Monday, November 9, 2015

Howard Zinn Book Fair returns to San Francisco on Sunday Nov 15th

I wouldn't miss this year's Howard Zinn Book Fair, even setting aside Radical Storytelling: Writing Activism Into Fiction -- the HZBF panel in which I will participate with three other Bay Area authors; and even if it weren't for the table I've reserved to offer Consequence to attendees alongside a co-panelist and yet another fellow-author. Let me explain why, then I'll plug Radical Storytelling...

The Keynote Conversation at 12:30 pm between Dr. Claybourne Carson and Alicia Garza couldn't be more important or immediate. The Stanford University history professor, who has directed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute and the MLK Papers Project for thirty years, will discuss Black Lives Matter: Past Present and Future with the co-founder of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Don't miss it.

The program is too rich to detail in its entirety here, so I'll settle for listing five of the panels I wish I could attend (I may get to see one of the only-three listed below that don't overlap with my own 11-12 panel ... but only if my fellow-authors will spell me at our table). Here's my list:
  • Stolen Land: Primitive Accumulation and the Dispossession of Native Americans, 11-12 (Ragina Johnson)
  • Changing Natures in the Capitalcene, 11-12 (Andrej Gurbacic, Eddie Yuen, Michelle Glowa)
  • Capitalism Papers, 1:45-2:45 pm (Jerry Mander)
  • Reinventing Left Publications With Jacobin, 3-4 pm (Bhaskar Sunkara)
  • The Legacy of ACT-UP, 4:15-5:15 (Laura Thomas, Mike Shriver, Lito Sandoval, Rebecca Hensler, Eric C. Ciasullo)
Three of the five include panelists I know and respect from activism past, present, and future: from the anti-apartheid movement of the mid-1980s, AIDS activism in the eighties and nineties, anti-torture work of the aughts, and climate activism today. While I've admired Jerry Mander for decades, since reading his epic Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, I've never seen him speak. And I'd be fascinated to hear what Bhaskar Sunkara has to say about building a new generation of engaging, invigorating publications for a twenty-first century left.

Radical Storytelling: Writing Activism Into Fiction

The panel in which I'm participating kicks off at 11am in the Carlo Tresca Room (a.k.a. room 315), and features discussion and reading with debut novelists and longtime activists Diana Block (Clandestine Occupations: An Imaginary History), Steve Masover (Consequence) and Kate Raphael (Murder Under The Bridge); and author/activist Starhawk, whose novel City of Refuge is forthcoming. You can check out my description of Kate's and Diana's books in a blog I posted last month, Activist Fiction: it's about engagement, not The Issue. Here's the capsule description for Radical Storytelling: Writing Activism Into Fiction:
Behind the marathon meetings, the hours of diligent preparation, and the methodical work involved in making social change,  heartbreaking, hair raising, life affirming stories lie hidden. Too often these stories remain invisible or are co-opted by the corporate media in sensationalistic ways to serve the status quo.  How do we as activists transform our lived experiences into page-turning, imaginative fiction that can move both activist readers and people who have never participated in a social movement? How do we move beyond the sound bytes and rhetoric that sometimes limit activism to portray characters and situations that have psychological and political depth, and tell radical stories that are compelling to a broad variety of readers?
If you plan to come, please RSVP for Radical Storytelling... on Facebook. I hope you'll be there! And please do come by our table before or afterward to say hello, meet Kate Raphael and Barbara Rhine (Tell No Lies), and pass on the best of what you've seen and heard at the panel discussions we had to miss!

Here's the logistical lowdown for the Howard Zinn Book Fair:
Date: Sunday 15 November, 2015
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Place: San Francisco City College's Mission Campus, 1125 Valencia St. @ 22nd (map; 24th St. BART)
See you Sunday...

Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Activist Fiction: it's about engagement, not The Issue
Sticking your neck out
Robert Redford, the Weather Underground, and why we read books

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