Animating Resistance: Live Cinema Explorations of the Global Nonviolent Action Database
Prof. Ali Momeni, Carnegie Mellon University
- 19 April: 5:00 p.m. Artist’s Lecture in Science Center Room 101
- 20 April: 12:30-6:30 pm and 8:00-10:00 pm Workshop in Kohlberg 326 Language Center
- 21 April: 8:00 pm Outdoor Performance (Pearson Hall Lawn. Rain Location: LPAC Lobby)
The theme for this workshop and performance will be Swarthmore College’s Peace and Conflict Studies’ inimitable and inspiring Global Nonviolent Action Database. Momeni and the workshop participants will collaborative create and perform a live cinema/projection performance that consists of animations depicting and annotating the contents of this database in playful and performative ways. Momeni will be assisted by artist and MFA Candidate Davey Steinman for this performance.
Ali Momeni’s performance project at Swarthmore College will combine cinema, outdoor projection, improvisation, animation, “depicting the characters, setting and methods of specific actions from the Global Nonviolent Action Database like an animated graphic novel.”
Momeni was born in Isfahan, Iran and emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He studied physics and music at Swarthmore College and completed his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley. He spent three years in Paris where he collaborated with performers and researchers from La Kitchen, IRCAM, Sony CSL and CIRM.
Between 2007 and 2011, Momeni was an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he directed the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art, and founded the urban projection collective called the MAW. Momeni is currently an associate professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and directs CMU ArtFab, teaches in CMU’s IDEATE, Music Technology and Masters in Tangible Interaction Design degrees.
Momeni’s current research interests include performative applications of robotics, playful urban interventions, interactive projection performance, machine learning for artists and designers, interactive tools for storytelling and experiential learning, mobile and hybrid musical instruments, and the intersection of sound, music and health.
Davey T Steinman is an artist and explorer working at the crossroads of performance and technology. Davey is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Video and Media Design in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University.
This event is free and open to the public.
Sponsors: The Cooper Serendipity Fund, Kohlberg Language Center, Dept. of Theater, and Dept. of Music and Dance
A message from Chris Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College:
A few years ago, I was looking for documentation of Martin Luther King Jr. and the early days of the Civil Rights Movement in the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends. It seemed like something for the Race Relations Committee to handle, but there was nothing there. A little more digging located the records I was seeking in the Peace Committee and more specifically in a subcommittee on non-violence.
This week began with commemorations of Dr. King. On Saturday, there will be a Women’s March in Washington, DC, and Sister Marches worldwide. I was both pleased and a bit surprised to read their statement of “Guiding Principles” on their website which was explicitly based on Martin Luther King Jr., and the principles of non-violence. It also strikes me that these principles and this approach to conflict comes close to how some people understand Swarthmore College’s heritage of Quaker values. It is not just a strategy for confronting the evils of the day, but a strategy for daily living. It is what King and others referred to as the Beloved Community. \
— Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library.
As part of Black History Month activities, Matt Meyer, organizer, author, and editor of We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism (PM Press) discussed revolutionary nonviolence, privilege, solidarity, and alliance building in higher education.
Video of the event is now available.
Audio of the event is now available.
Meyer’s work in K-12 public education and teacher training included ten years of service as Multicultural Coordinator for the NYC Board of Education’s Alternative High Schools & Programs, as well as a stint as Union Leader of a local section of the United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. He helped found and direct a mini-school in collaboration with St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital’s Child and Family Institute (CFI), and led a psycho-educational CFI research delegation on re-integration and treatment of child soldiers in West and Central Africa and related work in “inner-city” USA; he also helped in the early development of the Harvey Milk High School, the first US “safe space” school for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Twice-decorated as “teacher of the year” by two Community School District Superintendents, Meyer’s continuous efforts as a high school-based historian and peace educator have spanned over 30 years.
Matt is an outstanding scholar-practitioner and leader in the field of peace and justice studies and is an accomplished Africanist scholar and educator, and has done much to bring critical race theory into dialogue with peace and conflict studies. You may read his recent co-authored piece “Refusing to Choose Between Martin and Malcolm: Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, and a New Nonviolent Revolution” at Counterpunch.org.
Co-sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, President’s Office, Black Cultural Center, Black Studies Program, Intercultural Center, History Department, Educational Studies Department, Sociology and Anthropology Department
This event builds on a theme the Peace and Conflict Studies program initiated last semester with the American Friends Service Committee poster exhibit in McCabe Library, “All of Us or None: Responses & Resistance to Militarism.”
From our friends in Modern Languages and Literatures
Nefertiti’s Daughters: Street Art of the Egyptian Uprisings
Director Mark Nickolas will be joining us for a screening of his award winning documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters (2015, 40 minutes) followed by a Q&A session.
November 20, 2015; 2:15-4:00 p.m.
Kohlberg Hall Room 228
Swarthmore College (directions)
Nefertiti’s Daughters is a story of women, art and revolution in Egypt. Told by prominent Egyptian artists, this documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings.
Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, Nefertiti’s Daughters spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti places her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and freedoms in Egypt today.
The film’s director Mark Nickolas is a long time veteran of US democratic politics, most notably to then Vice President Al Gore, before emerging as a prominent figure in the political media world.
Name: Benjamin Smith bsmith3
Egyptian cases of nonviolent resistance in Egypt are available at http://bit.ly/1SLrsLX
Prof. Lee Smithey will be part of a guest Twitter panel on “How Nonviolent Movements Can Deal with Repression and Violence” on Thursday, August 20 at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. EST
The panel is being sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace Global Campus course on “Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Movements.”
