Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Paint Bombs in Aita"--- Mail Art & Visual Poetry--Lumumba & Congolese Urban Art--

The film LUMUMBA: DEATH OF A PROPHET was shown in in the Union Art Gallery at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, surrounded by close to a hundred paintings from the Congo echoing many of the films' themes. "Colonialism gives with one hand and takes back with the other," says one interviewee in the film, showing this with rapid hand gestures. With one hand--independence, Lumumba, self-determination. With the other--the assasination of Lumumba (17 January 1961) , the dictatorship of Mobutu (1965-97) and continued control by Belgian and American interests. The film gives a chilling and bitter sense of how the destiny of a people, a nation, was hijacked and has been held back forty years, how the chains of colonialism have barely been loosened in all this time, before descent into the bloodiest war since WWII (mid 1990's-present cease fire).
As so often happens, the brutal suppression of Lumumba's vision of Congolese self-determination has made his figure grow ever larger and more powerful in meaning in death than it had been in life. As a martyr, through his death the presence of Lumumba will never die. This is evidenced in a great many of the art works hanging on the walls of the gallery. An informal hagiography of iconic images has grown up around the story of Lumumba's life and death, with series depicting its stages, not unlke those that depict scenes in the life of Christ leading up to the concentrated series of the Stations of the Cross. But the similarity is biographical only, not in the imagery, which is based on a contemporary iconography drawn from the popular press. Throughout the various genres of paintings in the exhibition, much of the iconography is based on images from popular sources--magazines and newspapers primarily, as well as already existing popularized painted images of Lumumba and Mobutu and others. (During the thirty-two yeras of Mobutu's reign, his image was not only on every monetary bill, governmental building wall, commercial building wall, but also on almost all the clothing worn by the citizens.)
One of the most striking aspects of the show is that the works have a collective feel to them--the artists seem to stand back as individuals from their subjects, at a remove from them; perhaps using the already existing imagery helps with this effect. There is little indication of an individual artist's style/persona moving from picture to picture. (I thought this also might be an effect of the massive oppression of any identity other than Mobutu's.) In the same way, except for the very stylized images of Lumumba, Mobutu and a few generals, most of the people portrayed are anonymous, generalized figures. The few portraits shown emphasize not the features of the sitter, but the clothing and jewelry worn, which indicate social status. The overwhelming poverty of the society isn't shown simply in the images themselves, (poverty stricken streets, looted and closed stores), but in the very materials of the paintings. For example, most of the paintings, though done in oils, are not on canvas at all, but on various fabrics, usually remnants, and flour sacks. The paints used are limited in range of colors--as though not many are readily available. This restricted range of colorings emphasizes not only the sense of poverty, but also of the oppression of the Mobutu years and the extreme brutality and slaughter of the war years of the last decade. It's as though the brightness of rangings of colorings have been bled out, leaving a predominance of dark greens, somber reds, earth browns,blacks and some dark blues. The effect is often menacing. Two more recent genres which have made their appearance and are featured in the show are large war scene paintings and scenes of widespread urban looting. There are also several paintings, some done as tryptichs in a gallows humor vein, of the rise and fall of businesses due to foreclosures. In the tryptich's final scene, the humiliated merchant is often shown in front of his closed up store being whipped in the street in front of his former customers.
A lot of the paintings are done by people who also make their livings doing signs for shops and itinerant small businesses. The influence of sign painting can be seen in the sense of a flattening out of space and conventional perspective that heightens the feeling of raw immediacy. Instead of appearing to be the individual, privileged artist's "recollections in tranquility", the images have the energy and force of a collective witnessing of a massive social trauma. This is a war not only of guns but of images as well, with the continual recurrence of Lumumba's image the sign of a vision that will never die. It's an exhibition I know is going to reverberate with me for a long, long, long time.
(Keep in mind, the exhibition is not representive of all genres of paintings in the Congo, but as the title says, focuses on "Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art" and areas related with this.)

