The work of CUNY and Cooper Union students is going to be featured at an upcoming exhibit on Book Blocs at the Interference Archive. Several CUNY folks made these beautiful and functional shields for self-defense and for broadcasting our commitment to open critical education. Details about the show are below but a few dates to keep in mind:
Tuesday 4/2 is the opening — 7-10pm at the Interference Archive.
Friday 4/5 is the premier of a documentary about the student strikes in Quebec — 7-10pm at the Interference Archive. Sunday 4/14 is a Book Bloc making workshop — noon-5pm at the Interference Archive.
April 2–24, 2013
Tuesday, April 2
Book blocs in their present-day incarnation first appeared in Rome in November 2010 as part of demonstrations against drastic budget cuts to the country’s public university system. Italian students began actions, occupations, and blockades by using oversize, handmade, padded book covers as banners and shields. The tactic quickly spread to other parts of Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. As a book bloc press release from London in 2010 explains, “The book bloc joins the student and public sector workers’ protest to affirm and defend what is under attack: Our universities and public libraries, literacy, thought, culture and jobs. . . . When the police kettle us, baton us, or charge us, we will not only see police violence against individuals but the state’s violence against free thought, expression, and education. Books are our tools–we teach with them, we learn with them, we play with them, we create with them, we make love with them, and sometimes, we must fight with them.”
Interference Archive’s Book Bloc! exhibit features shields made here in New York by CUNY and Cooper Union students in their current struggles against tuition increases and instituting tuition, respectively, and in assertion of “free education for all.”