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Zimmerman, A.: Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Paperback and Ebook) | Princeton University Press
“In 1901, the Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington, sent an expedition to the German colony of Togo in West Africa, with the purpose of transforming the region into a cotton economy similar to that of the post-Reconstruction American South. Alabama in Africa explores the politics of labor, sexuality, and race behind this endeavor, and the economic, political, and intellectual links connecting Germany, Africa, and the southern United States. The cross-fertilization of histories and practices led to the emergence of a global South, reproduced social inequities on both sides of the Atlantic, and pushed the American South and the German Empire to the forefront of modern colonialism.

Zimmerman shows how the people of Togo, rather than serving as a blank slate for American and German ideologies, helped shape their region’s place in the global South. He looks at the forms of resistance pioneered by African American freedpeople, Polish migrant laborers, African cotton cultivators, and other groups exploited by, but never passive victims of, the growing colonial political economy. Zimmerman reconstructs the social science of the global South formulated by such thinkers as Max Weber and W.E.B. Du Bois, and reveals how their theories continue to define contemporary race, class, and culture.

Tracking the intertwined histories of Europe, Africa, and the Americas at the turn of the century, Alabama in Africa shows how the politics and economics of the segregated American South significantly reshaped other areas of the world.

Andrew Zimmerman is professor of history at George Washington University and the author of Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany.”

[via: https://twitter.com/zunguzungu/status/1163504107690217473

in reference to:
“In order to understand the brutality of merican capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.” (Matthew Desmond)
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html
germany  imperialism  history  us  cotton  globalization  globalsouth  books  toread  andrewzimmerman  bookertwashington  alabama  africa  togo  cooton  agriculture  labor  exploitation  climate  poltics  economics  segregation  americansouth 
august 2019 by robertogreco
OHCHR | Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*
[See also:

"A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America"
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/15/america-extreme-poverty-un-special-rapporteur

"Extreme poverty in America: read the UN special monitor's report"
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/15/extreme-poverty-america-un-special-monitor-report

"Trump turning US into 'world champion of extreme inequality', UN envoy warns"
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/15/america-un-extreme-poverty-trump-republicans ]

[Thread by Allen Tan:
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/942934883244171264

"if a progressive party wanted to build a platform for 2020, it could just copy paste this

if a newsroom wanted to cover US poverty in a systematic and rigorous way, here is the blueprint

this is how you make a case for a social safety net when you don't assume that everyone is already on board with you ideologically

1) human rights
“the US is alone among developed countries in insisting that while human rights are of fundamental importance, they do not include rights that guard against dying of hunger, dying from lack of access to affordable healthcare, or growing up in…total deprivation.”

2) debunking myth of poor people as lazy or scammers
“poor people I met from among the 40 million living in poverty were overwhelmingly either persons who had been born into poverty, or those who had been thrust there by circumstances largely beyond their control such as…”

“…physical or mental disabilities, divorce, family breakdown, illness, old age, unlivable wages, or discrimination in the job market.”

3) disenfranchisement in a democratic society (just gonna screengrab this one)

4) children
“In 2016, 18% of children – some 13.3 million – were living in poverty, with children comprising 32.6% of all people in poverty.”

etc, etc, etc

stay for the extended section on homelessness and its criminalization

re: drugs testing [screen capture]

treating taxation as a dirty word and third rail means the state must raise money on the backs of the poor [screen capture]

