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Strike MoMA “Phase 2” Starts off Small With Activist-led Teach-in

After 10 eventful weeks of protests in opposition to the Museum of Trendy Artwork this spring, adopted by a three-month summer time hiatus, the Strike MoMA activists returned to the museum on Friday, September 10, to arrange for the following section of their marketing campaign.

Attended by about 30 activists, lots of whom have been college students, the assembly at Manhattan’s City Plaza on West 53rd Avenue, their common spot in entrance of MoMA, was a collection of workshops in preparation for a city-wide protest on September 17, to be held underneath the slogan “Globalize the Intifada.” The workshops coated topics like struggles in Palestine and the Dominican Republic which can be associated to companies owned by some MoMA trustees, and a newbie’s information for direct actions. The assembly marked “phase 2” of the Strike MoMA marketing campaign, which advocates for ending the museum’s dependence on billionaire donors with questionable companies and requires a brand new museum mannequin, or a “post-MoMA future,” that facilities the wants of on a regular basis folks and marginalized communities.

The assembly marked the start of “phase 2” of the Strike MoMA marketing campaign

In comparison with the fierce weekly protests between April and June, which peaked in clashes with NYPD officers and MoMA’s safety employees, the assembly on Friday was a peaceful gathering of pals and allies who have been comfortable to reconnect and equipment up for motion.

The protesters adorned the plaza with banners in opposition to MoMA, settler colonialism, and “modernity,” together with one banner that confirmed photos of the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from a maximum-security Israeli prison earlier in September. The organizers additionally handed out pamphlets and zines, together with a “Decolonial Operations Manual” surveying earlier protests by Decolonize This Place and different teams in opposition to establishments just like the Brooklyn Museum, the American Museum of Pure Historical past, and the Whitney Museum.

A Strike MoMA organizer demonstrating using pretend blood
The organizers additionally handed out pamphlets and zines, together with a “Decolonial Operations Manual.”

Juber Bassal, a Palestinian vacationer from the town of Acre in northern Israel, chanced upon the protest after visiting MoMA for the primary time.

“I saw the Palestinian flags, so I came to listen,” he advised Hyperallergic, referring to 2 banners that the protesters had posted on the plaza.

After listening to a workshop by the Palestinian-American youth group Inside Our Life, Bassal confessed: “I was not aware of MoMA’s early support of the Zionist movement.”

Moved by the surprising present of solidarity along with his folks, the 33-year-old advertising and marketing supervisor steered a political vacationer information for Palestinians visiting New York, mapping vacationer sights led by individuals who may be implicit of their oppression.

“I don’t regret visiting MoMA, but I would’ve planned my trips differently had I known these facts,” he mentioned.

Members of Inside Our Lifetime conducting a workshop about Palestine

Sandy Placido and Manny Roa, two Bronx-based activists, carried out a workshop about Barrick Gold, an organization that operates gold mines within the Dominican Republic. The corporate is accused of widespread air pollution, displacement of communities, and human rights abuses. Gustavo Cisneros, the husband of MoMA trustee Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, sits on Barrick’s board of administrators, making the museum a goal for the protesters.

“[MoMA] talks about abstract art while ignoring the reality of dead humans, animals, plants, and crops,” Placido mentioned after describing gut-wrenching images of tens of dead cows in Naranjo, Cotuí, that died final week after ingesting contaminated river water. Native farmers accused Barrick of polluting the water supply and inflicting the dying of the livestock, and laid the carcasses in entrance of the corporate’s places of work.

Sandy Placido talking about poisonous gold mining within the Dominican Republic

Watching Placido’s speech was Elizabeth, a retired elementary college trainer and long-time MoMA member who occurred upon the protest after a go to to the museum.

“I agree with them,” the previous trainer advised Hyperallergic in regards to the protesters, saying that she was moved by Placido’s phrases.

“Was is your goal?” she later requested the 2 activists.

“Our goal is to stop the gold mining and MoMA’s artwashing of it,” Placido answered.

Elizabeth, a retired college trainer, talking with activists Sandy Placido and Manny Roa

“What can I do to help as a member?” Elizabeth proceeded. Roa suggested her to “divest from MoMA” any manner she will.

The activists will return to MoMA subsequent Friday as certainly one of a number of stops of the “Globalize the Intifada” tour. At this stage, it’s not clear if the organizers plan to renew their weekly protests exterior of the museum. MoMA has not responded to Hyperallergic’s request for remark.

“Even if we don’t know what the post-MoMA future is, the mere idea of these three words printed large in front of MoMA is important,” mentioned Ash Moniz, an artist who attended the protest. “It creates an imaginative vacuum where we can think what a post-MoMA future can be.”

City Plaza in Higher Manhattan adorned with Strike MoMA’s banners

The thoughts works desperately to fill the gaps in these misplaced tales.


Is dependent upon who’s doing the subverting.


As funding organizations prioritize participatory public artwork processes and inventive engagement, we’d look George Rhoads’s corpus as an instigator of engagement.





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