Monthly Archive for August, 2012

Anne Elizabeth Moore Reads From Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present 9/28

Sep ’12
28
7:00 pm

The city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia hosts public dance lessons most nights on a newly revitalized riverfront directly in front of prime minister Hun Sen’s urban home. Shortly before dusk, much of the city gathers to bust a few Apsara moves and learn a couple choreographed hip- hop steps from a slew of attractive young men at the head of each group. Outside the bustling capital city, the provinces come alive, too, as the nation’s only all-girl political rock group sets up concerts that call into question the international garment trade, traditional gender roles, and agriculture under globalization. Cambodia is changing: not what it once was, not yet what it will be.  Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present provides images of a nation’s people emerging from generations of poverty.

Following on the heels of Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh, Anne Elizabeth Moore compiled photographs that document Cambodia’s bustling nightlife, the nation’s emerging middle class, and the ongoing struggle for social justice in the beautiful, war-ravaged land.

A series of essays complement the imagery, investigating the relationship between public and private space, mourning and memory, tradition and economic development. It is a document of a nation caught between states of being, yet still deeply affecting.

“Radical” (L.A. Times), “poignant” (Boston Globe), “should not be missed (Time), “a notable underground author” (The Onion), and “brilliant” (Kirkus) are all ways to describe Anne Elizabeth Moore and her writing. The award-winning author and artist has worked for years with young women in Cambodia on independent media projects, and her newest venture is a compilation of photographs and lyrical essays taking readers to the streets of the country’s capital city, Phnom Penh, and out into the countryside— where few get to travel. Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present released Aug. 28, 2012 from Green Lantern Press.

Alternating full color and black and white photographs depict Phnom Penh’s bustling nightlife as locals gather to dance on a newly revitalized riverfront directly in front of their prime minister’s urban home, thus forming a portrait of the nation’s emerging middle class. Images from a southern province depict a nation in dialogue with its government, hoping for development that lifts all citizens. A series of essays complement the imagery, investigating the relationship between public and private space, mourning and memory, tradition and an economic development unrivaled in the last 1,200 years.

“Traditional movements push against young passions,” Moore writes. “Development is fluid and janky. But a generation is learning what comfort feels like, learning what it feels like to have survived. To celebrate, to honor, they dance most nights like they are possessed.”

Hip Hop Apsara aims to break through the cavalier and hardened consciousness many hold about Cambodian culture and its recent, violent, past under the Khmer Rouge.

“People seem rooted in this belief that Cambodia’s very far away and very weird,” Moore said. “It is far away, but for 14 million Cambodians, it’s not weird at all – plus it’s a place the US has had a lot of negative influence over. So it seems like we should know something about it, as Americans.”

A Fulbright scholar, Moore is the Truthout columnist behind Ladydrawers: Gender and Comics in the US, and the author of Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh (Cantankerous Titles, 2011), Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (The New Press, 2007) and Hey Kidz, Buy This Book (Soft Skull, 2004). She was co-editor and publisher of the now-defunct Punk Planet, and founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin. She has twice been noted in the Best American Non-Required Reading series.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a Fulbright scholar, the Truthout columnist behind Ladydrawers: Gender and Comics in the US, and the author of Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh (Cantankerous Titles, 2011), Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (The New Press, 2007, named a Best Book of the Year by Mother Jones) and Hey Kidz, Buy This Book (Soft Skull, 2004). Co-editor and publisher of the now-defunct Punk Planet, and founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin, Moore teaches in the Visual Critical Studies and Art History departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She works with young women in Cambodia on independent media projects, and with people of all ages and genders on media and gender justice work in the US. Her journalism focuses on the international garment trade. Moore exhibits her work frequently as conceptual art, and has been the subject of two documentary films. She has lectured around the world on independent media, globalization, and women’s labor issues. The multi-award-winning author has also written for N+1, Good, Snap Judgment, Bitch, the Progressive, The Onion, Feministing, The Stranger, In These Times, The Boston Phoenix, and Tin House. She has twice been noted in the Best American Non-Required Reading series. She has appeared on CNN, WNUR, WFMU, WBEZ, Voice of America, and others. Her work with young women in Southeast Asia has been featured in USA Today, Phnom Penh Post, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out Chicago, Make/Shift, Today’s Chicago Woman, Windy City Times, and Print Magazine, and on GritTV, Radio Australia, and NPR’s Worldview. Moore recently mounted a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and participated in Artisterium, Georgia’s annual art invitational. Her upcoming book, Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present (Green Lantern Press, Aug. 28, 2012), is a lyrical essay in pictures and words exploring the people of Cambodia’s most rampant economic development in at least 1,200 years.

BOOK DETAILS
Hardcover, $20 ISBN: 978-1-4507-7526-7 Photo/Essay, 100 pages Green Lantern Press

For more info:
AnneElizabethMoore.com
@superanne
Publicity: JKSCommunications.com

Comics Release Party with John Porcellino and Noah Van Sciver 9/19

Sep ’12
19
7:00 pm

Join John Porcellino and Noah Van Sciver as they celebrate the release of their new projects, King-Cat #73 (self-published) and The Hypo (Fantagraphics).  They’ll be reading from and showing slides of their work, answering questions, and signing books.

