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Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus reached it's $15,000 fundraising goal! Thank you everyone!

Thank you to everyone who helped Rachelle Lee Smith and Speaking OUT reach it's goal of $15,000 on Indiegogo! Your support unlocked the $10,000 of matching funds gifted to support the project by the Arcus Foundation!

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus
is a photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages fourteen to twenty-four, identifying as queer (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning). Portraits are presented without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than sixty-five portraits photographed over a period of ten years, Speaking OUT provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth.

Donate to support the creation of Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus on Indiegogo
Speaking OUT in The Huffington Post
Speaking OUT in Shaping Youth
Pre-order Speaking OUT

The Real-Life Stories Behind ‘Orange Is the New Black’

"We (takepart) put together a list of indispensable works about women in prison with the help of Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggle for Incarcerated Women, and mimi lok, cofounder and executive director of Voices of Witness, a nonprofit that publishes oral histories of human rights crises, including Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives From Women’s Prisons. Piper Kerman, activist and the real-life inspiration for OITNB’s Piper Chapman, calls Inside This Place “essential reading,” and we’d agree. It's a collection of moving essays by inmates that detail the indignities women experience before incarceration and the new ones they confront in jail, such as forced sterilization and physical and sexual abuse by staff. Law’s work is a must-read for anyone interested in how activism happens within the prison system—think the real-life Sosos and Sister Ingallses."—Holly Eagleson, takepart

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The Angry Brigade's John Barker, 40 years on: 'I feel angrier than I ever felt then'— The Guardian (UK)

"Just over 40 years ago, John Barker appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey charged, as a member of the Angry Brigade, with conspiracy to cause explosions. He was jailed for 10 years at the end of what was then Britain's longest trial. Now he has written a novel, Futures, a tale about crime, the financial markets and cocaine dealing, set in 1987 amid the first signs of the City mayhem that would bring such chaos in its wake...Futures was written more than 20 years ago and its publication by the radical imprint PM Press later this month (via Kickstarter) follows earlier editions in France and Germany. It tells the story of Carol, a young single mother and drug dealer, Gordon, a "tasty", self-regarding old-school London gangster, and two coke-snorting financial analysts, Phil and Jack, who entertain a fantasy of a cocaine futures market. Their internal lives are described in a richly original, cliche-free style and the book is remarkably prescient. "—Duncan Campbell, The Guardian (UK)

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Alex Ogg's Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables on PopMatters

"Intended as liner notes for the 25th anniversary of this punk album, Alex Ogg's project had to wait five more years for what turns into a longer book on a 38 minute 1980 LP. Legal disputes over songwriting credits, added to the protracted resentment between singer Jello Biafra and his bandmates, notably guitarist East Bay Ray and bassist Klaus Flouride, tested the patience of the author and theDead Kennedys, past and present.

This story, told efficiently by a veteran chronicler of punk, reveals that the American underground in the late '70s could match the best of the British punks when it came to political commentary paired with feisty music. Furthermore, unlike so many righteous punks before and after the Dead Kennedys, this San Francisco outfit retained its sense of humor."—John L. Murphy,

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Buy Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

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  • Danger! Keep Out!
    What happened to an encyclopedia that published an article denouncing Zionism 
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    Violeta Parra is rightly considered the godmother of La Nueva Canción Chilena. As I write in "Venceremos" she tragically committed suicide on February 8, 1967 in the quarters of her own peña. Despite the self-inflicted guns...
  • Celebrating Inti-Illimani's 40th Anniversary in 2007
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  • Swimming in Sumter Little Theatre
    Among the things I’ve done over the three weeks I’ve spent in Sumter, South Carolina, is helped build a set for a Sumter Little Theatre production. My experience with that, and time spent with my childhood pal and star of that theater,...

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Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers

Raising Hell