Photo by Rodger Levesque
Radical poster artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez is in town from Oakland, CA this weekend for a series of supercool art/technology events. Last night she kicked off the 2009 Web of Change calendar with Designing for Democracy at District 319. Favi’s multi-media presentation, including live drawing dealt with the role of art and technology in social change.
I met Favianna at Web of Change 2007. We bonded over 80s dance music and our mutual interest in activism. When I needed a graphic for this blog, Favi came right to mind, and I was able to choose from a number of her works that were available for free download.
She gave me a t-shirt from Tumis, a rad design studio she founded. Located in East Oakland, Tumis develops communication strategies for community improvement; it is woman-owned and run by people of colour, in keeping with its explicit social justice mission. Tumis follows an ethical business model, guided by its Points of Unity. Beyond the hood, Tumis collaborates on progressive projects that challenge racism, classism, homophobia, sexism, and corporate irresponsibility. No wonder the Utne Reader named her one of the 50 visionaries who are changing our world.
Favianna’s roadshow is part evangelizing, part art installation, part sales push (she has a new book out!) and always a party. Tonight she’s performing with Oakland filmmaker Reed Rickert at the Techforms pre-show, a W2 event; from 8-9pm they’ll be mixing Latino beats and live drawing with a mashup on the big screens.
On Sunday March 9 from 2-4pm, Favianna will be at W2 Launchpad for MUNCH! 14, a regular series of critical discussions on cultural planning and arts issues affecting the creative people living and working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Favi will discuss Tumis, with its comibination of community centre, youth programs, media arts collective and social housing as an inspiring model for the DTES
Following this there will be an opening reception for A Woman’s Place is Everywhere! A Century of Women and Work, as part of International Women’s Day, also at Launchpad. The exhibit, which features a powerful national collection of visual art works by contemporary Canadian artists, including BC’s Tania Willard, runs through March 29.
For more info on IWD visit their site.