Harlan Morehouse: The Banality of Catastrophe and the Beauty of Insurrection

By | February 21, 2011

Wednesday March 2nd
7:00 PM
The idea of ecological catastrophe is a strange kind of creature often taking multiple forms – whether it be massive loss of biodiversity, global warming, nuclear waste production, etc. The list goes on, but the central point remains: catastrophe represents a threat to the equilibrium of the existing order. In this talk, however, I intend to challenge the idea of equilibrium, arguing instead that what characterizes the existing order is the commonplace presence of catastrophe. In other words, catastrophe is not the exception but rather the rule of modernity. Following this, I discuss what might happen if we accept catastrophe as the banal order of the day by posing the following questions: 1. How does commonplace catastrophe alter the meaning of ‘the environment’ and the manner in which ‘we’ relate to it? 2. How might we form communities capable of existing within a catastrophic world? And, 3. How does the presence of catastrophe affect our abilities to radically intervene in destructive practices?

Harlan Morehouse is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Geography. He received his MA in Social Anthropology from Central European University in Budapest, and his BA in Literature and Social Science from Bennington College. Broadly speaking, his research interests concern nature-society relations, human-nonhuman interaction, eco-anthropology, and radical pedagogy.

Where Does Haiti Go From Here?

By | February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 17th
at 7pm

What is going on in Haiti now? How has Haiti ’s political and economic history left the country particularly vulnerable to disaster? Where does Haiti go from here?

Black Sheep Books invites you to join us for a community discussion about Haiti. We will discuss the historical context for Haiti ‘s current situation, the earth quake, what’s going on in Haiti now and what the future may hold. We plan to start off the evening by watching a selection of film clips from Democracy Now and Al-Jazeera. Then Bob Belenky, a frequent visitor to Haiti , will show some slides taken during a recent trip to Haiti and lead us in a group discussion.

This event is brought to you by Black Sheep Books and The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action

By | February 6, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011
6:30PM

(film length: 90 minutes)

A film by Sílvia Leindecker & Michael Fox: This new feature-length documentary takes us across the country amidst the economic collapse, to the grassroots solutions in the hands of the people.

In 2008, the United States fell into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The same day, we set out on a trip around the country to ask the “American” people what they had to say about it. In 2010, we went back to see how things had changed. The financial forecasters say the recession is over, but the reality is otherwise.

Their stories reveal desperation, indignation, hope, dreams and a disastrous economic breakdown; chaos generated by a system of inequality. But the financial meltdown is just one of several human rights crises now shaking the United States—in housing, education, health care, etc. The solutions to “Crossing the American Crises” are in the hands of the people.

Featuring the Vermont Worker’s Center; LA’s Bus Rider’s Union; Santa Fe’s local business Alliance; Oakland’s Green Jobs Now; Baltimore’s United Workers; and “American” workers, truck drivers, farmers, homeless, ex-felons, minorities, natural disaster survivors, indigenous, immigrants, and residents from coast to coast—covering nearly 40 states across the nation.

For more info: www.crossingthecrises.com

Find out about other upcoming events at Black Sheep Books: www.blacksheepbooks.org

Sunday Salon: Prison Industrial Complex

By | February 6, 2011

Sunday, February 13th, 3-5 p.m

Black Sheep Books is pleased to present our next Salon Series on February 13th, from 3-5 pm. Join us for a discussion about the prison industrial complex and its implications in Vermont. We are interested in discussing the history of the penitentiary system, how it impacts our societies locally and nationally, as well as alternatives to the system.

The suggested articles and video links listed will help shape our conversation, but are not required reading, so peruse at your leisure. See you at the discussion!

PRISONS/PENITENTIARY SYSTEMS
http://www.prisonsociety.org/about/history.shtml
http://frank.mtsu.edu/~cfrost/mitigation/newjack.htm

PRISON ABOLITION
http://twincities.indymedia.org/2010/aug/prison-abolition-practice-part-two-interview-criminal-justice-kos

ATTICA UPRISING
http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/313

PRISON IN VT
http://www.womenandprison.org/prison-industrail-complex/view/the-vermont-womens-prison-project/

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
http://planetvermont.com/pvq/v8n4/justice.html

Salon Series Film: Carandiru

By | February 6, 2011

Wednesday, February, 9th, 2011
6:30 p.m

(145 minutes)

Please join us for Carandiru, an account of a prison uprising and its implications for the penal system in Brazil. The film is based on the real life experiences of doctor Drauzio Varella while he was doing AIDS prevention social work at Carandiru. While there he found hundreds of convicts living under degrading conditions. The situation came to a climax in 1992, when in order to smother a rebellion, police force killed 111 men. This film is being shown in connection to an on-going series of discussions at Black Sheep Books around our current topic – the prison industrial complex. Suggested readings for the Salon discussion (Feb. 13th 3-5 p.m) are available on our website.