Art demonstration workshop takes aim at APEC - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Art demonstration workshop takes aim at APEC

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Jaimey Hamilton Jaimey Hamilton
Gaye Chan Gaye Chan
Demonstrators paint signs in opposition of APEC. Demonstrators paint signs in opposition of APEC.

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's less than a month before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit comes to Oahu. And a group of some 50 people got together at the multi-media art lounge at 39 Hotel Thursday night to demonstrate against APEC and discuss it -- using art.

Most of the messages were against APEC; the most straightforward one said simply, "APEC sucks." People could bring their own t-shirts, and silkscreen the message themselves.

One of the organizers said, however, that one of the purposes of the art demonstration workshop is to ask questions and be informed about APEC.

"What is its role here, and how is APEC different from how I experience the economy," said Jaimey Hamilton, an assistant professor of art at the University of Hawaii and an event organizer.

Others at the event made the point that there isn't much any more that we make ourselves.

"Capitalism, in order to make all of us vulnerable, and to turn us all into consumers from producers, they had to de-skill us, so that we don't know how to do anything," said artist Gaye Chan, who demonstrated how to make protest signs.

"There are a lot of friends of mine or are academics or business people and they want to do something, but they're like, 'I don't know how -- how do I get the board to make a sign?' So the only thing that they think of us they have to go to the store," Chan said.

The event used leftover cardboard destined for recycling bins, and leftover house paint. People used them to paint their own protest signs, or to paint questions about APEC.

Hamilton said one point of the demonstration was "letting people ask questions and enabling a space where they can ask questions and really engage on what matters to them, rather than someone just telling them what APEC is or isn't."

Organizers also said the gathering demonstrated a sense of community, including the "do it yourself" attitude of the growing movement around the country that started with "Occupy Wall Street," with its eclectic, hand painted signs.

As for the signs painted at the workshop, many of them will be making an appearance Saturday -- at an "Occupy Honolulu" demonstration at Magic Island.

 

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