Ok one last thing and then I’m done:
notice how you can talk about poverty and not make it just about white people, weird"]
philipalston  us  poverty  un  himanrights  policy  politics  inequality  2017  donaldtrump  mississippi  alabama  california  puertorico  housing  georgia  exceptionalism  democracy  employment  work  socialsafetynet  society  incarceration  warondrugs  criminalization  children  health  healthcare  dentalcare  disability  race  racism  fraud  privatization  government  governance  environment  sustainability  taxes  taxreform  welfare  hunger  food  medicare  medicaid  chip  civilsociety  allentan  journalism  homeless  homelessness 
december 2017 by robertogreco
A World Without People - The Atlantic
"For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish from the planet. Collected here are recent scenes from abandoned construction projects, industrial disaster zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence or natural disasters, derelict Olympic venues, ghost towns, and more."
landscape  photography  apocalypse  worldwithoutus  multispecies  riodejaneiro  brasil  brazil  us  nola  neworleans  alabama  germany  belarus  italy  italia  abandonment  china  bankok  thailand  decay  shengshan  athens  greece  lackawanna  pennsylvania  tianjin  russia  cyprus  nicosia  indonesia  maine  syria  namibia  drc  fukushima  congo  philippines  havana  cuba  vallejo  paris  libya  wales  england 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Expand Your World, Go to the Beach in Alabama - The New York Times
"My dad and stepmom live in Mobile, Ala., and spend their vacation time an hour’s drive away in Orange Beach, Ala. This means that, throughout my life, I have regularly vacationed there as well.

Whenever I tell people in Berkeley, Calif., where I live, that I’m headed to the beach in Alabama, they are shocked. Most people outside of the Gulf Coast have no idea that Alabama has beaches — even though if you look at a map of Alabama, there is a part of it that looks as if it should belong to Florida. There is even a bar at the Alabama-Florida border that commemorates this fact. That bar is named the Flora-Bama. (Calling it the Ala-Lorida would just be ridiculous.)

I often try to convince my wife, Melissa, that we and our two daughters should vacation in Orange Beach more often. I try to persuade friends to come, too. It is the perfect fun-and-sun vacation. We stay across the street from the beach, which is perfect for my wife. The resort has an old-school arcade room with one of those claw machines, which is perfect for our older daughter, even though she has never won anything from it. And it has a lazy-river pool, where you can sit in an inner tube and let the underwater jets push you around while thinking that you may be experiencing the pinnacle of human achievement. That’s perfect for me.

But no one has taken us up on the invitation yet, because of one problematic word: Alabama. Nobody I know from the Bay Area has any interest in purposefully spending time in Alabama. Florida, maybe, but Alabama? Nah, that’s a hard pass.

I have discovered that when you are black, saying “I’m headed to the South” to someone, especially a white person who is not from the South, is like saying, “I’m headed to my own lynching and I decided to bring the rope just to make it easier on the Klansmen.”

It is one of my enduring frustrations with this country. People live in their part of the Union, and if they don’t travel a lot, then there is a tendency to believe that the other parts of America couldn’t possibly be as American as their part. You can see it in the way people in the South scrunch up their faces when they hear words like “New York,” “Chicago” and “challah.” And you can also see it in the way people on the coast narrow their eyes when they hear words like “Louisiana,” “Kentucky” and “pork rinds.”

Sometimes it gets even worse. Some people think that the things going on in other parts are actually anti-American.

I’m happy that I know how to speak “Southern.” I spent a lot of time in Alabama throughout my life. I even lived there for part of junior high and high school, so I learned the true beauty and mastery of the Southern dialect. “Y’all” is one of the greatest and most useful words ever invented. Saying you are “fixing to get ready to go” is useful, because it is a state most of us are regularly in, even if we don’t know it. It means you are thinking about maybe leaving. That is me, every time I try to go out of the house.

Southern is more than just a language. It’s also about understanding someone’s intentions. There are things people in the South say to me that I just let go, but if someone outside the South says the same thing, I’ll think to myself, “Well, I’ll be telling this story onstage tonight.”

I was in a Walgreens in Northern California once, back when I still had long dreadlocks. The cashier, a white woman, asked as she was ringing me up, “Can I touch your hair?” When you have dreadlocks you start to get used to this question. I said, “No, you can’t touch my hair,” but I said it with a smile so that we could both move on without the situation getting weirder than it already was.

A few months later, in Mobile, I was at a Krispy Kreme with my dad. A different white woman asked the same question and I said, “Sure.” I could tell that she was taking a chance by asking. It felt like more than the idle curiosity or simple objectification that I felt in Northern California. Maybe some part of me hoped that she would touch my hair, her eyes would glaze over, and then like Neo from “The Matrix” she would say something like, “I now understand how the institution of slavery is directly connected the current struggle of black people in America, and I also recognize white people’s part in that … also, I know kung fu.” That didn’t happen. But she did give me an extra doughnut.