The Hypo, debut graphic novel from Noah Van Sciver follows the twenty-something Abraham Lincoln as he loses everything, long before becoming our most beloved president. Lincoln is a rising Whig in the state’s legislature as he arrives in Springfield, IL to practice law. With all of his possessions under his arms in two saddlebags, he is quickly given a place to stay by a womanizing young bachelor who becomes his friend and close confidant. Lincoln builds a life and begins friendships with the town’s top lawyers and politicians. He attends elegant dances and meets an independent-minded young woman from a high-society Kentucky family, and after a brisk courtship, becomes engaged. But, as time passes and uncertainty creeps in, young Lincoln is forced to battle a dark cloud of depression brought on by a chain of defeats and failures culminating into a nervous breakdown that threatens his life and sanity. This cloud of dark depression Lincoln calls “The Hypo.” Dense crosshatching and an attention to detail help bring together this completely original telling of a man driven by an irrepressible desire to pull himself up by his bootstraps, overcome all obstacles, and become the person he strives to be. All the while, unknowingly laying the foundation of character he would use as one of America’s greatest presidents.

JOHN PORCELLINO was born in Chicago, in 1968, and has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics, and graphic novels for over twenty-five years. His celebrated self-published series King-Cat Comics, begun in 1989, has inspired a generation of cartoonists. Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man, a collection of King-Cat stories about Porcellino’s experiences as a pest control worker, won an Ignatz Award in 2005, and Perfect Example, first published in 2000, chronicles his struggles with depression as a teenager. King-Cat Classix and Map of My Heart, published in 2007/2009, offer a comprehensive overview of the zine’s first sixty-one issues, while Thoreau at Walden (2008) is a poetic expression of the great philosopher’s experience and ideals. According to cartoonist Chris Ware, “John Porcellino’s comics distill, in just a few lines and words, the feeling of simply being alive.”

For more info:

nvansciver.wordpress.com

www.king-cat.net

www.spitandahalf.blogspot.com

www.johnporcellino.blogspot.com

Wed, Sept 19th, 7pm, Free Event

Gregory Harms Reads From It’s Not About Religion 9/15

Sep ’12
15
7:00 pm

When the Middle East is covered on the news or depicted in film, what is shown is a region defined almost exclusively by violence, chaos, and extremism, and a common question often arises in response: Does religion have anything to do with it?

In It’s Not About Religion, Gregory Harms examines a range of topics in an effort to answer the question. As the book’s title indicates, the region’s woes and instability are in fact not caused by biblical or Islamic factors. Harms reveals a list of entirely secular factors and realities as he examines how and why Americans view the Arab Middle East the way they do; the history of European and U.S. involvement in the region; the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism; and how academics and the mass media tend to discuss the region and its inhabitants.

In roughly one hundred pages, the reader is shown a constellation of history and culture that will hopefully help move the conversation of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in a more grounded and precise direction.

“An informative, lively, and humane look at the real sources of conflict and struggle in the [Middle East].” -Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

GREGORY HARMS is an independent scholar and the author of The Palestine–Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction (3rd ed., 2012) and Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel, and World History (2010). His articles appear on CounterPunch, Truthout, and Mondoweiss. He has been interviewed on BBC Radio and Chicago Public Radio.

For more info:
gregoryharms.com
percevalpress.com

 

CCLaP Performs “Podcast Dreadful”

Sep ’12
21
7:00 pm

Join the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP) on Friday, September 21st, as it presents a live-audience episode of its new “Podcast Dreadful” serial literary anthology, at the popular Quimby’s Bookstore in Wicker Park. Known for its annual themed compilation of local short work every fall, this year CCLaP is presenting this work as a free 12-part audiobook at its website cclapcenter.com/dreadful, every Monday in September, October and November; featuring a variety of celebrated authors both locally and across the US, each story in this collection has been written in the style of an old Victorian “penny dreadful,” featuring cliffhangers each week and a dark, strange tone throughout. Episode number 4 will be performed in front of a live audience at the famed indie-lit venue Quimby’s, and will feature not only readings from local authors Davis Schneiderman, Jacob Knabb, Jason Fisk and CCLaP owner Jason Pettus, but also real-time radio-style sound effects by a specially assembled stage crew. Free refreshments will also be served that night, and with other CCLaP merchandise available for purchase.

For more info: cclapcenter.com/dreadful or write Jason Pettus at cclapcenter@gmail.com

 Fri, Sept 21st, 7pm

Matthew Gavin Frank Reads From Pot Farm 9/7

Sep ’12
7
7:00 pm

In Matthew Gavin Frank’s new book Pot Farm (The University of Nebraska Press), he talks about his work on a medical marijuana farm in Northern California. Through firsthand observations and experiences (some influenced by the farm’s cash crop), interviews, and research, Pot Farm exposes a thriving but unsung faction of contemporary American culture.

” Investigative research coupled with personal reflections on a controversial arena of American farm production.” —Kirkus Reviews

Pot Farm is the curious and compelling tale of a hazy season spent harvesting medical marijuana. The cast of characters rivals those found in the finest comic fiction, except these folks are real, and really peculiar. Pot Farm is smart, sly, revelatory, often laugh-out-loud funny, and entirely legal. —Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

“Sex, politics, intrigue, crime, adventure, life and death—it’s all here, in a strangely compelling hybrid of action flick meets postmodern philosophical meditation meets Cheech and Chong. This compulsively readable exposé from a self-proclaimed ‘unreliable narrator’ has it all, including a cast of outcast characters who simply jump off the page.”—Gina Frangello, author of Slut Lullabies

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of Pot Farm, Barolo, Warranty in Zulu, The Morrow Plots (forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books), Sagittarius Agitprop and more. Recent work appears in The New Republic, The Huffington Post, The Iowa Review, The Best Food Writing, The Best Travel Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Gastronomica, and others. He currently teaches Creative Writing in the MFA Program at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction Editor of Passages North.  This winter, he prepared his first batch of whitefish-thimbleberry ice cream.

For more info: matthewgfrank.com

Fri, Sept 7th, 7:00 pm