With examples from community arts projects in five countries, this collection will inform and inspire students, artists, and activists.¡VIVA! is the product of a five-year transnational research project that integrates place, politics, passion, and praxis. Learn from Central America: Kuna children's art workshops, a community television station in Nicaragua, a cultural marketplace in Guadalajara, Mexico, community mural production in Chiapas; and from North America: arts education in Los Angeles inner-city schools, theatre probing ancestral memory, community plays with over one hundred participants, and training programs for young artists in Canada. These practices offer critical hope for movements hungry for new ways of knowing and expressing histories, identities, and aspirations, as well as mobilizing communities for social transformation. Beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, the book also includes a DVD with videos that bring the projects to life.
Deborah Barndt is Professor and Coordinator of the Community Arts Practice (CAP) Program in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto. She is the author ofTangled Routes: Women, Work, and Globalization on the Tomato Trail, Second Edition and editor ofWild Fire: Art as Activism.
¡VIVA! is a powerful read, raising the bar on what we need to know and where we can grow. It is heartening to sense that we are part of a rising stream on its way to becoming a river. This book will become a touchstone in a growing international network of allies, so that more untold stories and projects can be heard and become part of a building momentum.
¡VIVA! offers community art practitioners and theorists a complex and engaged analysis of the conjuncture between politics, economics, pedagogy and culture. The narratives that are constructed within this book are as articulate as they are diverse leaving me with the impression that it would be even more instructional to hear from a greater number of the actual projects' participants. This book is an important contribution to the discourse about the problematics of institutionalizing community art practice; the tendency towards the imbalance of power within collective creative endeavors; and the tensions between oppression, empowerment and resistance through art and education.
[¡VIVA!] is a fascinating exploration, a pan-American quest for truths, justice, art and beauty, a quest with many possibilities, contradictions, and always more questions. I am very impressed and excited by this book: it is a gift, a major contribution to our understanding of oppression, popular education and community art, but also and always, of the human longing for justice. A very welcome source of inspiration in these times.