About this project
We've hit our $12,000 goal! Thanks everyone for your generous support! We'll post updates as the project takes shape. In the meantime, click here to check out draft mock-ups of four completed modules.
Beautiful Trouble will be a book & web toolbox that puts the best ideas and tactics of creative action in the hands of the next generation of change-makers, connecting the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest to the popular outrage of the current political moment.
From prank websites to militant carnivals, flash mobs to virtual sit-ins, social activism has a creative new edge that is melding prank and PR, direct action protest and pop art. More and more, activists and artists find themselves together on the barricades.
But in the heat of battle, the principles that make creative actions successful seldom get hashed out or written down -- until now. Beautiful Trouble will arm our movements with their own best weapons.
Beautiful Trouble will pull together an interlocking set of design principles, best practices, innovative tactics and case studies, that will enable anyone to pull off effective creative actions.
We're gathering the content from seasoned artists and activists across the world. Seven grassroots groups are contributing their best ideas, including Agit-Pop/The Other 98%, The Yes Men/Yes Labs, The Center for Artistic Activism, SmartMeme, Beyond the Choir, Waging Nonviolence, The Ruckus Society and Nonviolence International. Longtime troublemaker and founder of Billionaires for Bush Andrew Boyd is facilitating the process, and independent publisher O/R Books has signed on to produce the book.
We've been crowd-sourcing the content, now we're crowd-sourcing the funding from folks like you. We're passing the hat here on Kickstarter so we can deliver on our promise to put the best possible tools in the hands of the next generation of change-makers. Your support is crucial to the project's success.
Please join us in making Beautiful Trouble. Check out the frequently asked questions below and the incentives on the right.
Beautiful Trouble is a collaborative project of http://agit-pop.com//http://other98.com/, http://theyesmen.org//http://www.yeslab.org/, http://artisticactivism.org/, http://smartmeme.com/, http://beyondthechoir.org/, http://wagingnonviolence.org/, and http://www.ruckus.org/.
Contributors include Kenneth Bailey, Andy Bichlbaum, Nadine Bloch, Kathryn Blume, Larry Bogad, Josh Bolotsky, Mike Bonanno, Andrew Boyd, Molly Campbell, Doyle Canning, Chuck Collins, Sam Corbin, John Dear, Steve Duncombe, Will Etundi, Bryan Farrell, Cristian Fleming, Elisabeth Ginsberg, Silas Harrebye, John Jordan, Steve Lambert, Todd Lester, Zack Malitz, Duncan Meisel, Dave Mitchell, Tracey Mitchell, Gaby Pacheco, Michael Pineschi, Mark Read, Patrick Reinsborough, Favianna Rodriguez, Maxine Schoefer-Wulf, John Sellers, Rajni Shah, Brooke Singer, Phillip Smith, Matthew Smucker, Eric Stoner, Virginia Vitzthum and Chris Wangro.
We launched this project on a shoe-string budget, now we need some serious funding to bring this sprawling undertaking home. With your support we can cover our research, editing, production, design and administration costs; host another book sprint to allow more face-to-face collaboration; and expand the book content into a web toolbox that will serve as an evolving knowledge-base of the best thinking on creative tactics. Every dollar you kick in will go towards producing the best possible resource and getting it into the hands of the next generation of artists and activists.
The design is still evolving, but the book will likely be 6" x 9" and about 400-450 pages long. It will be divided into easily navigable, interlocking modular entries consisting of the THEORIES, TACTICS and PRINCIPLES that inform effective creative activism and the CASE STUDIES that demonstrate these theories, tactics and principles in action. It will be available from O/R Books, Amazon and select booksellers.
If you're interested in getting involved in the creative production of this book, please email HelpOut at BeautifulTrouble dot org and indicate your relevant skills and experience.
Beautiful Trouble is a combination book and website. The book will consist of short interrelated modules - case studies, design principles, tactics, theoretical frameworks and key debates - that together comprise an accessible matrix of best practices and ideas. The website will include the core content of the book as well as a growing array of additional modules, resources, profiles and much more. The site will keep up in real time with new social movements and their latest tactical innovations.
Let's face it: things aren't looking good for the home team. Any semi-attentive survey of the global village will reveal a panoply of economic catastrophes, environmental calamities, growing austerity, the rapid erosion of democratic institutions and a general sense that all of this is going to get much, much worse. And yet— all around the world ordinary people are using new tools and tactics, as well as their own wild imaginations and sheer determination, to fight back where they live. The urgency of the political moment demands resources that will transform outrage into effective action. Beautiful Trouble is a toolbox for the next revolution.
Beautiful Trouble will be sophisticated enough to appeal to hardened activists while remaining accessible to newbies. Both artists and activists will find it useful, as it showcases the synergies between artistic imagination and shrewd political strategy. Beautiful Trouble is for everyone who longs for a more beautiful, more just, more livable world -- and wants to know how to get there.
Beyond its innovative modular structure and cutting-edge content, Beautiful Trouble is also being written & published in a unique way. With many contributors scattered across the country and the world, we're writing the entire book in the cloud, in an open, collaborative fashion. Every module and chapter is being outlined, composed, edited and project managed via google docs and other online collaboration tools. For those of us who can meet face to face, we've also hosted two "book sprints" - where we basically lock ourselves in a room for a weekend and write, write, write! - and we're planning on hosting another one if we can raise the funds for travel expenses. But that's not all! Beautiful Trouble will be published by O/R Books, a nimble, progressive independent publisher with an innovative post-print business model. We'll be publishing on demand and via e-book -- the turnaround time from finished manuscript to bound book is just a few months -- so we can get the information into the hands of as many people as possible as soon as possible.
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