Category Archives: Art and Activism

20th Annual Buy Nothing Day and Holiday Fair Trade

In its twentieth year of Black Friday anti-activity, Buy Nothing Day is teaming up with #Occupywallstreeet to create #Occupyxmas.  The idea of Buy Nothing Day is to opt out of the Black Friday shopping frenzy that benefits large corporations and to instead refrain from all consumer activities, to literally not buy anything for 24 hours.

However, the ability of some folks to live their lives and support their families depends on other people shopping.  For example, some fair trade artisans rely on foreign consumers to buy their hand made items in order to put food on the table and send their children to school.  If you’d like to purchase fair trade gifts for Christmas, Hanukah, and any other gift giving occasion this year, come to the Waldorf Holiday Fair, on December 3rd.

December 3, 2011
9 am – 5 pm
The Chicago Waldorf School
1300 West Loyola Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Chicago Waldorf Holiday Fair
Vendor Marketplace – unique holiday gifts and treasures
More information Contact Cuentos: 773 412 9838

The Saturday after Thanksgiving will also see alternative holiday shopping activities around the country: Small Business Saturday, a chance to support a local business.  A friend posted the following on Facebook in Colombia:

“Propongámonos comprar todos nuestros regalos de Navidad a través de emprendedores: La amiga que hace postres, la vecina que vende por catálogo, el artesano que hace aros, la amiga que vende por internet, el amigo que tiene su taller en casa. Hágamos que nuestro dinero llegue a personas comunes y no a grandes multinacionales y así, más personas tendrán una Feliz Navidad.

“We’re proposing to buy our own gifts this Christmas instead of buying from businesses: the friend that makes posters, the neighbor that sells by catalog, the artisan who makes rings, the friend that sells on the internet, the friend who has a workshop in his house.  Let’s have our money get to people we know and not to big multinational companies, and this way more people will have a Merry Christmas.”

It’s something to think about.

Gael García Bernal and water privatization in Bolivia


What more could one ask for in a film?

Gael García Bernal featured in a Spanish-made drama about the battles of water privatization in Bolivia – not much is left to desire for two hours of your attention.

After watching the trailer for También la lluvia (Even the Rain), I was experiencing Andean and Iberian nostalgia galore, dreamily remembering bus rides through the Ecuadorian mountains and hearing Spanish accents in Madrid.  After further browsing of the movie’s website,  I found a Milan Kundera quote in the synopsis of the film. I wondered how this movie could appeal to me any bit more.  The screenplay was written by Paul Laverty, the film was directed by Iciar Bollain, and my expectations were thouroughly exceeded upon viewing at the Landmark theater. I highly recommend catching this film wherever you can.


Colectivo la Colmena(Beehive Collective) will be at Centro Autónomo, 3640 W. Lawrence Ave, on Friday, March 18th at 6:30pm, to present Free Trade and stories of global resistance to corporate colonialism. If you have not yet been awed by a … Continue reading

Art telling stories in Libya

A gallery tour in the midst of a revolution? Yes indeed, if you’re in Benghazi, Libya.  Check out video footage of an anti-Gadhafi art gallery featuring images drawn by anti-government protesters, most depicting the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.  The gallery has been called makeshift, and who knows how long these ephemeral works really will remain intact and in Benghazi.  There’s immense value in these pictures as a medium to understand what’s going on right now in Libya, especially when drawn by Libyans’ own hands. We may not understand the Arabic writing, but there are other symbols we can recognize. It’s  a privilege to see these newly created images made to share the protesters’ stories to each other and the international media.  A picture is worth a thousand words after all, right?

A local iman, Salem Jaber, delivered a sermon to about 8,000 people of Benghazi at prayer services on February 25, 2011.  Jaber told the crowd “we want a white revolution…Kadhafi wants to turn it red — but we will not allow that. This is a revolution made by the people. From now, no one will rule except the people.”

Raising Glasses, Raising Funds

Puech Ikots held a successful fundraiser on Sunday for one of the organization’s artists whose house was lost in the recent mudslide in Oaxaca.  Drinks were had and churros were eaten in plenty at Danny’s, all adding up to support Patricio and his family.  The proceeds from the event were sent to Oaxaca on Monday morning. A special congratulations to the armadillo raffle winner!

Thank you Industrial Harvest for the free flour I used to make pumpkin bread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for the accompanying bake sale.

Radios Populares Undead Air

Radios Populares cordially invites you to listen to…

October 22  8pm
1430 W Leland

Corner of Leland and Dover
Red Line to Wilson
Clark 22 bus to Leland

A night of radio resurrection….
– Updates and videos from Latin America
– Discussion about local and national low-power radio movements and legislation
– Upcoming projects and workshops in Latin America and Chicago

Food and Drinks with a Donation! Raffle Prizes and Radios Populares T-Shirts for sale!

“Whoever said that radio is dead is probably dead.”

Please RSVP to so we can plan ahead…..don’t be scared….

Special thanks to our fiscal sponsor: Cuentos Foundation

Defending the Rivers of the Amazon

Check out this amazing video written by Zachary Hurwitz, son of Jeanne Salis, artist and educator, one of Cuentos’ original founding members. Take action also!
Sigourney Weaver Narrates New Google Earth Animation on Brazil’s Controversial Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon Rainforest. Amazon Watch and International Rivers have teamed up to create a state-of-the-art 10-minute Google Earth 3-D tour and video narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver, with technical assistance from Google Earth Outreach. The video is in support of Brazil’s Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu River Forever Alive Movement). The tour allows viewers to learn about the harmful impacts of, and alternatives to the massive Belo Monte Dam Complex on the Amazon’s Xingu River. A Portuguese version of the video and tour, narrated by well-known Brazilian actor Dira Paes to be released soon.