some clay impression paintings made by light of full moon
d-b chirot

Mail Art & Visual Poetry Call

"For Palestine, For Lebanon"
Human Rights-Peace-Liberty
Size: A4 Max (postal)
Deadline/Fecha Limite: Ongoing/Sins Limites
Documentation: all works received will be displayed on
Postal: David-Baptiste Chirot 740 N 29 #108 Milwaukee, WI 53208 USA

Artes Visuales Providencia
Antonio CARES
Casilla 304
Correo 22
Santiago, CHILE

"Paint Bombs In Aita" Relief work and stencil grafitti artist Arofish, whose work appeared in my previous entry, just mailed this, which can also be found as part of his "Scrawls of War" series of Albums at
Arofish writes:

Not my most sophisticated project, this one, but by far the most rewarding in terms of sheer fun and stretching the possibilities for a spray can and a public wall. Aita al-Shaab, South Lebanon lies about 2k off the "front line" with Israel and, as of a month ago, is estimated to be 80-90% damaged. You can wander between bomb-craters and mounds of rubbish (stepping over bits of unexploded ordnance) past houses more than half demolished--and the awkwardly avert your gaze on seeing that whole families are still living in them, under crumpled roofs which hang draped, held up by their metal re-bars, over the half-collapsed sprapnel spattered walls. Others look like huge chunks have been bitten out of them. In Palestine, when a house is detroyed, the family usually moves in with another family. When, like here, 200 such homes are rendered uninhabitable (by any test) most people simply have to stay put. I went there as part of the Samidoun relief network. But work was sporadic, so, between unloading water bottles off trucks and making up food parcels, I thought up something for the local kids. A lot of people in NGO/activist circles are talking about "art therapy" these days. To me the best therapy can be to fucking hit out at something. After getting the OK I made some big stencils of Bush, Blair, Condi Rice and Ehud Olmert, drawing them onto cartoon animal bodies, as a common form of insult here is to call someone an animal. I sprayed them at night on the smashed wall I'd been given in the town square, as I hoped that the kids would be in bed and that what I had planned for the next day would be a surprise. Halfway through the first piece I became aware that about forty people, of all ages, were standing right behind me in a tight group, glaring intently. Others looked on from the shadows further away. "Not much pressure, then," I thought, peeling the stencil off the wall to a dumb silence. Then, after a few seconds and to my inexpressible relief, they very clearly started to "get it". Laughter burst out up and down the line. Someone found a chair for me to stand on to spray the high bits, supported my back with his hand. Little kids clustered around me and were barked back out of my way by the men. It was pitch dark now so one guy shone his car headlights on the wall so I could see better. Afterwards I gave out some big marker pens. People wrote the charcaters' names in Arabic and a variety of other messages and slogans. We threw a tarpaulin over it and left it till the morning. Next day we fetched buckets of water full of paint-filled balloons and told the 30-or-so local kids that behind the tarp were some of the people who'd caused all the damage. They knew all the names: they didn't need telling. The pictures tell the rest, but I wish they could capture the noise. Condi got the worst of it, by far, and you ca make of that what you will.

pieces made by streeet-lamp light & moon light--
more "war torn walls" series
and "in fields as they lay"
letterings fragments among grasses, plants--
blown away from walls--
d-b chirot

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Arofish's Stencil Grafitti from Lebanon, MAG images, Visual Poems, "Hala" Hip Hop Video

"The Dead See Scrawls"

Thanks as always to all who are sending works and letters of support and interest for this blog and the Mail Art/Visual Poetry Call.

