Pasa has described, as was in evidence at the recent Indigenous People’s Market – and if it is that, my dear late grandmother entitles me to show my art, perhaps, (my one-eighth indigenous person cries out). I live on the land; I have a little of the blood.

    Hesitantly I proffer this:

    No, no; it isn’t mine. But it is the feast just recently lived through,transformational, inspirational, like the smoke from the fires, and your heading called it back to mind for me. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best for art in Russia those centuries under Tartar rule when cities were either destroyed or politically enslaved, take your pick. And peaceful times? They brought decadence as far as the art was concerned. It literally disappeared in the smoke of the beeswax candles burned down through the centuries before the icons and they darkened and disappeared from memory. When did they re-emerge? On the eve of that most terrible time, the Russian Revolution.

    You mentioned mysteries, wendye. I think this is one for the ages, and you have tapped into it with this post. Thanks very much for doing so.

  11. what synchronicy, juliania. i’d been rather desultorily collecting news (and more to the point) opinion on what’s afoot in ukraine, and had just clicked into the saker’s new site. too much information there, and i’m never exactly sure how much of it’s reliable. but i did take note of the icon he has there: ‘the dormition of the mother of god’. it turns out that there are many paintings imagining it, which there would be. the larger version is here, and one can also click for a much higher resolution version of your ‘transfiguration’ icon.

    i do treasure the three lovely icons of yours that you’d gifted to us. i’ll see if there’s a way to get them out of the café image gallery to post.

    yes; the fires. nifc said that as of aug. 18 7.1 million acres have burned this year, just a bit more than the highest # twenty years ago.

    but what you say here reminds me of a concept i used to adhere to: ‘changing poison into medicine’, although i can’t remember the context. but do that we must. thank you. and i hope this makes you chuckle; i’d grabbed it from the science porn twitter account for you. ;-)

    well, it won’t embed in a comment, but clicking the link takes you to your stunning mary and archangels gabriel and michael. holding down control and pressing + will enlarge them.

    • That is all most kind of you, wendye, and I enjoy that the Saker follows the old calendar as do I – the Dormition (Falling Asleep)is the next feast after the Transfiguration (Metamorphosis), and was the feast to which our little church in Santa Fe was dedicated. All feasts begin with vespers on the eve of the feast itself, so sunset, August 27th is when ours begins. I am always taken back to that occurrence as this month draws to a close.

      Also, our priest who built with his own hands the little church for us (and whose commencement address I have given in three parts as one of my contributions here) died a bit more than twenty years ago, at sunset, on the eve of that feast.

      Yes, the links within the link I gave, though some only lead to explanations in Russian, are good to explore. Novgorod, particularly its churches, suffered also during WW2, many of them bombed and the art within them destroyed. (You will notice most of the Novgorod icons are now in museums, sadly not able to be in the churches for which they were made.)

  12. speak of the devil, heh. i’d almost stuck this story on the james boyd post with other recent additions, but it seemed to complicated to describe at the time. boots had tweeted the (then) sole msn coverage of his cousin carlos’s arrest and crazy-ass trial. i’d sent it on to his good friend and comrade hotflashcarol (hfcmofo here), and we traded links and info about it all. he was exonerated on all but one count, and it’s also crazy.

    but tada! he’s on tour with his new book, ‘Tell Homeland Security—We Are the Bomb’, and amy goodman invited him on her program. it’s not up yet on youtube, you;ll have to click in.

    ““Art is the words… between the words. They unify us, and allow us to know that other people are thinking the same thing we are, and it’s an essential part of building a movement.”

    hfc also sent a link to this discussion he and a few others had at a booktore in seatlle, at what i assume wa a book-signing.

  13. Thanks to hfc for providing that link, wendye. What a powerful moment begins that discussion – the icon prototype I hunted for in my above first link I call ‘mother and child’ – I bookmarked one that I really love:

    “Art is the words . . . between the words.”

    • i just emailed and thanked her again. boots is not only a talented hip-hop/rapper, but has been an activist forever. his appeal to the young uns is epic, and he did somewhat of a world tour not long ago. it was in spain’s basque country that he and fermin muguruza teamed up on this one:

      i looked for more images of icons of Eleusa, and i think every one of them had the christ child with an almost adult face. is that to acknowledge he knew what his future held, perhaps?

  14. well, señorPasa, you may be delighted to know that virgil ortiz had his revenge on me. it seems that he sent one or more of his venutian superheroes here to replicate a driving male rain out of the north on our hogan early this morning. it started a leak in the roof, which dripped on *my* side of the bed. i got up to fetch a stack of towels to put in strategic locations, but as the splats were so loud, i just got up for the day at 3:30. (and by the way, those critters are works of his that i do like quite well.)

    • I thought the Pueblo peoples got out of the Rain Making business when the moved from the high dry plateau country to the dependable Rio Grande valley. I’m sure that these never-ending rains, since January here, can be traced back to those clever Hopis who have been refining their Rain Making skills for centuries. I’m beginning to think that they may have harnessed the weather gods and are using them as a WMD, weapon of moist distraction, to harass the poor White peoples.
      I was going to send them a sternly worded missive demanding that they stop this weaponized Rain Dancing, enough is enough!

      • thanks for the laugh, peter. but see…venutian superheroes can likely do anything they want, yes? at 4 this a.m., i heard another series of odd sounds. when i tracked it down, here was my quart of yogurt culturing in the oven, bubbling and wheezing and hissing out of its lid (not that it was yogurt yet). so i reckon what one of them dudes did was create a low-pressure vacuum in the house er something, that caused another major mess.

        i did see the hopi make it rain long ago; i am a believer. ;-)

        but really; you’ve had a lot of rain? how nice. and odd.

    • Being from Cochiti, he cleverly gave us just the non-leaking drenching we needed after those smokefilled skies. But I think you should blame the spirits of Chaco, wendye, since those powerful ones did migrate more towards the Hopi as wayoutwest surmises, and also maybe to Mesa Verde which is not far from your neck of the woods. ‘Twas the hardworking farmers we got down thisaway, much more moderate folk for the most part (though they can indeed be feisty if pressed too viciously.)

      Sympathize on the drip over the bed, though. At least your roof didn’t blow off, as the tv prognostication was suggesting it might.

  15. oh, no; i know i must be correct. as evidence: i was leaked for being BAD and teasing about virgil. mr. wd was not BAD, nor were you.

    it was a hella wind, it knocked over tall things in the garden: ooof!

    but hold those thoughts on greece; i did find a bit about alexis’s interview, and i’ll try to create and open thread on the issue, and maybe put what folks bring into the OP from time to time.

    but i just spent the past two days on my new New Orleans diary, and as ever, found so many bits, pieces, and music to hunt down that i’m baked up with chores now. i also have some links for two or three other diaries, so much is breaking now as to immiseration and theft of the commons. again.yet.still.encore.

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