Since 2015 Design Action Collective has been supporting Third World Resistance (TWR), a network of thirteen grassroots, anti-imperialist, Bay Area-based organizations. TWR was initially formed in solidarity with local organizers reclaiming MLK’s legacy of militant internationalism by linking third-world struggle with black resistance. As a resource member ally of TWR, Design Action has been assisting with designing and constructing banners, signs, and other campaign materials for various actions for the past four years. We continued to do so this year for the Reclaim MLK March.
In addition to designing for TWR, Design Action has been facilitating skill-sharing workshops. In January, Design Action co-taught a 4-week Mills College course entitled “Visions of Resistance” with fellow TWR member Critical Resistance. Design Action’s goal was to create space for students and community organizers to share lessons in crafting visual work for campaigns. In addition to sharing our own experience coordinating art builds for actions, we also invited seasoned organizers and cultural workers to share what they’ve learned. Indigenous People’s Power Project members Nancy Hernandez, Marty Aranaydo, Cy Wagnor and Jackie Fawn facilitated sessions on messaging, direct action, and banner making. Photographer Shine Velasco of Survival Media Agency offered insight on framing actions and what makes an effective image.
Participants of Visions of Resistance also experienced what it was like to collectively produce messaging for a banner. We silk screened patches and stenciled placards which were later used at the Reclaim MLK March. The course became truly collaborative, evocative of Freedom School sessions where participants enriched the sessions with their own lessons from organizing and art practice.