Mumia Abu-Jamal, America’s most famous political prisoner, is internationally known for his “live from death row” radio broadcasts and writings. In his youth, he helped found the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party, wrote for the national newspaper, and began his lifelong work of exposing the violence of the state as it manifests in entrenched poverty, endemic racism, and unending police brutality. We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party new and expanded, is published in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Black Panther Party. A website dedicated to this visionary book has powerful audio recordings by Mumia, additional photos, and texts about his life and his work. Free Mumia!
George Caffentzis is a political philosopher and autonomist Marxist. He is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine and a founding member of the Midnight Notes Collective. His most recent book is In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism (Common Notions/PM Press, 2013).
Colectivo Situaciones is a collective of militant researchers based in Buenos Aires. They have participated in numerous grassroots co-research activities with unemployed workers, peasant movements, neighborhood assemblies, and alternative education experiments. Their most recent book is 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism (Common Notions / Autonomedia, 2011).
Mariarosa Dalla Costa is professor of Globalization, Human Rights, and the Advancement of Women at the Department of Historical and Political Studies of the University of Padua. An historic figure of international feminism, she had devoted her theoretical and practical efforts to the study of the female condition in capitalist development. She has combined this research with that on social movements organizing around the questions of land, agriculture, fishing, and nutrition. Her book The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-authored with Selma James (Falling Wall Press, Bristol, 1972) has been translated into six languages. Her writings have been published in various languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. Many of her articles are available in the web journal The Commoner. In 2009, an anthology of her writings, Dinero perlas y flores en la reproduccion feminista was published in Spain by Akal, Madrid. Her English publications include Women, Development and Labor of Reproduction, co-edited with G.F. Dalla Costa (Africa World Press, Trenton, N. J. and Asmara, Eritrea, 1999) and Gynocide: Hysterectomy, Capitalist Patriarchy and the Medical Abuse of Women (Autonomedia, New York, 2007). Her most recent books in English are Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons, and the Global Fishermen’s Movement (Common Notions, 2014), coauthored with Monica Chilese, and Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal (Common Notions, 2015).
Emory Douglas is former Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, from February 1967 until its discon- tinuation in the early 1980s. Douglas’ art and design concepts were always seen on the front and back pages of The Black Panther newspaper, reflecting the politics of the Black Panther Party and the concerns of the community. Joining forces with Black Panther cofounders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, Douglas was foundational in shaping the Party’s visual and cultural power and sustaining one of its most ambitious and successful endeavors.
Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas, edited by Marc James Léger and David Tomas, features Emory Douglas in conversation with Mia Eve Rollow and Caleb Duarte Piñon, Rigo 23, and Saúl Kak.
His work has been displayed at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, Aus- tralia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles California, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the African American Art & Cultural Complex in San Francisco, California, Richmond Art Center, in Richmond California, Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston Texas. Other exhibitions were held at Urbis, in Manchester, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland, New Zealand, the Beirut Lebanon Art Center, and Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam. His work has appeared in Art in America, PRINT magazine, Juxtapoz, American Legacy magazine and the American Institute of Public Arts. His work is featured in the 2007 publication Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, edited by Sam Durant.
Emory Douglas was born in 1943 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been a resident of the Bay Area since 1951 and attended City College of San Francisco where he majored in commercial art.
Silvia Federici is a long-time feminist, writer, and teacher living in Brooklyn, NY. Her most recent book is Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (Common Notions/PM Press, 2012). Born in Italy, Federici has lectured and taught widely in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the U.S. She has participated in numerous international movements and social struggles, including feminist, education, anti-death penalty, as well as anti-nuclear and anti-globalization movements.
Selma James is a women’s rights and anti-racist campaigner and author. From 1958 to 1962 she worked with C.L.R. James in the movement for West Indian federation and independence. In Padova 1972, she helped co-found the International Wages for Housework Campaign with a number of women whoformed the International Feminist Collective, and in 2000 helped launch the Global Women’s Strike whose strategy for change is “Invest in Caring not Killing”. Her most recent book is Sex, Race, and Class—The Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952–2011 (Common Notions/PM Press, 2012).
Saúl Kak is an artist based in El Rayón, Chiapas. Born in 1985 in Guayabal, Rayón, he is of Indigenous descent and a representative of the Zoque communities in Chiapas. He contributed to Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas. Kak studied painting at the School of Art and Science in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state capital of Chiapas, and completed a B.A. in Arts at the University of Guanajuato. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, making performances, lms, and community paintings with both Zapatista and immigrant communities throughout Mexico. His work combines the knowledge and stories of the Zoque people to the effects of globalization and hyper-capitalism. He is currently working on a feature lm about the Zoque and is trav- eling throughout Mexico, following the Central American migration routes to the United States.
