Play, Creativity, and Social Movements: If I Can't Dance, It's Not My Revolution
As we play, we step away from stark reality to conjure up new possibilities for the present and our common future. Today, a new cohort of social activists are using it to create social change and reinvent democratic social relations. In contrast to work or routine, play must be free. To the extent that it is, it infuses a high-octane burst of innovation into any number of organizational practices and contexts, and invites social actors to participate in a low-threshold, highly democratic process of collaboration, based on pleasure and convivial social relations. Despite the contention that such activities are counterproductive, movements continue to put the right to party on the table as a part of a larger process of social change, as humor and pleasure disrupt monotony, while disarming systems of power.
Through this book, Shepard explores notions of play as a social movement activity, considering some of the meanings, applications and history of the concept in relation to social movement groups ranging from Dada and Surrealism to Situationism, the Yippies to the Young Lords, ACT UP to the Global Justice, anti-gentrification, community and anti-war movements of recent years.
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Notes toward an Introduction From Play to Eternity
1 Surrealists Situations and Street Parties History Play and Social Movements
2 Play as Prank From the Yippies to the Young Lords
3 Send in the Clowns Play Pleasure and Struggles against Oblivion
4 Play as Community Building From Gardens to Global Action
5 Play as Street Party Reclaiming Streets and Creating More Gardens
6 Playing in TopsyTurvy Times From Carnival to Carnage
7 From Play to Panic Ludic Organizing in Absurd Times
Other editions - View all
Abbie Hoffman Absurd Response ACT UP’s activism anarchist Andrew Boyd antiwar Aresh arrested Beal Becker bike Billionaires Billionaires for Bush Blotcher Bogad building campaign Carlyle Group carnival chapter Charas clowns community gardens cops coqui create creative crickets culture Dana Beal dance David Crane DiPaulo direct action Duncombe East Side Collective engagement Esperanza Etundi explained feeling forms Global Justice Movement going helped Hoffman Huizinga humor Hungry March Band idea involved Jason Grote Jordan kind LESC living Lower East Side ludic March Band meetings movement of movements mused neighborhood ofthe organizing participants people’s performance playful pleasure police politics of play pranks protest public space queer recalled Reclaim the Streets Shenker Shepard Situationists social change social movements Solnit Starhawk started story strategy street party struggle SuperBarrio tactics theater there’s thing Throughout Time’s tion Yippies York City York’s Young Lords