A public art project that utilizes pawn-brokers street advertising tactics to spread insightful quotes rather than commercial material.
Have you ever been walking down the street, had a random flyer shoved in your hand, given it a quick scan, and thought ‘what a waste of paper?!?’ The We Promote Knowledge & Love project turns that experience inside out and floods the Harlem, NY community with street flyers of unexpected substance while awakening the sleeping giants of the neighborhood's legendary past.
We Promote Knowledge & Love is a social practice, community art performance project that borrows the aggressive street advertising tactics of pawnbrokers in urban communities as a vehicle to promote knowledge, self-empowerment, and love rather than commerce or monetary wealth. The project engages the community in which it is enacted through the dissemination of familiarly designed flyers that encourage uncommon exchange. Volunteers for the project wear custom screen printed sandwich boards that read “We Promote Knowledge & Love” imitating the design of those worn by the “We Buy Gold & Diamonds” pawn broker promoters-for-hire on busy street corners (in Harlem, and beyond), and pass out flyers featuring insightful quotes from thoughtful historical figures.
We Promote Knowledge & Love has been enacted 3 times in small groups of 2-6 individuals in Brooklyn, Harlem, and at the Bronx Museum of Art. Each of these rounds have been warm up’s for we’re planning this time… an over-the-top, parade inspired performance complete with 40+ volunteers, over-sized paper maché replica heads of the quoted historical figures, and the dissemination of 10,000+ wisdom-rich flyers, to be passed out to an audience of 900,000+ during one of the countries largest annual parades: Harlem’s own 42th Annual African American Day Parade.
With your kickstart we will be able to the put words of Malcolm, Martin, Marcus, Fredrick, and Harriet directly into the hands of a generation who largely view these phenomenal individuals as mere black history-month quiz answers or names on street signs. We all know the schools and libraries are under-funded… let’s give an introductory lesson to what they’re missing!
FEATURED FLYER QUOTES:
“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” -Fredrick Douglas
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
“If you form the habit of going by what you hear others say about someone, or going by what others think about someone, instead of searching that thing out for yourself and seeing for yourself, you will be walking east when you think you’re going west… The most important thing that we can learn to do today is think for ourselves.” -Malcolm X
"Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men." -Marcus Garvey
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman
See the original moment of inspiration for We Promote Knowledge & Love right HERE! If everyone passing out flyers on the street were as community oriented as Abdul the world would be overflowing with knowledge and love!
Help the We Promote Knowledge & Love team use this familiar platform for good on September 18th, 2011--- contribute now!
A community based, social practice, public, performance art project.
To tangibly encourage a happier and more well informed Harlem community, in an engaging and interesting way.
Heck yeah!! Start by pledging a contribution and join in the project on Parade Day, September 18th.
A warm feeling, and AWESOME rewards!!