On June 26th, A Blade of Grass hosted a conversation with Thomas Gokey, an artist and member of Strike Debt, and Sarah Ludwig, co-director of New Economy Project. Strike Debt is a collective of artists, educators, lawyers and documentarians who are actively resisting debt through collective actions that challenge the debt industry and social perceptions of being a debtor. A recent project, The Rolling Jubilee, raised enough money to forgive $10 million worth of medical debt that was purchased on the secondary market. Thomas Gokey and Sarah Ludwig of New Economy Project, a center for community economic justice in New York City, discussed a new project: forming a Debtors’ Union. This conversation focused on using The Rolling Jubilee as a tool for building initiatives that organize artists and activists together in order to concretely dispute the debt system in our country. One the main questions they asked was: what does non-cooperation with Wall Street and debt resistance look like?
Parallel Fields puts an artist and a non-artist whose work is similar into direct conversation with a curious audience. By actively questioning the similarities and differences between the two panelists, audience members examine art as part of everyday life, explore the new roles artists are creating in society, and figure out what exactly artists can bring to the table as agents of social change.