Occupy Wall Street

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation PART 1

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation Part 2


Pia Lindman thanks everyone who showed up at the Federal Hall in April; volunteers, speakers, film crew... you helped create a truly energizing event!  

41 speakers delivered speeches almost non-stop. We will post excerpts of these recordings here shortly.  

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to this project by volunteering or otherwise, please contact Pia by email, piuska@mit.edu. If you want to contribute by writing to this blog click on the link for instructions to participate.

In Soapbox Event, Lindman pares down the structure of democracy to the elemental forms of free speech: human bodies, live voices, and space. This performance investigates the construction and breakdown of collective structures, and how they influence individual expression in democratic decision-making. The event highlights the relationship of embodied speech to the bare life of an individual, in the context of increasingly mediated communication.

- each participant will be given one soapbox
- with the soapbox, each participant is also given one minute of free speech
- participants may form coalitions
- the soapboxes of the members of a coalition can be stacked together to create a higher speech podium
- a representative of a coalition may speak as many minutes as there are stacked boxes (members in the coalition)
We will not be using microphones or any amplifiers. Obtaining greater height serves to elevate a speaker and have their voice project better into the space.

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation Part 4

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation Part 5

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation, part 3

Soapbox Event/Federal Hall Documentation Part 6

Missile Dick Chicks on Soapboxes/Creative Time

About race, voting, and nature

Leeza Meksin on SPANDEX leggings

Poem about love


FROM A FRIEND, reporting from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut:

Recently there was another case of serious censorships at RPI where an exhibition of the Iraqi artist-in-residency Wafaa Bilal was shut down by the school administration, the show was moved to an The Sanctuary for Independent Media and soon after that the Sanctuary was closed by the state officials for violating safety codes.

Some information here:


Anonymous said...

[speaker: Aliza Shvarts steps up onto a group of soap boxes to speak]

So empowerment is important, and this man has a point. We have an institution that infringes upon the rights of the individual; that’s really what’s at issue here. We’re talking about privacy of your own personhood. Privacy of your own selfhood versus the hegemony of power that surrounds us. Speech is a tool against that power, and it’s really one that’s kind of dwindling fast.

This is kind of an aside, but I just kind of wanted to say something about it. It’s really funny to me and I think it’s like a good metaphor about how, you can give people these boxes, and you can give them the right to speak, but you can’t make them make themselves heard. You know when people get up and just talk really quietly? None of us care. None of us hear them. Right? And that’s a problem. It’s a problem of sort of institutionalization. We’re used to things being marketed toward us. You’re used to someone getting up here, making grand gestures and getting your attention. And, you know, we’re conditioned that way. And why are we conditioned that way? And, you know. I think it’s already been touched upon, but I’ll just reiterate: Because we have this huge [expletive removed] institution telling us that’s what power looks like. That’s what empowerment looks like. It’s these patriarchal, you know, heteronormative trappings of a voice; of a right to speak. But really, I think we should think more about it. And I kind of got up here before, and talked about feminism, and sort of thinking about these larger issues, and what I’m really talking about –and what we’re both talking about—is sort of the right of your own personal self-expression. The right of your own selfhood, you know. And you...you got up here and talked about that too, you know? We’re all people. We all have interior spaces in our mind. And the only way we can ever express that is by externalizing it in speech. And you know, there are powers that want to stop us. There’s an institution around us, and we’ve all become used to sort of using those trappings of the institution to express ourselves. Using their language to put our thoughts in; which is wrong. This is where creativity comes in. This is where art comes in. This is where politics comes in. Strangely: The creative art. I think we need to sort of think about how we should really use new tools, innovate, express ourselves, because we’re all individual, unique people. Strangely, even though we all kind of look the same, and talk the same these days, and are told what to do by everybody and we follow like this man said: Like sheep. We need to stop being sheep. We need to figure out what it is we want to say and how we want to say it. Because that’s just as important. It’s not enough to have the right to say it if you don’t know what you’re going to say, and you don’t know how you’re going to make yourselves heard. This is a problem with feminism. This is a problem with queer rights. This is a problem with racism. This is a problem with every “ism.” You don’t have a language. They’ve taken language away from you. They’ve made it their own. You only have the institution. You have to work actively, creatively, innovatively to dismantle it. Complacency is over. Think. We need to think more creatively about this. I think this is the realm of art. I think people have to be like…stop being so dismissive about what art is; it has to stop hanging on the wall. It has to be something lived, breathed, every day. [end]

Anonymous said...

How brilliant! To retain in written form her speech from the video previously available on this blog, and without including the liking of her person, amounts to free speech with a protective mask on her face. Thank you, whoever you are, for having transcribed the speech here!

Political debating like watching superbowl

empowerment of public speech

Accentuate the Postitive

Inspiration for art and political action and Raging Grannies

Soapbox Event/Creative Time and financial crisis

Soapbox Event/Creative Time Political Art in the Margins

Victor Sheely on Soapbox Event/Creative Time

First day of Democracy in America, The National Campaign at the Park Avenue Armory NYC

Soapbox Event opened again with Democracy in America, The National Campaign exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory, NYC this Sunday 09/21/08. We kept the boxes going from 11AM to 10PM!! 
This was an energizing day with many interested and interesting minds, works, and speeches coming together.  Thank you Nato Thompson, for this bold, much needed, smart, inspiring, and fun show!  Thanks to Creative Time for taking on this risky and bold endeavor.  Thanks also to all the enthused and helpful volunteers!  
Personal thanks to Soapbox Production Manager Janine Slaker and Speaker Agent Loren Allston, who stuck it out all day long.  You gave me strength.
At the bottom of this page I have uploaded recordings of the speeches: check out The Missile Dick Chicks video below for something hilariously burlesque and the unplugged off-the-cuff Victor Sheely.

You still have a chance to participate! Welcome to the Soapbox Event next Friday and Saturday (09/26 from 12 to 3PM and 09/27 from 3PM to 6PM) at Park Avenue Armory!

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find more videos.
Please post comments and speeches, and check in again.
Pia Lindman

Protest against Soapbox rules!/Creative Time

Soapbox Event/Creative Time Documentation Part 6

Soapbox Event/Creative Time Documentation Part 3