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Blueprints for Change Manual

We're launching the first edition of the Blueprints for Change Progressive Organizing and Campaigning Manual, a culmination of two years' worth hard work from our core group of 20+ helpers and includes field wisdom from over 100 kickass organizers and campaigners who contributed.

A bit more promo before we get to downloading:

14 detailed how-to guides on cutting-edge approaches to progressive organizing and mobilizing
totaling over 180 pages
bakes in the field experiences and insights of over 100 progressive campaign innovators from across the world
FREE! And designed as a user-friendly PDF with easy internal navigation links

Download the Manual

Here is your direct download link for the Blueprints for Change Manual: Download the Manual right away as PDF (After clicking the link, check your downloads for the Manual PDF doc.)


Share the Manual

We'd love it if you shared this manual with other progressive organizers and campaigners. When you do, please direct them to the Manual signup process here: Share this link for Manual promotion (We ask this to ensure that this manual circulates among progressives only as much as possible.)


And to make promo easier for you, we have compiled some descriptive text, sample tweets and Facebook posts here.


Hope this resource is a help to you and the communities you organize with,


Baltimore’s Food Apartheid: A pre-workshop preparation session

This year seven members of the international Memefest network from Slovenia, Australia, USA and Canada will meet in Baltimore (Nov 4.- 22.), invited by Goucher College, to collaborate with Black Yield Institute, Goucher students, academics and members of the community.

Memefest has in its 17 years history a rich experience of implementing its methodology in various contexts, cultural settings and geographic locations. Our events have so far taken place in Ljubljana, Nijmegen, Brisbane, Belgrade, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Havana, Manizales, and Dubai.

Our event in Baltimore is much anticipated for many reasons. The very topic – Food Apartheid, the racial structuring of the growing, distribution, and sale of food, leading to a lack of healthy food alternatives in Baltimore’s black neighborhoods, is closely related to Memefest’s work on Food Democracy.

To illustrate the situation we are going to engage with: Cherry Hill, the Baltimore neighborhood where Black Yield Institute mainly operates, has not had a grocery store in the last 15 years. At the same time Cherry Hill is home to some of the largest public housing in the whole of the USA. As a city with a large African American population, Baltimore is an example of how systemic oppression, since the very days of slavery, works today. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2017), of the estimated 623,000 residents living in Baltimore City, 25 percent face food insecurity and 86 percent of them are African American. No food, bad fast food, unhealthy food together with a lot of illegal and legal drugs in predominantly black and poor neighborhoods create immense social problems, while capitalism is still profiting. Most of the food that can be bought is designed as a drug and creates addiction too. This deprivation is sometimes called “food deserts,” which effectively erases the presence of the people living in these communities, and obscures the racist structuring of food resources. The more appropriate term is “food apartheid,” to indicate the racial structures in play, that has its historical roots in Baltimore in the imposed deprivation of investment in Baltimore’s primarily-black neighborhoods.

But the city has, besides the negative representations, a history of strong dissent, political action and incredible resilience through community action. Many residents lovingly call Baltimore “Charm City” and the historical resistance to capitalism’s and white supremacy’s predatory structuring, exploitation, racism and general assault on humanity makes Baltimore a symbol of the struggle for a better world.

Food is a key medium for social design. It is at the core of any political struggle and this is especially evident in Baltimore.

In their own words, Black Yield Institute is a Pan African power institution serving as a think tank and collective action network that addresses food apartheid. Black Yield Institute explains is mission here: https://tinyurl.com/y2xnruhz

The aim of this blog post is to open up a dialogue about Baltimore’s Food Apartheid, Interventions into food Politics with Memefest and Black Yield Institute. Concretely the discussion should provide some framing of the methods, strategies and exchange ideas and thoughts that will help provide a common ground for our exciting upcoming work. We are inviting all collaborators and participants in the event to share your thoughts in the comments section: students, educators, researchers, practitioners, activists and community members. We are also inviting the members of the broader Memefest and activist international community.

How can our collaboration and interventions contribute to the mission of Black Yield Institute? What are the most effective methods, strategies, and formats of communication for these themes? In what ways would you want to be involved in the process?

Serving Food Justice: An exhibition of radical food interventions

We are announcing our next exhibition together with the Memefest event happening in Baltimore this November.

Capitalism’s domination of our food system has far reaching consequences. The treatment of life as a machine for consumption, and corporate control of food resources, have devastating effects on the environment, our health, and our communities. In response, groups around the world are countering the machine and designing utopian alternatives and everyday interventions.

The exhibition Serving Food Justice brings together international and local works addressing these issues and providing practical alternatives. It has been created in association with Baltimore’s Food Apartheid, a three-week series of extradisciplinary workshops and interventions into the politics of food, centered at Goucher College and involving the international media and design network Memefest and Baltimore’s Black Yield Institute, an organization working toward developing community control of food resources. This exhibition shows specially curated works from Memefest’s book Food Democracy and local groups’ efforts to provide healthy, equitable food distribution, and to combat Food Apartheid – the racial structuring of the growing, distribution, and sale of food, leading to a lack of healthy food alternatives in Baltimore’s black neighborhoods. The exhibition is an open space in the making, a critical, experimental, and speculative platform, which will also exhibit work emerging from the workshops and interventions.