"For Palestine, For Lebanon"
Human Rights-Peace-Liberty

Size: A4 (postal works)
Deadline/Fecha Limite: Ongoing/Sins Limites
Documentation: all works exhibted on
postal: David-Baptsite Chirot 740 N 29 #108 Milwaukee, WI 53208 USA

Almost a month ago I wrote of reports from Lebanon, especially in the greatly increased bombardments of the final days of the war, of unknown weapons having been used by the Israelis against civilians. Doctors were finding scars and symptons, burns and wounds which they could not identity the sources of. I have been wondering lately a good deal if anything further has been learned about these. I imagine that results of testing and investigations takes time, and so far myself haven't found anything more about what caused the mysterious, often lethal, wounds. If anyone has any information, please let me know.
I do enclose below some photos from MAG (Mines Advisory Group; co-laureate, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize) the only Non-Governmental Organization searching out and detonating bombs and mines in Lebanon since 2000. (When the Israelis left then, they refused to hand over any information regarding the tens of thousands of land mines they left behind them. These have been killing civilians ever since.) Among the bombs being found and detonated are thousands of cluster bombs. Though Israel had denied using these against civilians, over two hundred sites have been found where they were dropped. Those that do not detonate on impact, lie waiting until a push or shaking explodes them. In the month since the cease fire many children continue to die from these. (Check out their latest update today re village covered in bomblets.)

The first two images of my own above I am repeating from last entry. The one with little human figure aloft in space/sky was part of a small series made that night. The others included the one below, done with simple blue environment. For some reason even making them by light of a half-moon and a street lamp some distance away--working on bluff in Park overlooking Lake Michigan--they made me think of Near Death Experiences. I had one of these the first time I broke my back, in an accident in which a truck I was passenger in went off a bridge, dropped forty feet on to rocks and shot up into woods, crashing into large trees. I didn't tell anyone what had happened to me as didn't know about Near Death Experiences being fairly common until some years later. The only thing I did know is that while doctors were telling my parents I would die shortly, I knew I would live. It was only this morning that it dawned on me that at almost the exact time and exact date the other night making these--was the anniversary of that accident.
Around dawn this morning found on line the fotos of works by UK stencil artist and relief worker Arofish, especially these made in Lebanon featuring kites. The kites reminded me of the flying figure I'd made--so another connection running through the concerns with art works and Palestine and Lebanon.
Arofish has an amazing site. These stencils are from a series which includes albums done in Baghdad and Palestine called "Scrawls of War". (Really struck me as have been doing my own series of "The Dead See Scrawls" for some years--the linking of scrawls with environments of death and war.) Arofish is also an active relief worker and chronicles many events connected with his art making and at his site. Check out the Baghdad album for harrowing story of his days under arrest by the Americans. I contacted him for permission to use the images and he wrote is currently very busy with both his relief and art work in Lebanon. A truly inspirational commited activist artist.
His site is:

I am adding several Arab-American and Palestinian Hip Hop addresses to the Links section and will write about them next entry. For now check out the video "Hala" N.O.M.A.D.S. vs. Philistines

go to this address to connnect to it:

d-b chirot (last three part of on-going series "war torn wall writings")


Dahyeh, August 25, 2006, one of the most bombed out areas in Berirut, asked by local people to paint something happy, to reflect the spirit of the community. Consider that at the time of writing, there are still whole streets of indiscriminate wreckage. Shops, apartment blocks, houses: rubble. The dust is thicker than a London fog and the machines have barely started to scratch the surface under which there are sure t still be some of the dead. If I wasn't invited to do this then I wouldn't have. Before starting I banged up a piece of explanatory text on the wall, for which thanks go to Ghassan for the translation into Arabic. It reads: "When Ramallah, in Palestine, is put under curfew by the Israeli Army nobody goes outside for days. The streets look completely deserted. But from a tall building, if you look out over the city, you can sometimes see hundreds of many-coloured kites, flown from the roof terraces by the children of Ramallah. The children you can see here are flying kites to celebrate the spirit of the people of Dahyeh. Some kites you can see are flying away. These are for the children who are no longer here; they are no longer held down to the earth."

Photos from MAG site of ongoing live bomb detection and detonation in Lebanon

finding bomblets from cluster bombs