Art and Upheaval
Art and Upheaval: Artists on the Worlds’ Frontlines, by William Cleveland, with a foreword by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, is a nonfiction book released by New Village Press in August 2008. The book documents artists in six parts of the world who have been working to rebuild peace and the culture of their communities following major social trauma. In Australia, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Watts California and Serbia/Bosnia, these cultural workers used their art to respond to civil wars, dictatorship, and other political oppression specific to their locations and situations. Their works expand the definition of community-based art--“the creative expression that emerges from communities of people working together to improve their individual and collective circumstances”— and offer answers to the question the author poses in his introduction, “Can art save lives?”
Art and Upheaval illustrates how opposing forces in the same community can come together under the umbrella of art for the purpose of social, political and economic change. All artists featured in the book play the role of activist in addition to art-maker, and the book tells the story of the challenges they faced as a result of remaining committed to their projects, their art and their communities. Many received violent threats to themselves and to their families, ostracism and imprisonment, while helping their communities heal.
Featured artists include The Watts Prophets of Los Angeles, California; DAH Teatar, a theater group of the former Yugoslavia; Trevor Jamison, Australian Aboriginal storyteller, writer and actor; Walter Kefu Chakela, South African playwright; Kim Berman, facilitator and print-maker; Ly Daravuth, Cambodian facilitator and artist; and numerous artists involved in the Community Arts Forum in Belfast, a center aimed “to provide greater access to the arts to all people in Northern Ireland.”
Author William Cleveland spent eight years documenting the communities profiled in this book and provides direct expressions of the artists through visuals, poetry and theater, as well as contextual histories that span the past half century. Art and Upheaval is his second major title and the tenth to be published by New Village Press, a non-profit publisher specializing in works about grassroots community development and community-based art.
New Village Press is a nonprofit publisher based in Oakland, CA, specializing in works of community building and cultural development at the grassroots level. Publications address topics in the field of community development, such as community-based arts, neighborhood commons, urban ecology, restorative justice, and green-collar jobs. The Press crosses boundaries between academic and informal education and professional disciplines.
Authors include neighborhood commons activist Karl Linn, community cultural development specialist Arlene Goldbard, and award-winning cartoonist Keith Knight. New Village Press was recognized as the Best Small Publisher in the East Bay, 2006, by East Bay Express and is a national publishing project of Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), an educational non-profit organization founded in 1982. Consortium Book Sales & Distribution distributes their books in the U.S. and Canada.
- Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Arts, by Keith Knight, Mat Schwarzman and many others; 2006; Published by New Village Press; ISBN 978-0-9766054-3-0.
- Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World’s Frontlines by William Cleveland; 2008; page 16; Published by New Village Press; ISBN 978-0-9766054-6-1.
-  ADPSR