Those types of interactions prepared me for my current career, where I travel the country and ask (and occasionally answer) “dumb questions.” When I created a pilot for CNN called “The United Shades of America,” I tried to roll all of that experience up into an hour of television. I went to Kentucky and talked to the Ku Klux Klan.

When the episode aired back in a distant time called April 2016, the major criticism I heard was: “Why are you giving the K.K.K. a platform? We already know the K.K.K. is awful.” Well, my mom taught me that there is no such thing as too much knowledge. And as gobsmacked as my liberal friends were by Donald Trump’s victory, they now know that they definitely didn’t know as much about America as they thought.

And if there was ever a time that we all should take a trip to the other parts of America and spend some time to get to know the people there, it is now.

So, who wants to come with me to Orange Beach?"
wkamaubell  alabama  language  thesouth  us  culture  stereotypes  2017  y'all  procrastination 
april 2017 by robertogreco
The Hypocrisy of ‘Helping’ the Poor - The New York Times
"EVERY so often, you hear grotesquely wealthy American chief executives announce in sanctimonious tones the intention to use their accumulated hundreds of millions, or billions, “to lift people out of poverty.” Sometimes they are referring to Africans, but sometimes they are referring to Americans. And here’s the funny thing about that: In most cases, they have made their fortunes by impoverishing whole American communities, having outsourced their manufacturing to China or India, Vietnam or Mexico.

Buried in a long story about corruption in China in The New York Times a couple of months ago was the astonishing fact that the era of “supercharged growth” over the past several decades had the effect of “lifting more than 600 million people out of poverty.” From handouts? From Habitat for Humanity? From the Clinton Global Initiative?

No, oddly enough, China has been enriched by American-supplied jobs, making most of the destined-for-the-dump merchandise you find on store shelves all over America, every piece of plastic you can name, as well as Apple products, Barbie dolls or Nike LeBron basketball shoes retailed in the United States for up to $320 a pair. “The uplifting of impoverished people” was one of the reasons Phil Knight, Nike’s co-founder, gave in 1998 for moving his factories out of the United States.

The Chinese success, helped by American investment, is perhaps not astonishing after all; it has coincided with a large number of Americans’ being put out of work and plunged into poverty.

In a wish to get to grips with local mystagogies and obfuscations I have spent the past three years traveling in the Deep South, usually on back roads, mainly in the smaller towns, in the same spirit of inquiry that vitalized me on journeys in China and Africa and elsewhere. Yes, I saw the magnolia blossoms, the battlefields of the Civil War, the antebellum mansions of superfluous amplitude; the catfish farms and the cotton fields and the blues bars; attended the gun shows and the church services and the football games.

But if there was one experience of the Deep South that stayed with me it was the sight of shutdown factories and towns with their hearts torn out of them, and few jobs. There are outsourcing stories all over America, but the effects are stark in the Deep South.

Take a Delta town such as Hollandale, Miss. Two years ago, the entire tax base of this community of around 3,500 was (so the now-deceased and much-mourned mayor Melvin Willis told me) less than $300,000. What the town had on hand to spend for police officers, firefighters, public works, outreach, welfare and town hall salaries was roughly the amount of a Bill or Hillary one-night-stand lecture fee; what Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, earns in a couple of days.

When Hollandale’s citizens lost their jobs in the cotton fields to mechanization they found work nearby, in Greenville and elsewhere, in factories that made clothes, bikes, tools and much else — for big brands like Fruit of the Loom and Schwinn.

They are gone now. Across the Mississippi River, Monticello, Ark., and other towns made carpets and furniture while Forrest City produced high-quality TV sets. The people I spoke to in the town of Wynne, known for its footwear, said they’d be happy to make Nikes if they were paid a living wage.

