I have decided to expand the Poetics of Resistance reading group toward a larger focus on not only Jeff Conant's new book, but also other titles (i.e., Re:Imagining Change) that contribute analysis re: narratives, storytelling, memes and other "public relations". Hopefully this will develop into a quality resource for information on how we can can consciously approach more effective and vivid movement. Thus, please contribute and read up for participation in the On Narratives of Resistance reading group.
After meeting with Jeff Conant at the Wooden Shoe (Philadelphia), I felt his new book A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zaptista Insurgency merited a purposeful book review/interview. However in spirit with the book itself, I don't believe my simple reading nor Jeff's thoughtful answers to my questions would be sufficient alone. I therefore propose that anyone interested pick up a copy of Jeff's book and contribute content to the Poetics of Resistance reading group that I will be administrating:
Even for those not interested in Zapatismo, Latin American politics or social movement narratives, there is some pretty compelling content applicable for all types of movement and those interested in organizing. Most importantly, I believe there is some applicability to those interested in understanding how the Right has co-opted certain popular feelings that should otherwise logically be a part of Left movement and sympathy. To be more concrete, Jeff focuses on how cultural narratives, whether mystical or not, construct individuals and groups' experienced realities. For instance, if I believe that certain supernatural elements exist and that corresponds to events in my life… then that is my reality regardless of science or rational proof otherwise. Hence, A Poetices of Resistance observes how the Zaptistas have consciously intertwined cultural and historical narratives into their struggle.
As I have not finished the book yet, this is a superficial and off the cuff assessment of the work. Nonetheless, I highly encourage participation in this group. Once the page is active, please feel free to post comments, reviews or other content that can be attached and filtered with the reading group page. Hopefully we can collectively approach a robust understanding of Jeff's work and have some application to our own organizing and movement work.
** If you are unable to purchase a copy, please refer to this link with your zipcode for nearby library/university copies available –> World Library Catalog
Jeff Conant will also be at the Baltimore Bookfest speaking at the Radical Bookfair Pavillion hosted by Red Emma's next weekend September 26, 1PM **