Marc James Léger is coeditor of Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas, and an independent scholar based in Montreal. His essays in art criticism and cultural theory have appeared in Afterimage, Art Journal, C Magazine, Etc, FUSE, Inter, Parachute, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, RACAR, Third Text, and Creative Industries Journal. He is editor of the collected writings and interviews of Bruce Barber in Performance, [Performance] and Performers (YYZBBOKS, 2007) and Littoral Art and Communicative Action (Common Ground, 2013). He is also editor of Culture and Contestation in the New Century (Intellect, 2011), a series of A essays on radical cultural practice, creative industries, and neoliberal governmentality. He is author of Brave New Avant Garde: Essays on Contemporary Art and Politics (2012) and The Neoliberal Undead: Essays on Contemporary Art and Politics (2013), both published by Zero Books. Other projects include the edited text The Idea of the Avant Garde—And What It Means Today (Manchester University Press, 2014) as well as Drive in Cinema: Essays on Film, Theory and Politics (Intellect, 2015). Léger has exhibited artwork in Canada, the US, and the UK.
Caleb Duarte Piñon lives and works between the San Francisco Bay Area and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. He is a contributor to Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas. Piñon studied at Fresno City College and is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was appointed as Oakland Arts Commissioner by then Mayor Jerry Brown in 2006. He has exhibited work at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Red Dot Art Fair in New York, The Sullivan Galleries in Chicago, Jack Fisher Gallery in San Francisco, Gallery 727 Los Angeles, the California Museum of Art in Oakland, the Fresno Art Museum and many others. He has given talks in such places as the De Young Museum, SF, the Mexican Museum, SF, the University of the Dirt, Chiapas, the University of Social Science in Tuxla MX, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the 2012 Creative Time Summit in New York. He has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, in Santiago de Cuba, Chile, at El Pital, Honduras, in Mexico City, and throughout the US. His work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art Ltd, The San Francisco Chronicle, and SPARK public television. Duarte is cofounder and director of EDELO (Where the United Nations Used to Be), a house of art in movement and an intercommunal artist residency of diverse practices. Situated in Chiapas, Mexico, the space invites participants with diverse practices to live and create. He is curator of the Zapantera Negra project.
Rigo 23 (Ricardo Gouveia) is a visual artist and activist who works in diverse media, often in collaborative and public settings. He is a contributor to Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas. Born on the Portuguese Island of Madeira, Rigo 23 has been based in California since the mid 1980s. For three decades he has worked closely with individuals and communities dealing with the consequences of ongoing institutional and historical injustice. He is particularly known for work that highlights the politics and political prisoners of the Black Panthers, from the Angola Three to Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the American Indian Movement’s Leonard Peltier. He is one of the founding members of the Clarion Alley Mural Project and is an occasional professor at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Mia Eve Rollow is a project-based artist who works with social sculpture, performance, installation, video, sound, drawing and cartoons. She is a contributor to Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas. Rollow is also an organizer and curator and has created both solo and community works for projects in Mexico, the United States, Italy, Portugal, Canada and Hong Kong. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland and The School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, where she received a Master’s degree in Sculpture. In 2007 she suffered a spinal cord injury and subsequently undertook seven months of healing and survival by bringing together the resources of art and life. Much of her work is informed by this experience. In 2009 she moved to Chiapas, Mexico, where she cofounded EDELO with her collaborator Caleb Duarte. She is currently artistic codirector in rotation for the Red Poppy House in San Francisco, California.
Strike Debt emerged out of assemblies held in May 2012 in solidarity with the student strikes in Montreal. Working groups such as Occupy Theory, Occupy Student Debt Campaign, and Free University collaborated to hold an assembly on Education and Debt. Several weeks later, the group continued to meet under the name “Strike Debt,” which quickly realized that organizing around all forms of debt provided much-needed energy and systematic analysis to the movement. The Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual is a project of Strike Debt, which is building a movement of debt resistance and liberation based on principles of anti-oppression, autonomy, democratic decision-making, and direct action.
David Tomas is coeditor of Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas. He is an artist, anthropologist, and writer whose production in the visual arts has its roots in a post-1970s critique of conceptual art’s disciplinary infrastructure. For the last forty years, Tomas’ work has explored the nature and functions of different forms of knowledge that are produced at the interface of the history of contemporary art, the history and the anthropology of media and the cultures and transcultures of imaging technologies. Both in visual work and his writings Tomas has conducted this exploration within a framework in which art is considered to be a discipline that operates in tension with the other disciplines that constitute the university’s knowledge matrix. He has exhibited in Canada, the US, and Europe and has held visiting research and fellowship positions at the California Institute of the Arts, Goldsmiths College, and the National Gallery of Canada. He is the author of several books, including Transcultural Space and Transcultural Beings (1996), A Blinding Flash of Light: Photography Between Disciplines and Media (2004), Beyond the Image Machine: A History of Visual Technologies (2004), and more recently, Escape Velocity: Alternative Instruction Prototype for Playing the Knowledge Game (2012) and Vertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman (2013). Tomas is Professor in Visual Arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Wages for Students was anonymously authored and published in the fall of 1975 by George Caffentzis, Monty Neill, and John Willshire-Carrera, three activists associated with the journal Zerowork and later with the Midnight Notes Collective. Wages for Students / Sueldo para estudiantes / Des salaires pours les étudiants is a new trilingual edition that includes an introduction by the pamphlet's original authors alongside a transcript of a collective discussion organized by Jakob Jakobsen, Malav Kanuga, Ayreen Anastas, and Rene Gabri, following a public reading of the pamphlet by George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, Cooper Union students, and other members and friends of 16 Beaver.