Follow #pdoxrep on Twitter on Thursday and feel free to participate!
Professor Smithey is completing an edited book on The Paradox of Repression, co-edited with Lester R. Kurtz.
You can review cases of nonviolent campaigns that have involved repression against nonviolent activists that backfired against authorities in the Global Nonviolent Action Database, based at Swarthmore College.
The Global Nonviolent Action Database presents cases of nonviolent civil resistance from around the world, spanning decades and even hundreds of years. Data is provided in a narrative format, and each case is classified across a number of criteria to allow for comparisons and advanced searches.
A selection of the new cases include:
- Pennsylvanian Methodists campaign for reinstatement of minister, United States, 2013
- Brazilian Free Fare Movement (MPL) mobilizes against fare hikes, 2013
- Glaswegian Women Campaign for Rent Control, Scotland, 1915
- Sarasotan Students’ school boycott stops neighborhood schools from closing, Florida, United States, 1969
- Chicago residents sit-in to prevent Dyett High School closure, United States, 2013-14
- Philadelphians prevent deportation of Honduran immigrant through church sanctuary, United States, 2014-2015
- Spanish homeowners and activists blockade and occupy to protest home evictions, 2009-2013
- South Korean media workers resist privatisation of television networks, 2008-2009
PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle (Cross-listed as POLS 081 / SOCI 071B) will be offered during the Spring Semester 2015.
This one-credit research seminar involves working and updating the Global Nonviolent Action Database which can be accessed by activists and scholars worldwide at http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu. The database was built at Swarthmore College and includes cases of “people power” drawn from dozens of countries. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace.
Students will be expected to research a series of cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a 2-3 page narrative that describes the unfolding struggle. In addition to research/writing methods, students will also draw on theories in the field. Strategic implications for today will be drawn from theory and from what the group learns from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.
This writing (W) course has a limited enrollment of 12 students.
You can learn more by visiting a collection of posts about the database in the Peace and Conflict Studies blog.
In this video, Professor Lakey introduced the launch of the database in 2011.
In addition to all of the excellent courses offered across campus that may be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflicts Studies, our own program curriculum is expanding next year!
PEAC 015. Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
In Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, we learn that peace and conflict are not mutually exclusive. To paraphrase Conrad Brunk, the goal of peace and conflict studies is to better understand conflict in order to find nonviolent ways of turning unjust relationships into more just ones. We examine both the prevalence of coercive and non-peaceful means of conducting conflict as well as the development of nonviolent alternatives, locally and globally, through institutions and at the grassroots. The latter include nonviolent collective action, mediation, peacekeeping, and conflict transformation work. Several theoretical and philosophical lenses will be used to explore cultural and psychological dispositions, conflict in human relations, and conceptualizations of peace. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach with significant contributions from the social sciences. U.S.-based social justice movements, such as the struggle for racial equality, and global movements, such as nonviolent activism in Israel/Palestine, and the struggle for climate justice around the world, will serve as case studies.
1 credit. Tues/Thurs. 1:15-2:30 pm
Instructor: Sa’ed Atshan
PEAC 039. Social Entrepreneurship for Social Change (NEW COURSE!)
By integrating innovative approaches with revenue-generating practices, social entrepreneurs and their ventures open compelling and impactful avenues to social change. In this course, students will learn about the pioneering individuals and novel ways that social entrepreneurship responds to social needs that are not adequately served by the market or by the state through in-depth case analysis of social change work (locally, nationally, and globally).
1 credit. Mondays 1:15-4:00 pm
Instructor: Denise Crossan, Lang Professor for Social Change
PEAC 053. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (NEW COURSE!)
This course will examine the historical underpinnings of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how they have shaped the contemporary context in Israel/Palestine. We will approach this from a demography and population-studies framework in order to understand the trajectories and heterogeneity of Israeli and Palestinian societies and politics. For instance, how has the relationship between race and period of migration to Israel impacted Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Israeli sub-populations differently? What explains divergent voting patterns between Palestinian Christians and Muslims over time? How can we measure inequality between Israeli settlers and Palestinian natives in the West Bank in the present? The course will also synthesize competing theoretical paradigms that account for the enduring nature of this conflict. This includes—but is not limited to—the scholarly contributions of realist political scientists, US foreign policy experts, social movements theorists, security sector reformers, human rights advocates, international law experts, and negotiations and conflict resolution practitioners.
Eligible POLS and ISLM credit.
1 credit. Tues./Thurs. 2:40-3:55 pm
Instructor: Sa’ed Atshan
PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle
(Cross-listed as POLS 081 and SOCI 071B)
This research seminar involves working with The Global Nonviolent Action Database built at Swarthmore College. This website is accessed by activists and scholars worldwide. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace. Students will investigate a series of research cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a narrative describing the unfolding struggle. Strategic implications will be drawn from theory and from what the group is learning from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.
1 credit. Mondays 1:15-4:00 pm
Instructor: Lee Smithey
Strategic, Successful, and Spiritually Grounded Activism
Speaker: Eileen Flanagan
Wednesday, April 1, 2015; 5:00 PM
Bond Hall at Swarthmore College (directions)
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA
After five years of campaigning, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) has pushed the seventh largest bank in the US into issuing a policy that effectively ends its investment in mountaintop removal coal mining. Eileen Flanagan will share her own story of feeling led to join EQAT’s campaign and what she is learning about nonviolent direct action.
Eileen Flanagan is the clerk of the board of Earth Quaker Action Team, a teacher in Pendle Hill’s new Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness program, and a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting. Her newest book, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope , is about the spiritual crisis that led her to climate justice activism.
This event is open to the public.