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Guerilla Joy: Creating Random Acts of Joyful Activism through Written and Visual Ephemera

November 5 @ 2:00 pm



11/05/22, 2:00pm – 3:30pm – Guerilla (adj): referring to actions or activities performed in an impromptu way, often without authorization

Street art and (uncommissioned) public art have long been used as guerilla tactics to communicate ideas and inspire towards action. It is perhaps the most accessible form of activist expression, as it meets us in our daily lives, and brings the message to any person who happens by. It is surprising and unavoidable; it is direct. It takes place away from our screens, in the rich tactility that is real life. In these turbulent recent years, we have all surely encountered something out in the world that stuck an internal chord. Perhaps a phrase scrawled on the side of a building, an unexpected sculpture constructed in the corner of a park, or a poster pasted on the door of a bathroom stall. Likely, the surprise of it was as impactful as the message itself. The messages are usually related to more serious topics: systemic injustice, politics, oppression, and ecological crisis. Things need to be acknowledged and talked about. But doesn’t joy also need to be present? How might this tactic be used to counter the onslaught of worry, fear, and heartbreak we are inundated by on most days? How might these approaches be used to help proliferate small moments of joy in people’s lives? Why and how and where is joy necessary? What could the activism of joy look like in our communities?

In this workshop, participants will explore these questions and create ephemera using collage, drawing, writing prompts, and other techniques. We will begin by looking at some examples of random public visual activism and Adrienne Maree Brown’s concept of “pleasure activism,” brainstorm and do some freewriting to get the ideas going and then set off to make our own pieces to distribute into our world in intentional ways. Please bring a notebook and something to write with, for the idea generation portion of the workshop. Ephemera-creation materials will be provided, though you are encouraged to bring any materials that strike joyful feelings within you. Please also bring a sense of play and an openness to whatever notions may arise. Any creation takes on the energy it is created with, so the best way to approach this workshop will be as playtime, experiment, and exciting curiosity.

In preparation for the workshop, participants are encouraged to spend a few days noticing the presence and absence of joy in the world around them. Where, in your daily life, feels particularly rich with joy? Where feels void? Where in the world do you notice others frequently experiencing joy? Where could a beam of positive light be shone? It may be helpful to take notes or journal about these questions beforehand.


November 5
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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The Vandeveer Workshop (Rm. 220)
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302 United States
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MARCH 2020

As of today, 3/12/2020, The Dairy Arts Center remains open and operational. Should scheduling changes occur, ticket holders will be directly notified by The Dairy Arts Center.

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