directory - Direct Action / Direct Democracy

Yomango

The name “Yomango” and the lifestyle it celebrates refers to mangar, a Spanish slang term meaning “to shoplift,” particularly from multinational corporations. The concept of ethical shoplifting has suddenly acquired public visibility. The Yomango brand is itself a reappropriation, or détournement, of the widely popular brand Mango. By adding a pronominal prefix (yo, means “I” in Spanish) to the clothing company’s name, the modified brand takes on a different meaning entirely: I swipe. Yomango disrupts the primary goal of the original brand, turning it into a new direct-action practice based on the widespread habit of shoplifting. At first glance, this may seem like a simple surrender to the greedy logic of capitalism, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Women Drivers Day

The women drivers day protest in Saudi Arabia originated from a number of campaigns and protest movements that fight for women’s rights, and it called to women to get behind a steering wheel despite this being prohibited in Saudi Arabia. The driving ban is not a written law, but is based on a fatwa (a religious ruling), which can be pronounced in Islamic countries as a solution of religious problems. A special role in the campaign is played by the Association for the Protection and Defense of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia, an NGO founded by Majeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni, which developed out of a September 2007 petition against the ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia.

WochenKlausur

Since 1993 and at the invitation of various art institutions, the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention in society. WochenKlausur aims to improve the supporting structure before improving the surface. Art’s big chance lies in its ability to offer the community something that also achieves an effect. The motives for concrete intervention based on art should not be confused with an excess of moralistic fervor. As a potential basis for action, art has political capital at its disposal that should not be underestimated.

The Yes Men

We are the internationally known mischief-making collective whose unique brand of activism, which we call “identity correction,” is documented in two award-winning films, THE YES MEN and THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD. Armed with nothing but thrift store suits, we impersonate big-time corporate criminals (targets have included such heavyweights as the World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, and Halliburton) in order to draw attention to their crimes against humanity and the environment. We’ve discovered that delivering hard-boiled issues with huge dollops of laughter is a powerful way to reach mainstream audiences. Our low-budget actions have drawn regular coverage from all the major news outlets (the New York Times, CNN, Reuters, AP, AFP, BBC, NPR, and more).

The Electronic Disturbance Theater

The Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0 (EDT) group (Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Stefan Wray, and Carmin Karasic) developed Virtual-Sit-In technologies in 1998 in solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico. Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 (Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand) developed the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cellphone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico–U.S border which won the Transnational Communities Award in 2008, an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–U.S. and handed out by the U.S.

Surveillance Camera Players

The Surveillance Camera Players are not a professional theater troupe, nor are they producers of or actors in television shows; they are just a bunch of average Joes and Josephines who appreciate how boring it must be for law enforcement officers to watch the video images constantly being displayed on the closed-circuit television surveillance systems that perpetually monitor our behavior and appearances all over the city. The only time the officers have any fun watching these monitors is when something illegal is going on. But the crime rate is down and the subways – the metro transportation systems – (which are filled with surveillance cameras) are the safest they have been in thirty years.

R.E.P.

When the R.E.P. group was founded in 2004, all of its members had already developed an artistic personality of their own. And they have continued in the same line ever since. Yet in all these years the artists have also engaged in collective art practices, thus maintaining their small art community. The political events of the Orange Revolution proved a key element in the group’s establishment. The first collective actions of the R.E.P. group took place in the crowd of protesters in the Kiev Maidan square: it was the unanimity of broad masses of society struggling for a common political cause that brought these Ukrainian artists to work together. Another reason for maintaining the group, which still counts today, is the weak infrastructure of the Kiev art scene.

Paolo Cirio – Loophole for all

This project investigated offshore jurisdictions and the idea of having a company “on paper” through a hack and leak of Cayman Islands financial information. At Loophole4All.com, the real identities of anonymous companies taking advantage of the tax havens are on sale at a low cost to democratize the privileges of offshore businesses. This performance generated local and international media attention, engaged an active audience, and drew outrage from authorities on the Cayman Islands, etc.

http://loophole4all.com

PAH (Mortgage Victims Platform)

The PAH was born in February 2009 in Barcelona as a citizen’s movement focused on the right to housing. The main aim of the PAH is to denounce the dramatic situation suffered by thousands of families who are unable to pay their mortgages, facing foreclosure processes and evictions. The PAH makes the violence of such processes visible, informs the public about the horrific nature of the perpetual debt which remains after losing your home according to Spanish mortgage law, and demands political solutions from public administrations. The PAH is a political movement (but does not belong to any party) in which both people directly affected and supporters fight together against this problem.

England Riots

The 2011 England Riots were a quite radical uprising of underprivileged English youth between 6 and 10 August. In England, such riots are a not uncommon form of violent protest that goes back at least to the 1980s. The rioters are mostly boys and young men, whose socioeconomic situation and outlook is very poor. The 2011 riots began in Tottenham, a deprived area in north London with a multicultural population and a high crime rate, after 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot by police during a regular stop-and-search under much-debated circumstances. The fact that a black male had died as a result of police intervention was handled by the authorities with a very questionable and inappropriate communication policy, which attracted much media attention.