New Village Press Welcomes STIR

February 22nd, 2012

Email This Blog Post Email This Blog Post Filed under: New Village Commons— New Village Press Team @ 9:50 am

We recently posted our first “guest blog” and are thrilled to feature our second contributor, Jonathan Gordon-Farleigh. We were happy to discover STIR, a community-building online magazine that features articles and interviews on radical gardening, community supported agriculture, climate activism, democratic education, permaculture, the resistance to the assault on the university, the occupy movement, the commons, grassroots sports, food justice, cooperatives and much more.

Here is a message from the third (latest) issue by Gordon-Farleigh, STIR’s editor:

At the beginning of The Take, a documentary about the Argentinean Recovered Factories Movement, Naomi Klein shows an interview she had done a few years earlier. After presenting a list of the gruesome acts and horrors of capitalism, the interviewer challenges her by saying, “But you’re not giving us any alternatives?” To this, she later admits, “He had a good point… At a certain point you have to talk about what you’re fighting for.”

The absence of demands from the Occupy Movement has been a conundrum for conventional political commentators. What they have failed to understand is that those who make demands expect an agency, authority, or expert to implement them. Today’s protestors are appealing to themselves, not governments, for social change. This point was nicely made by Nathan Schneider in a recent article in the The Nation, “Thank You, Anarchists.” He says the occupiers have “reminded us that politics is not a matter of choosing among what we’re offered but of fighting for what we and others actually need, not to mention what we hope for.”

This is not to ignore or downplay the crucial role that commentary plays in our understanding of the political and social terrain, but the disproportionate fixation on Washington and London produces mere spectators who can only rely on financial and political elites to save them and who can only be disappointed and failed by them. This read-only political culture dominates our experience of our options and choices. The German comedian Klaus Hansen expresses this reversible point in terms of commercial sport—“Football is like democracy: twenty-two people playing and millions watching.”

Stephen Duncombe, the editor of White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race, says in his interview, “It’s not enough to change people’s minds. You have to change the social, political and economic structures in which they live.” Convincing people that we are in a mess is the easy part, if they need to be convinced at all. Showing people that there are successful and viable ways of producing food, providing education, playing sports, managing resources, and sharing creative content in ways that are not subordinated to profit is what is really at stake.

This is exactly what successful community-led campaigns, employee-owned cooperatives, and democracy schools show us: that, as the slogan at last year’s US Social Forum read, not only is “Another world possible…Another world is happening.”

Celebrate Valentine’s Day all week!

February 15th, 2012

Email This Blog Post Email This Blog Post Filed under: New Village Commons— Stefania @ 10:26 am

Valentine’s sweets aren’t over yet!!

Valentine’s Special – better than candy!
First of all, we think a rousing read is chocolate for the soul, and you deserve a treat. Use the discount code “newvillagelove” at checkout to enjoy a 20% discount on our entire catalog (this in addition to the discounts we already offer on most of our titles!). You can choose from more than thirty books dedicated to the muscle and beauty of grassroots community building, arts education, environmental justice, and social change.
Are you convinced that the wellbeing of our planet relies on teaching future generations how to care for it? Consider Asphalt to Ecosystems (now in its second printing), an overflowing feast of design ideas to turn every schoolyard into a living wonderland where children discover the marvels of nature. Is your creative being amazed by art’s ability to evoke real change? You’ll find abundant evidence of that in the Acting Together anthology (see  Volume I and  Volume II), which features uplifting examples of the power of performance to heal wounds and work toward justice even in the most divided and violent regions of the world. Are you a literary creature? Then lose (or find!) yourself in the pages of  American Tensions, a provocative anthology of contemporary social justice writing, combining illustrious voices with the not-less-keen words of emerging authors. Do your senses thrive on color and the joy of surprise? Do overcoming impossible obstacles and turning despair into celebration lift you up? Then  Awakening Creativity is the title for you. And the list goes on.So pick your favorite bound bonbon now on our website (discount code good for one week). Yum!
Show your love for your cities!
Who says the design of our cities cannot grow out of the needs, designs, and aspirations of urban communities themselves? In Service-Learning in Design and Planning: Educating at the Boundaries an array of planners, architects, and educators share rousing real-life collaborations between professionals and community members that creatively tackle the problems haunting our cities. If you are a practitioner, educator, or student in the architecture, landscape design, and urban planning fields, do not miss this opportunity to explore how service-learning makes education meaningful while building more vibrant, sustainable, and just neighborhoods.
The Acting Together project keeps growing…
We mentioned it above, but this is such an important project it deserves its own entry. In December, New Village released the seond volume of Acting Together— Acting Together Vol. II: Building Just and Inclusive Communities. In case you missed the first volume, this is a perfect time to add the entire work to your library. This hymn to the power of performative arts to resolve conflicts and restore capacities for communication, offers first-hand accounts of traditional and nontraditional theatre work in countries as different as Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Ghana, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Palestine, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and the United States. The second volume also includes a resource section with tools, templates, and recommendations for artists, students, and policymakers alike to become involved with the growing field of peacebuilding performance. And do note the  full-length documentary film that complements the two books—it features interviews with the artists and footage of the actual performances!
Got Kindle? iPad? A regular computer? We have ebooks for you!
We are so excited to announce the release of our first two ebooks!
By Heart: Poetry, Prisons, and Two Lives, available now at $9.95, is a stirring two-person memoir of Judith Tannenbaum, poet and prison writing teacher, and Spoon Jackson, a life-sentence inmate who finds through the arts his unique voice and inner freedom. In the words of Gloria Steinem, “This book will anger you, give you hope, and break your heart.” Moreover, At Night I Fly, a Swedish documentary featuring Spoon Jackson and other men living in a maximum security prison, just won the Guldbagge Award—the Swedish equivalent of an Oscar! You can  see an extract here.
Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame, our second digital release, is a 360-degree look at the many ways art can be and is used to make a huge difference in the world. Artist/activist and educator Beverly Naidus navigates the turbulent waters and energizing rewards of a socially-engaged arts curriculum and pedagogical practice. It is a must-read for anyone considering or engaged in arts education and the community arts movement.
…Did we mention that the discount code “newvillagelove” applies to our ebooks, too?
New Village Press staff

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