Serving Food Justice is curated by Daniel Marcus and Oliver Vodeb.
Memefest is the Sherman Fairchild Foundation Visiting Artist for Interdisciplinary Digital Arts in 2019-20 at Goucher College.
Baltimore’s Food Apartheid: Interventions in Media and Design with Memefest and Black Yield Institute is being held November 4 – 22, 2019 at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Image credits:
Kelsey Hutchinson: Corn Goes to War
Mentor: Oliver Vodeb


How Hong Kong is Calling on the World for Help

See the tactics used by protesters fighting for democracy in Hong Kong.

Walk. An intervention in public space.

We have been thoroughly interested in the urban space and the possibilities of its decolonization from capital. The Situationist concepts of psychogeography and the the dérive are still very much at our hearts and together with Culture Jamming are some of the things Memefest is looking lately into with fresh eyes.

We have currently a lot of discussions about the future of our work and with this we reflect on the cultures that we were part of from the beginning, and the cultures that have influenced us strongly. How relevant are these concepts today and how can we use them in the future?

Constantin Demner from Vienna has submitted this beautiful work to Memefest in 2004. It is an exploration of some of the neighborhoods in London. Walk "uses the language of street art to bring local history to life in the imagination of passers-by." [...]" A 2km long line has been painted onto the pavement, forming the path to follow between stenciled panels that have also been applied to the pavement, pointing out local history, facts and sometimes more personal associations with the area."

Our next book will be about making things public. We are very excited, but more on this soon.

Walk, is a beautiful work of design merging with street art and public intervention. It is a profoundly intimate project. Yes, intimacy... we you will hear us talking about it much more soon...

ps: we hope you will enjoy the LO-FI aesthetic of the video!
ps2#: you can find more visual material on the project here: https://www.studioelastik.com/walk-1

Global Liberal Media Please

We have lately again become interested into Culture Jamming, a practice we have been very involved in in the early 2000' and have been nurturing for many years. At the very start of Memefest Culture Jamming was central to our understanding that we can reclaim the media and that media interventions should to be fun.

Lot's has happened since than and Culture Jamming became for a while very popular and than again almost disappeared from the repertoire of creative workers who wanted to participate in the processes of making things public outside the commercial realm. It simply wasn't cool anymore. But despite this change there was a smaller number of people, which kept doing it magnificently.

We think its time to take Culture Jamming seriously again. As part of our future investigation we will teach an assignment in a masters class in communication design on Culture Jamming and have started collecting best international examples in order to find out possibilities to expand this practice further.

One of the Culture Jamming projects we like the most is Kyle Magee's work in Melbourne. In many ways it is a league of its own. We are very impressed!

What you will see is a document about and and interview with anti public advertising protester Kyle Magee by Bernadette Mcgough. It was a curated submission to the Memefest Friendly Competition 2014 and Kyle was invited to our in residence program.

The Situationist Times and some thoughts on Memefest publishing

The Situationists had an immense influence on Memefest from its very beginnings in 2002. The concepts of détournement and dérive played a big role in developing our own tactics and are still part of Memefest arsenal of tools when we develop public interventions or teach about them.

One of the very important tactics Memefest used is publishing, which we see as a intervention into the public sphere. In 2003 Memefest started a blog, which back than- written in Slovenian language was the first of its kind in Slovenia. It was a regular publication about communication, design and art and their critical relationship to the colonized public sphere. In 2005 we started to regularly publish an English blog. After years of regular publishing, and the implosion of the blogsphere into tiny little self referential clusters of online publications we discovered (again) the printed medium. In its ethos connected to the zine culture, but true to Memefest principles of bridging different cultures of knowledge production our books are a mix of radical and institutional publishing. Here the three bigger book projects: http://memefest.org/en/memebooks/

Another publishing platform that we have developed is our on-line social network- free of embedded surveillance, advertising and hidden forms of value extraction. We do think it is important. As a form or radical self publishing and a small alternative social network it operates modestly but steadily. We have to admit, people, even activists, seem to find it difficult to leave stupid Facebook. We use it too, in intervals and largely for promotional reasons, but we regularly publish on this alternative medium and maintain it.

Than there is the Memeblog, which is used for occasional posts about what we do as well as about what we think. In its best form it is used as a platform to discuss strategic issues or particular topics, which we feel are important and of our great interest. Here we sometimes invite close comrades from our core network for a public discussion.

The Openblog, another publishing channel is here for anyone who has a profile on memefest.org to use as a open blog platform.

It has been a while since all this tools have been designed and put online on our web site. But lately a new discussion has emerged in our network about the web site and some say we should start working on an app. The thing is that memefest.org operates as a slow web. It is not even designed for smart phones. We like it like that but we are keen to extend our reach.

New collaborations are emerging and with them new fields of knowledge stream into the discussions. Cybernetics, digital design, data design to name a few, and we are curious and excited.

Our Memeblog will become more lively again. We plan to start a series of interviews and see venues to than translate them into printed publication via micro publishing projects. And we plan to start working on our next big new book soon, published in collaboration with an independent academic publisher. After a little online publishing break walking in a weird black hole, we got our digital inspiration back- and it feels great.

This is of course inspiring too. The Situationist Times, with video material explaining the history of the zine. And on top of this post, check McKenzie Wark discussing the legacy of the publication. Here you go and come back to this place for more soon!






Memefest Collective/Network

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