I found towns in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas that looked like towns in Zimbabwe, just as overlooked and beleaguered. It’s globalization, people say. Everyone knows that, everyone moans about it. Big companies have always sought cheaper labor, moving from North to South in the United States, looking for the hungriest, the most desperate, the least organized, the most exploitable. It has been an American story. What had begun as domestic relocations went global, with such success that many C.E.O.s became self-conscious about their profits and their stupendous salaries.

To me, globalization is the search for a new plantation, and cheaper labor; globalization means that, by outsourcing, it is possible to impoverish an American community to the point where it is indistinguishable from a hard-up town in the dusty heartland of a third world country.

“I took an assistant Treasury secretary, Cyrus Amir-Mokri, down from Memphis,” William Bynum, the chief executive of the Hope Credit Union, told me in his office in Jackson, Miss. “We passed through Tunica, Mound Bayou and Clarksdale, and ended up in Utica. All through the Delta. He just sat and looked sad. He said he could not believe such conditions existed in the United States.”

Now the Delta is worse off, the bulk of its factories shut, the work sent overseas. Again, this is the same old story, but need it be so?

When Mr. Cook of Apple said he was going to hand over his entire fortune to charity, he was greatly praised by most people, but not by me. It so happened that at that time I was traveling up and down Tim Cook’s home state of Alabama, and all I saw were desolate towns and hollowed-out economies, where jobs had been lost to outsourcing, and education had been defunded by shortsighted politicians."



"The strategy of getting rich on cheap labor in foreign countries while offering a sop to America’s poor with charity seems to me a wicked form of indirection. If these wealthy chief executives are such visionaries, why don’t they understand the simple fact that what people want is not a handout along with the uplift ditty but a decent job?

Some companies have brought manufacturing jobs back to the United States, a move called “reshoring,” but so far this is little more than a gesture. It seems obvious that executives of American companies should invest in the Deep South as they did in China. If this modest proposal seems an outrageous suggestion, to make products for Nike, Apple, Microsoft and others in the South, it is only because the American workers would have to be paid fairly. Perhaps some chief executives won’t end up multibillionaires as a result, but neither will they have to provide charity to lift Americans out of poverty."
philanthropy  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  exploitation  2015  paultheroux  inequality  indulgences  capitalism  hypocrisy  policy  economics  systemsthinking  globalization  outsourcing  charity  timcook  offshoring  labor  work  us  poverty  reshoring  south  nike  apple  southcarolina  mississippi  alabama  arkansas  charitableindustrialcomplex  power  control 
october 2015 by robertogreco
In rural Alabama, student architects jump-start a neglected park | MNN - Mother Nature Network
"A shift from architectural showstoppers to “in-between areas”
In 2012, Rural Studio’s citizen architects doubled up again for two distinct Lions Park projects.

The first, Lions Park Scout Hut, is just that — a handsome new home for the local Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops that have long served as environmental stewards of the park. The log cabin-inspired facility is equipped with restrooms, storage areas, woodstove and a kitchen that’s sizable enough to handle the Scout’s annual catfish fry fundraiser. As noted by Architectural Record, “the hut's dimensions were determined largely by the space required to house two travel trailers and the imperative to accommodate an elevated track for the Pinewood Derby — the legendary Cub Scouts model car race. Pack 13 wanted the longest one they could have: 48 feet.”

In tandem with the Scout Hut, the second thesis team — Alex Henderson along with Jessica Cain, Mary Melissa Yohn and Benjamin Johnson – embarked on the Lions Park Landscape project. Although this project did not yield razzle-dazzle restrooms, crowd-drawing concrete half-pipes or a Tom Kundig-esque atelier, it served as a vital — and much needed – step in the transformation of Lions Park: it visually ties everything together.

As explained by Henderson, Lions Park’s turnaround has progressed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion. Certain areas were lavished with a fair amount of attention while other areas — the “in-between areas” as Henderson calls them — were left largely untouched. The balance was off-kilter. Lions Parks, home to several new eye-catching structures that had attracted the attention of the global architecture community, was still rough around the edges.

