ART + SHENANIGANS
Hawai‘i J20+ seeks to resist, educate, and organize, and our Art + Shenanigans activities are deeply integral to all three of these goals. The Art + Shenanigans team contributes to setting the tone, infusing the energy, drumming up community engagement, and offering free education. Collectively we produce action accessories, wearable protest art, oversize puppets, percussion instruments, and general ruckus. The raw materials used for all shenanigans are made from foraged consumer waste and donated odd-n-ends, upcycled into tools for activism.
Our production sessions, called MAKE-INs, operate as creative - open - spaces that facilitate dialogue about the dangers of the Trump administration and its nationalist neoliberal agenda. Participants air their frustrations and organize their thoughts into new ways forward. The objects made at the MAKE-INs are later activated in public political actions/art performances, to creatively interface with the community - many times in strange, visually and audibly provocative ways.
January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) : Day of Resistance / preparation + action
Summer 2017 : Welcome to Free Speech
A retail store space was transformed into a different sort of 'store'. The front section was a two-week long continuous MAKE-IN for the production of protest hand bags and hats made from donated fabric. Participants were provided sewing instructions as they engaged in political discussions.
All items produced were displayed on racks and mannequins along with protest-wear made at previous MAKE-INs. All items were offered free of charge, testing 'shopper' expectations. 'Shoppers' were also invited into the back of the “store” where more wearable art, puppets, and instruments made from discarded junk were on display, and invited to try on the costumes and make music with the instruments. Welcome to Free Speech explored forms of speech outside of spoken or written languages, playfully enacted within the destablized 'store', confounding capitalist transactional relationships. All activities culminated in a performative event WEAR YOUR SPEECH on July 1 with a fashion show and merry-making.
August 2017 : Suffragette March Intervention
A revisioned history action was enacted at a march to commemorate the 97th anniversary of women's vote. The project aimed to remember African-American suffragettes who were not allowed to participate in the 1920 Suffragette March.
Oct 14, 2017 / Pauahi Street Festival
DeTrumping Clinic is a one-stop shop from diagnosis to remedy. Lucy from Peanuts takes charge of the diagnosis through a series of questions to uncover unhealthy habits and attitudes, symptoms of trumpism that sicken many of us in our daily lives - divisiveness, bullying, greediness, etc. Lucy writes a prescription aimed to increase capacity for empathy and send the patient to one of three Charlie Browns, who guide participants in a thought provoking game of Operation.