Introducing my new Fragments website—merging art and activism in the belief that creativity and culture can drive political transformation.
See it now – https://fragmentsweb.org
Way back in the 1990s I came into contact with the zine culture. It was an amazing explosion of creativity. There were zines about everything—working as a guinea pig for medical science, writing prank letters to corporations, conspiracy theories, coffee, cereal, sitcoms, Satan and anything else you can imagine.
Intrigued, I decided to make my own zine. It seemed like a great way to creatively express the many weird ideas that were bubbling around in my febrile brain.
I called my zine “Fragments” because, as I put it in issue #2:
“Fragments is not intended to be a thesis, but a mosaic. The idea is that the various disparate elements should interact, complementing and contradicting each other to build meaning synergistically. By assimilating random bits and pieces of ideas, the reader might realize new connections leading to fresh perspectives and original insights.”
After two issues, it became apparent that publishing a paper magazine was too expensive and time consuming. Plus, there was no easy way to get wide distribution.
So I turned to the web, which was just becoming accessible to everyone in the late 1990s. The first version of fragmentsweb debuted in 1997. I posted whatever I felt like sharing with the world—stories, rants, graphics, photos—on all kinds of topics.
Over time, the Fragments site went through several major overhauls, but in recent years, it languished.
However, I recently redesigned and updated the site:
- Now many of the graphics I’ve produced over the years are in one place.
- Videos have been added
- Pages should be easier to view on phones and tablets.
- There are social media buttons for sharing of content.
Unlike the Nonviolence 3.0 blog, where I feel constrained to focus on a narrow topic (civil resistance) and stick to well-documented facts, the Fragments site will allow me to post content of a more creative nature.
So, what has creativity got to do with nonviolent activism and civil resistance? I believe creativity can be a key component of social change because:
- Imagination allows us to envision a better world and develop roadmaps to get us there.
- The anarchic nature of creative play releases us from the hegemony of the dominant culture, giving us the freedom to develop and explore new norms, values, symbols and ways of being.
- Creativity is necessary for inventing resistance tactics that are new and original.
The Fragments website reflects many of my abiding interests such as:
- Social disintegration
- Social change
You can follow Fragments on Twitter @fragmentsweb1
Text & graphics by James L. VanHise licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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