“The goal was to give all of the park’s empty spaces a name and character,” says Henderson. “We were trying to give all of the park attention.”

To beautify the areas around the new sports facilities and make the park a more appealing place to simply relax and unwind, Henderson and his peers planted a large number (about 170) and a wide variety of trees — white oak, eastern redbud, bald cypress, red maple, flowering dogwood and others. The team also created a quartet of rain gardens to better manage stormwater runoff while tackling assorted landscaping odd-and-ends that tie disparate sections of the park together into a cohesive whole. Additionally, the team devised a long-term maintenance plan, not just for the park’s landscaped elements but for infrastructure as well.

The maintenance conversation is still an on-going one that centers around the central question: how can a city, a city that’s modest in both size and affluence like Greensboro, successfully use limited resources to maintain a park for the long-haul?

As Henderson points out, “you don’t want to build something that can’t be taken care of.”

One solution now underway is the transition from a joint-ownership model towards a single ownership scenario in which the city of Greensboro would main control over the park. A first-ever parks and recreation board consisting of a council of appointees would be formed to direct management and oversee a small annual budget.

For now, Lions Park, along with a few pocket parks scattered around town, are maintained by the city road crew — the same folks responsible for fixing potholes, picking up litter and mowing the lawn in front of the county courthouse. It’s a big job for these city employees, whom Henderson refers to as the “unsung community heroes.” In the future, a small maintenance team would be assembled to exclusively attend to Greensboro parks to ensure that they receive the attention they need."
ruralstudio  alabama  greensboro  architecture  design  auburn  matthickman  2015  parks  revitalization  sammockbee  andrewfreear 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Long Road from Selma to Montgomery
"Half century ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, in Oslo, spoke of the “creative battle” that twenty-two million black men and women in the United States were waging against “the starless midnight of racism.” A few months later, in March, 1965, that battle came to Selma, Alabama, the birthplace of the White Citizens’ Council. The issue was voting rights. As King pointed out, there were more blacks in jail in the city than there were on the voting rolls. James Baldwin, who was among the marchers, had written, “I could not suppress the thought that this earth had acquired its color from the blood that had dripped down from these trees.” The series of marches there––the first was Bloody Sunday, a bloody encounter with a racist police force armed with bullwhips and cattle prods; the last, the fifty-four-mile procession from Selma to the State House, in Montgomery––pushed Lyndon Johnson to send voting-rights legislation to Congress. The nonviolent discipline of the marchers, the subject of a new film by Ava DuVernay, and portrayed here in Steve Schapiro’s photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, became such a resonant chapter in the black freedom struggle that Barack Obama, in 2007, went to Selma to speak, at Brown Chapel, just weeks after declaring for the Presidency. Almost eight years later, as Selma is being commemorated, demonstrators against racial injustice are employing as a despairing slogan the last words of Eric Garner, an African-American man on Staten Island in the grip of a police choke hold: “I can’t breathe.”
photography  civilrightsmovement  steveschapiro  selma  alabama  1965  history  jamesbaldwin  martinlutherkingjr  andrewyoung  ralphabernathy  johnlewis  mlk 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Chokwe Lumumba: Remembering "America’s Most Revolutionary Mayor" | Democracy Now!
"AMY GOODMAN: That was Jamie Scott and, before that, Gladys Scott, released from jail after 16 years in prison for an $11 robbery. Standing next to them was Chokwe Lumumba, their attorney at the time, now mayor—well, until yesterday. His sudden death is why we’re talking about him today, though we interviewed him the day after he was elected. Also standing there was Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP, who recently wrote a piece for The Huffington Post called "Remembering Chokwe Lumumba." Remember him for us, Ben.

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Sure. Well, you know, that was the fourth or fifth time we had stood next to people that we had worked together to free from prison over the last 20 years. And that was what was so remarkable about Chokwe. I mean, he was a man who was, you know, a true man, if you will. He was active in his church. He had a great marriage to his wife. He had two wonderful kids that he poured all of his love into. He was a well-respected coach. He was an incredible lawyer.

