|WORKSHOPS FOR YOU|
Kick, Ball, Change the World:
The Pink Bloque started out as a loose knit group of friends trying to experiment with protest tactics and performance and quickly grew into a tight knit organization. After about a year of doing actions, a professor contacted us and asked if we would do a presentation during their Women's History Month. We thought, why not? This is how we began to live our dream of being inspirational speakers. We traveled the country [well, mostly around the Midwest and East Coast] talking up and about the Pink Bloque.
Like our outifts and our actions, the range of conferences and workshops we presented at was diverse. We strutted our stuff at DIY skill shares in informal community spaces and we stood behind podiums at fancy academic art conferences. Academics and punk radicals alike relished in the opportunity to come clean about their secret love of pop culture and their burning desires to participate in a bootyshaking tutorial all in the name of radical cultural intervention. Eventually, having a solid articulation of our history and our methodology was as important to the Pink Bloque "schtick" as kick-ball-changing in unison.
The more we presented, the more we had to articulate our place in the historical context of creative resistance. We also got to break down performance theories about the usefulness of radical street protests and see if they held any water for us. Whatever the venue, people were feeling the Bloque. Conferences gave us a space to talk about what we were doing in a forum where people could step away from the immediacy of the on-the-street Pink Bloque experience and offer constructive critiques and interpretations of our project.
We did many public speaking engagements, some were general introductions to the Pink Bloque, others were tailored to fit the audience or theme of the conference we were attending. While every presentation was different, we made sure all of them were interactive - we got punks and professors to dance. We learned that the key to a great presentation was to have a plan and practice the hell out of it until we could recite the 7 P's in our sleep.
We wanted our presentations and workshops to reflect not only what the Pink Bloque did on the streets, but also our model for a collaborative project that was multi media and multi-voiced. To this end, we made a video of highlights from each of our actions, we cooked up a cute power point presentation with graphics and information audience members could follow; and most importantly, we would each take turns talking about an aspect of the history or theory of the Bloque. This was important to us because we wanted to demonstrate how each member of a group has useful and insightful things to say about her project when given the platform.
Here is our basic formula for public presentations:
1. Audience assessment: what do they know about creative activism and/or why did they come to our workshop?
2. A short history of creative resistance
3. A short history of the Pink Bloque
4. The 6-7 P's of the Pink Bloque philosophy
5. Show a video
6. Question and Answer
7. Dance lesson
Sometimes we did break-out sessions where participants worked on their own actions, sometimes we did tactical flirt roll plays, and sometimes we just sat on panels and made jokes. One member even coined the term "dudeological" while being on a panel where men were dominating the verbal space.
-Rachel Caidor and Dara Greenwald
2006 Young Women's Action Team Day of Action Info Session, Chicago, IL
National Women's Studies Association Conference, Oakland, CA
2005 "Women's History Month,"Columbia College, Chicago, IL
NCOR, American University, Washington, DC
2004 Northern Illinois University, Women's History Month, Dekalb, IL
"Mass MoCA Interventionist Series,"16Beaver, New York, NY
Columbia College, Using Technology for Social Change, Chicago, IL
Version>04 Festival, Creative Resistance Panel, Chicago Cultural Center
Ladyfest Richmond, presentation on the Pink Bloque, Richmond, VA
Allied Media Conference, presentation on Making Theory and Analysis Accessible, Bowling Green, OH
2003 SPEMA, RE: CONTEXT, Society for Photographic Education, presentation on the Pink Bloque, Ewing, NJ
Northwestern University, guest lecturer, Evanston, IL
Depaul University, guest lecturer in Philosophy Department, Chicago, IL
University of Pittsburgh, Pink Bloque workshop, Pittsburgh, PA
Polkadot Gallery, Pink Bloque workshop, Richmond, VA
La Casa, Pink Bloque workshop, Washington, DC
Creative Alliance, Pink Bloque workshop, Baltimore, MD
Spiral Q Puppet Theater, Pink Bloque workshop, Philadelphia, PA
Bluestockings, Pink Bloque workshop, New York, NY
ABC No Rio, Pink Bloque workshop, New York, NY
Northeastern University Presentation, Women's History Month, Chicago, IL
Version <03 Conference, "We're Ready for Our Close Up" workshop on surveillance and street performance, Chicago, IL
Museum of Contemporary Art, Version>03 Festival round-up panel, Chicago, IL
Allied Media Conference, Performance as Protest panel, Bowling Green, OH
The following are the workshops we offered:
Kick, Ball, Change the World:
Our dance workshop is fully interactive; the Pink Bloque brings new moves to the movement. In Kick, Ball, Change the World we discuss dance as an effective protest tactic for creating a spectacle. Also addressed is the importance of using pop culture as a tool to reach audiences unfamiliar with activism. This workshop is geared towards audiences interested in creating a new look for protest culture in their region. The workshop is appropriate for group sizes of 5 –25, and is approximately 4 hours in length. Three hours will be spent in the indoor space dancing and dialoguing, and one hour will be spent on the streets bringing radical dance moves to your community. This workshop has been presented at art museums and cultural centers.
Needs for this workshop:
Open space appropriate for dancing, a television, VCR, two tables, fans or a/c, and water for presenters and participants. Participants should wear comfortable, preferably pink clothing, and be prepared to shake some booty. Please note that times and content are flexible to your needs.
Same struggle, Different tools:
This workshop is a breakdown of Pink Bloque tactics and techniques for successfully organizing around an issue of your choice. We combine a brief history of creative approaches to street activism, a summary of the Pink Bloque philosophy, and leave you with the structure necessary for creating your own creative resistance. This workshop accommodates audiences from diverse backgrounds, including those with no previous organizing experience, but we also aim to refresh experienced activists by energizing them with new methods. The organizing workshop is appropriate for group sizes of 5 –100, and is approximately 3 hours in length. This workshop has been presented at Universities and community centers.
Needs for this workshop:
A Mac compatible lap top projector, projection screen, indoor space with adequate seating for expected audience, two tables, fans or a/c, and water for presenters. (If lap top projector, and projection screen are not available, we request an overhead projector and a clean wall.) Please note that times and content are flexible to your needs.
We are flexible and understand that not all venues will be able to provide a flat fee for our workshops. Fees are on a sliding scale dependant on your organizational budget. If you are a no-budget group we suggest a $3 donation per participant at the door.