Uses of a Whirlwind – The Book

A few years back with the build up to the 2008 elections, I published the first reflection on my work with AREA Chicago in a one-time online journal called “In the Middle of a Whirlwind.” Now the same editorial group that put that project together has compiled a book out of selected (and updated) texts from that project. The book “Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States” (Edited by the Team Colors Collective, Published by AK Press) will be released in a few weeks in conjunction with the massive gathering of the 2nd US Social Forum in Detroit (which I will be biking to from Chicago and participating on a panel with the editors of this book).

My text is entitled “Getting to know your city and the social movements that call it home: The hybrid networking and documentary work of AREA Chicago” appears in the “Movement Strategies” section of the book and is the first of several articles I hope to produce reflecting on the first 5 years of AREA Chicago, the publication and event series I helped to found. Some further writing along these lines will appear in the fall 2010 issue of AREA Chicago in a section entitled “AREA Chicago at 5 Years: Critical Reflections and Future Directions.”

Here is a description of the book:

In the midst of a moment defined by international crises, community devastation, increasing injustice, and ruptures in the fabric of everyday life, winds of resistance continue to emerge and to circulate.

Uses of a Whirlwind is more than just a snapshot of current activity, organizing, ideas, and questions circulating among today’s radicals. It’s an opportunity for organizers, theorists, strategists, and movement elders to share and connect, to speak honestly of the challenges before us, to articulate new demands and possibilities in the ongoing war against state and capital.

Team Colors Collective invites voices from today’s myriad currents, and in so doing generates common understandings of radical community organizing, movement building, and the impetus and inspiration toward making a revolution possible

The essays collected here come from very different places—farms, forests, bookstores, streets and street corners, homes, corporate chains. Their authors organize in very different ways—art and media, mapping and research, theory and discussion, popular education, and road blockades. Yet they are all moved by the same desire: to create new worlds and new ways of being, and demanding nothing less. We are in the middle of a whirlwind of struggle and opportunities for fundamental change abound; it’s just a question of how we use them.

Contributors include Malav Kanuga | Bluestockings Books & Activism Center, Direct Action to Stop the War, Roadblock Earth First!, Starbucks Workers Union – IWW, Marina Karides | United States Social Forum, Student / Farmworker Alliance, City Life/ Vida Urbana | Picture the Homeless | Take Back the Land | United Workers, Harmony Goldberg | Domestic Workers United & Right to the City Alliance, Basav Sen, John Peck| Family Farm Defenders, Brian Tokar, Benjamin Shepard, Julie Perini, Dorothy Kidd, Daniel Tucker | AREA Chicago, Maribel Casas-Cortes & Sebastian Cobarrubias, Brian Marks, Michael Hardt & El Kilomobo Intergalactico, George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, Peter Linebaugh, & Chris Carlsson. Interviews with Robin D.G. Kelley, Ashanti Omowali Alston, & Grace Lee Boggs. Artwork: Kristine Virsis | Justseeds Artists Cooperative. Foreword: Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press. Preface: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz & Andrej Grubacic.

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