And he chose his—and he also was, you know, somebody with very strong ideals. And he chose to live and practice those ideals on the ground in one of the poorest places in our country. And he brought all of those things with him into the courtroom—all the compassion, all the insight, all his skill as a lawyer—on behalf of the poorest people in the state. And that’s ultimately why Bill and Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP in Mississippi, and so many others, they say he was drafted to run for mayor, because everybody had basically fallen in love—let me put it this way: An overwhelming majority of Jackson—I won’t say everybody, because there were definitely some people who were on the other side—but an overwhelming majority of Jackson, black and white, had fallen in love with Chokwe over the years that he had lived in town, because he was just such a good person. And you knew in your heart, when you live in Jackson, that the toughest thing in Mississippi to be is to be poor and black and in court without good counsel. And he would, at oftentimes risk to his own financial stability, defend anyone who he thought he could help, who he thought needed help, and, most importantly, who he was convinced that nobody else would help.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go back to our interview with Chokwe Lumumba on Democracy Now! the day after he was elected. We talked to him June 6th. I asked him about the FBI’s decision last year to place his former client, Assata Shakur, on the Most Wanted Terrorists list. But before we play that clip, I wanted to ask you, Ben, about the media coverage, both of Chokwe Lumumba, his election, and the significance of the man who some who called the most revolutionary mayor in America—the lack of the coverage. Last night, I was watching the networks, and I opened The New York Times today, the actual paper edition, and I didn’t see a reference. Last night watching MSNBC for hours, now, I didn’t watch every single second, so I might have missed something, but I did not see a reference. As Bill Chandler said, he died late yesterday afternoon.

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah. So, you know, I know that I saw something in the Times this morning online.

AMY GOODMAN: Online, yes.

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah, I mean, Chokwe—I mean, look, Chokwe is somebody who you have to give this much time to really talk about. This is a man who lived, if you will, sort of multiple journeys in his life and who was quixotic to people because, on the one hand, you could easily stereotype him as being some sort of radical—he would say he was a radical, because he didn’t see that as being a bad thing. You know, he was somebody who thought that, frankly, having ideals and practicing them in this country full of so much hypocrisy was a radical thing. But he was also somebody who was an extremely committed mayor, very good at working across the aisle, even in his short tenure, with people in the business community, in the most conservative corners of the city, if you will. And he was somebody who at the end of the day, yes, stood up for black people, but was ultimately committed to fairness for everyone in our country.

And so, you know, for, I think, many in the media who sort of deal in sound bites, there’s just too much there to quickly understand in 30 seconds, and so they move on. But he’s ultimately the type of person that we need to understand better in our country, because our country ultimate is greatest, if you will, because of the contributions of idealists over the years who, yes, may have staked a far-out position at times in their lives, but ultimately served to pull our country closer to its own closely held ideals of fairness and equality and justice and the universal dignity of all humanity."
chokwelumumba  socialjustice  leadership  2014  obituaries  ideals  idealism  praxis  government  policy  politics  law  jackson  alabama  benjaminjealous  amygoodman  akinyeleumoja  kwamekenyatta  fairness  equality  civilrights  justice  us  chokweantarlumumba 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Centre for the Living Arts
[Now renamed as Alabama Contemporary Art Center: http://www.alabamacontemporary.com/

"Founded in 1999, Alabama Contemporary Art Center is a non-profit contemporary arts center located on Cathedral Square in the heart of Mobile’s historic downtown district. Formerly Centre for the Living Arts, Alabama Contemporary is ready to move forward with a clean and simple new graphic idendity, as well as a name that better reflects our position as the state’s premiere showcase for significant art of our time. Our mission, however, remains the same.

At Alabama Contemporary, we are focused on a quest to reinvent what a contemporary arts organization can be for our time. We aim to be a pivotal force in contemporary art for the Southeast by marshaling global talent to engage all sectors of the Mobile community in ideas that matter. Alabama Contemporary investigates themes and topics of particular relevance to the Gulf Coast, functions as a public forum, convener, and cultural broker, forming strategic alliances with other cultural, social, educational and civic institutions. The goal of Alabama Contemporary is to apply creativity and innovation to the pressing needs of the day while creating a national model for constructive community building through the arts."]

