Revolution #231, May 1, 2011
Some ideas for "GETTING OUT" the message and building on the success of the "Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World"
The following letter was written by a supporter of Revolution Books. This kind of percolation of ideas around how to get out with the new book, BAsics, from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian is needed and is an example of what this book can inspire. We look forward to hearing from others about ideas for promoting BAsics.
These ideas build on the suggestions already made (in Revolution issue No. 230, April 24, 2011), e.g., 1. Buy a book for a prisoner; 2. Become a volunteer distributor to get BAsics to places where it can be sold; 3. Circulate palm cards and even copies of the book and encourage book clubs, church groups and student groups to order it; and 4. Organize fund-raisers to spread the book widely.
All publicity and graphic materials associated with these activities should use the design elements of BAsics—the book and posters, etc.—i.e., the black, red and yellow color scheme, and the same font and typography of the front cover of the BAsics book. The Ralph Steadman-esque typography of the back cover could also be used selectively in graphic elements (posters, banners, flyers, backdrops, slide projections, etc.) of these activities. The quotes from Bob Avakian projected on screen during the "Celebration" should be duplicated, and many more added, as key elements of these activities and could be used as "works of art" in and of themselves.
Among other activities that could be undertaken:
- Organizing workshops (at RevBooks, at other independent bookstores, on campuses, in parks during the summer, in cafés or workplaces if willing venues can be found) where BAsics and individual quotes from it could be studied and dissected and deconstructed and looked at from every possible angle to plumb the depths of its profound meaning and significance. These workshops could be organized thematically, like the book itself. They could be intensive study groups, encouraging and developing the atmosphere of ferment needed to bring forward this new world.
- Mobile discussion groups on campuses on quotes or chapters from BAsics. Similar to 1, but tapping into the energy and natural openness and inquisitiveness of students. Teams could fan out across the country (with support from the Revolution Books stores nationwide) to spread the word, hold discussions on the thought of BA. First opportunity could present itself in conjunction with the Cornel West/Carl Dix program replay on the West Coast.
- Thousands (nay, millions!) of palm cards or display cards with quotes from BA (like those projected at the April 11 event) to be handed out in mobilization/saturation actions, or randomly, around the city and beyond. If money can be found, cards can be printed with individual (or thematic) quotes on the front and a minimalist blurb on the back to draw people to the bookstore and the websites (Revolution Books and RevCom.us) to learn more about BAsics and BA's thoughts and writings.
- An exhibition (PS1? Alternative gallery/café spaces?) of art works inspired by BAsics. Paintings, drawings, audiovisual materials, poster art, etc. The exhibition should be multimedia and three-dimensional, drawing people into a simulated new world, confronting BA's revolutionary thought in images, quotations, projections of slides, film clips of BA through the years and from his talks. Music should be included: jazz, gospel, Dylan, folk, hip-hop revolutionary songs (such as we heard at the April 11 event). The effect should be provocative and in-your-face and thought-provoking. Could be tied in with readings and discussions of quotes from the book.
- A play—working titles: "The Day After" or "Day One"—based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (sort of a "1776" for the "new New World"). With an ensemble cast (no more than six or seven) portraying individuals (a family? Friends? People drawn together by the revolution) from different "class" backgrounds, awakening to and for the first time confronting the new reality. There should be conflict and contradictions, doubts and confusion, impassioned discussion, but it all should resolve itself according to material truths to point to a radical new direction. As the characters experience the potentiality of the moment, over the course of 90 minutes or so, the audience will have their eyes and ears opened. If staging it as a play proves too difficult, it could be done as a one-off video which could then be given wider circulation. Surely the talent and experience exists within the RevCom/RevBooks family to write and develop this concept.
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