"The CLA is focused on a quest to reinvent what a contemporary arts organization can be for our time. We aim to be a pivotal force in contemporary art for the Southeast by marshaling global talent to engage all sectors of the Mobile community in ideas that matter. The CLA investigates themes and topics of particular relevance to the Gulf Coast, functions as a public forum, convener, and cultural broker, forming strategic alliances with other cultural, social, educational and civic institutions. The goal of the CLA is to apply creativity and innovation to the pressing needs of the day while creating a national model for constructive community building through the arts."

History:

"The first CLA exhibitions were installed in the window boxes of the Saenger Theatre as part of the “Art Off Centre” series, which ran from 2001 through 2004. In 2003, the Press-Register, Mobile’s daily newspaper, donated its downtown office space to the CLA. Concurrent with the $6 million campaign to renovate the Saenger, the CLA raised an additional $6.2 million to convert the former Press-Register building into Space 301, an art center that includes a 16,000 SF gallery, a studio space for educational classes and programs, and a 180-seat, 2,300 SF terrace used for film screenings, community events, and second stage performances. Space 301 opened to the public in 2003.

In 2011, under the leadership of new Executive Director Robert L. Sain, the CLA launched its new quest of community engagement through the arts. The first two annual cultural initiatives under the CLA’s new vision of unprecedented community engagement are The Memory Project (April—December 2012) and Futures Project (May—December 2014)."
robertsain  alabama  mobile  art  museums  gulfcoast  openstudioproject  glvo  creativty  innovation  culture  lcproject 
june 2013 by robertogreco
On Libraries | The American Conservative
"Most of what I now know that I consider worth knowing I learned not at school but at these libraries. By the standards of many cities and towns, including the one I live in now, they were not large or well-stocked; but they contained enough to keep a boy’s mind occupied and excited for many years. And when the schools let me down, the libraries did not. Perhaps I infer too much from my own experience, but I cannot help thinking that the health of a community is tied in significant ways to the health of its libraries."
alanjacobs  2012  libraries  cv  learning  education  society  communities  howwelearn  books  access  information  memory  memories  alabama  birmingham 
february 2013 by robertogreco
PieLab - Enjoy!
"We're Open 8am - 5pmEvents!About PieLab

Founded in 2008 through a partnership between the local non-profit of Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization, Inc. (HERO) and a design collective known as Project M, PieLab came to life as a combination pop-up cafe, design studio and civic clubhouse with the mission of: ‘ Pie + Ideas = Conversation. Conversation + Design = Social Change.’ In 2009, PieLab grew into a permanent space on Greensboro, Alabama’s Main Street. Visitors and locals now revere it, as they linger over pie and conversation.  PieLab uses locally grown fruit and produce in its innovative recipes.  Stop by for a full breakfast, lunch, savory pie or a slice of fresh baked sweet pie.  Behind the scenes, Pie Lab also serves as a classroom to instruct local out-of-school youth on small business development and culinary arts, and as a community space to enjoy events. Pie Lab started as a small seed, but is now an acclaimed ALABAMA STAPLE."

[See also http://vimeo.com/7044555 AND http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/magazine/10pielab-t.html?pagewanted=all ]
design  community  food  pielab  projectm  designimperialism  humanitariandesign  education  conversation  srg  glvo  greensboro  alabama  halecounty  popup  pop-ups 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Healing Powers of a Pie Shop - NYTimes.com
"PieLab opened in a makeshift space…Project M team members…at the invitation of the Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization (HERO), a housing-advocacy nonprofit, which also sponsored community-minded local initiatives. The Project M team conceived of their pie shop as a pop-up — a temporary cafe — describing it as a “negative-energy inverter, fueled by pie.”…
PieLab = a neutral place + a slice of pie.A neutral place + a slice of pie = conversation.
Conversation = ideas + design.Ideas + design = positive change.

…operated out of temporary quarters for four months…Within a few months of opening…PieLab-inspired efforts popped up in [other] cities…"

[Article also outlines misteps.]

"All the attention buoyed the PieLab collaborators. But it also created problems. When Project M first arrived in Greensboro, some folk bristled at the language it employed."

[Slide show: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/10/10/magazine/pielab.html?ref=magazine ]

[See also http://mmm.pielab.org/ (nice touch on the URL) AND http://vimeo.com/9386150 ]
alabama  greensboro  popuprestaurants  pop-uprestaurants  lcproject  community  humanitariandesign  designimperialism  projectm  amandabuck  food  glvo  srg  pielab  halecounty  conversation  problemsolving  designbasedsolutions  nonprofit  cultureclash  language  blackbelt  us  change  ideageneration  studios  popup  pop-ups  thirdspaces  cafes  openstudioproject  nonprofits 
august 2011 by robertogreco
P R O J E C T  M  :  T H I N K  W R O N G
"Sure, we may not be known in the in circles. We may not fill the pages of design annuals. And we may never see our names in lights. But, we do know how to save the rain forest with a waterproof book. We do know how to build a park with a postcard. And we know how to bring water to a community with a few pages of newsprint.

We are part of a design movement. We believe that ability equals responsibility. And we are not the only ones. So, we built a lab where designers like you can make a difference. We are building the tools that will build the future. And this is where you come in."

"The human brain tends to think along pre-determined linear thought pathways. Such linear thinking can inhibit true innovation and creative exploration. Project M will encourage, and provide techniques for, “thinking wrong” to generate new ideas and design directions to challenge the status-quo."
maine  design  architecture  change  social  johnbielenberg  alabama  california  activism  humanitariandesign  gamechanging  poptech  sanfrancisco  projectm  projectmlab  lcproject  openstudio  communityservice  halecounty 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Alabama's Homeboys - Los Angeles Times
"For three years, L.A.'s Homeboy Industries...has sent a few of its members on an extraordinary pilgrimage to work with impoverished kids in Alabama Village, Prichard, Ala. Tucked away in the southwest corner of the state, the small community is rural, largely segregated, oppressed by violence and ignored by the surrounding community. Its young people have come to know their enclave as "Death Valley." The povery of the children of Alabama Village is shocking --- even to the Homeboys, who come from the tough inner-city streets of Los Angeles. But there is also much the Homeboys recognize: drug dealers, shootings, dead-end choices and the desperate situation of youth facing no way out. It is in these children 2,000 miles away that the visitors from L.A. find their calling."
homeboyindustries  activism  alabama  urban  latimes  abandonment  atlanta  gangs  journalism  documentary  multimedia  photography  video  poverty 
december 2009 by robertogreco
SNAKEBIT_ BIG BEARD FILMS
"A documantary film on renown architect Samuel Mockbee and the spirit of the Rural Studio"

[Now redirects to: http://www.citizenarchitectfilm.com/ ]
mockbee  architecture  design  ruralstudio  documentary  alabama  auburn  film  sustainability  green  education  activism  universities  collaboration  altgdp 
july 2009 by robertogreco
the rural studio – architecture students learn by designing and building in rural alabama
"the rural studio is different from other university architecture programs. instead of sitting in a classroom, students gain first hand experience by designing and constructing buildings in rural alabama. these buildings are the result of collaborating with the clients and community directly. students in the rural studio actually live in the same community they are working with, understanding the context first hand. the mission of the rural studio is to ‘enable each participating student to cross the threshold of misconceived opinions by putting their educational values to work as citizens of a community’. their belief is that architecture should be created from within, not from outside."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Studio AND http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/rural-studio/
ruralstudio  alabama  learning  lcproject  learningbydoing  mockbee 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Rural Studio Road Trip | Consumed | Sustainability Coverage From American Public Media
"The Speaking of Faith crew travels to rural Hale County in Alabama to document first-hand one of the latest projects of the Rural Studio project"
ruralstudio  alabama  mockbee  rural  design  architecture  community  service  poverty  sustainability  recycling 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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