Anger. A word that often does the rounds in the 21st century. On a global scale, citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with their governments – from discord within the current American administration to rising hostility within France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, and Lebanon. Anger, fueled by Brexit, the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill proposed by the Hong Kong government, Catalan separatists, rising Hindu nationalism in India, and the recent protests in Chile. Anger due to the persistence of racial violence, threats against the rights of women and workers, discrimination against the LGBTQ community, repression, as well as fear and instability surrounding health care systems, income inequality, the environmental crisis, and the effects of mass migration. A powerful emotion that can be both instinctual yet also intellectualized, anger has often been capitalized on for violent means. However, when channeled productively, anger has the power to spark collective imagination and forge empathetic relationships. While anger is subjective and not universally displayed across individuals and cultures, we will work to demystify and critically explore the current culture of rage.
Some of the questions we will strive to answer in our next salon: Is collective anger made of myriad individual ones? Can claiming anger be a tool for collective bonding? Is anger infectious? Are people getting angrier, or is the baseline shifting? Is anger a propeller, or an impediment for progress? What is the social cost of anger? How is anger affecting culture? Can a “collective anger management” course exist? Can anger be weaponized? What are the most egregious cases of incitement to collective anger? How is anger rooted in cultural identity? Do expressions of anger vary across cultures, genders, and ages? Is there such a thing as hereditary anger? Are we born with the capability for anger or is this behavior taught? What is the connection between anger and respect? When is the expression of anger efficacious? When should it be repressed? How does anger manifest in the body? How do artists channel anger into their work? Do they ever try to defuse it? Do we perform anger?
This salon took place on December 10th, 2019.
Lydia Lunch is an American writer, singer, poet, actress, and speaker whose career was spawned by the New York City “No Wave” scene. Widely considered one of the most influential performers originating from New York City, Lydia has worked with bands and artists such as Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Karen Finley, Richard Kern, and Hubert Selby Jr. Lydia recently published her book So Real It Hurts, a collection of personal essays and interviews.
Andrew Marantz is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he has worked since 2011. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, New York, and Mother Jones. A contributor to Radiolab and The New Yorker Radio Hour, he has spoken at TED and has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many other outlets. Andrew recently published his first book, Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.
Marilyn Minter is a contemporary artist whose personal brand of Photorealist painting examines contemporary ideas of beauty. Marilyn’s works are in the collections of MoMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. In 2017 she conceived Anger Management, a project in which more than 70 artists created art objects for a resistance-themed pop-up gift shop at the Brooklyn Museum.
Shaun Leonardo is a multidisciplinary artist whose work discusses societal expectations of manhood––namely definitions surrounding black and brown masculinities––along with its notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. His performance practice, anchored by his work in Assembly (a diversion program for court-involved youth) is participatory in nature and invested in a process of embodiment.
Lee Gelernt is a lawyer at the national office of the ACLU in New York, and currently holds the positions of deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project and director of the project’s Access to the Court’s Program. Over his career, Lee has argued dozens of other notable civil rights cases at all levels of the federal court system. In addition to his work at the ACLU, he is adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, and for many years taught at Yale Law School as an adjunct.
Pamela Sneed is a poet, writer, visual artist, and performer. The author of the books Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery (1998) and Kong and Other Works (2009), as well as the chapbooks Lincoln (2014), Gift (2015), and Sweet Dreams (2018), her poetry has appeared in 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni, 2010), Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays (edited by William Demastes, 2013), and Zoe Leonard’s Transcript of a Rally (2016).
David J. Anderson, Ph.D., is Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology where he has been on the faculty since 1986. Dr. Anderson is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Anderson’s research has focused on the neural circuits underlying innate behaviors that are associated with emotional states, including defensive behaviors and inter-male aggression.
Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse. Its vision is a politics of kindness rendered consistently and unapologetically. Its vision depends on values that are the most ordinary and therefore the most precious: human decency, dignity, responsibility, fairness, duty, honesty, morality and care. With Citizens’ Assemblies, it believes that when people are given good information, they make good decisions.
Lausan is a collective of writers, researchers, translators, organizers and artists from Hong Kong. Through editorial and community outreach projects, it aims to build solidarity on the international left with Hong Kongers’ ongoing struggle. Lausan’s visual culture team produces curatorial, archival and studio collaborations in critical engagement with unfolding histories of resistance in and beyond Hong Kong.
Rachel Yehuda, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, is the Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine which includes the PTSD clinical research program and the Neurochemistry and Neuroendocrinology laboratory at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Yehuda is a recognized leader in the field of traumatic stress studies.
Derald Wing Sue is Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College and the School of Social Work, Columbia University. Dr. Sue’s research has focused on the field of multicultural psychology, multicultural education, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/anti-racism.
Gregg Bordowitz is an artist and writer, currently a professor and director of the Low-Residency MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bordowitz was an early participant in New York’s ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), where he co-founded various video collectives, including Testing the Limits, an advocacy group within ACT UP, and DIVA (Damn Interfering Video Activists).
Lindsey Snell is a print and video journalist specializing in conflict and humanitarian crises. She has produced documentary-style videos for MSNBC, VICE, Vocativ, ABC News, Ozy, Yahoo News, and Discovery Digital Networks. Her print work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Daily Beast, al Araby and others. One of her pieces, on Aleppo schools hit by airstrikes, won an Edward R. Murrow award in 2016. In 2016 on one of her trips to film in Syria she was kidnapped by al-Qaeda and later detained in Turkey.
THE NATURE OF ANGER
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A PHYSIOLOGY OF ANGER
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OUR AGE OF ANGER: SHIFTING TRENDS OR BUSINESS AS USUAL?
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Lynch, Michael P., Do We Really Understand ‘Fake News’?, The New York Times (09.23.2019)
Cvetkovich, Ann; Reynolds Ann; Staiger, Janet, Political Emotions, Routledge (2010)
Weiss, Bari, Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web, The New York Times (05.08.2018)
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO BE ANGRY?
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Lowery, Wesley, Stankiewicz, Kevin, ‘My demons won today’: Ohio activist’s suicide spotlights depression among Black Lives Matter leaders, The Washington Post (02.15.2016)
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Sanders, Joshunda, Black Women, Let Your Anger Out, In These Times (03.26.2019)
Sharpe, Christina, Lose Your Kin, The New Inquiry (11.16.2016)
Serena Williams accuses umpire of sexism and vows to ‘fight for women’, The Guardian (09.09.2018)
*ACKNOWLEDGING ANGER, CREDITING ANGER
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CHANNELING ANGER THROUGH CREATIVE EXPRESSION
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Feministas chilenas cantan contra la violencia hacia las mujeres, RT en Español (11.26.2019)
Greta Thunberg Gets Angry With World Leaders At UN Climate Summit, Now This (09.23.2019)
Liz Magic Laser, Primal Speech, 2016, single-channel video installation, 11:50 minutes. Developed with therapeutic activities conducted in collaboration with Certified Professional Life Coach Valerie Bell. Courtesy of the artist, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles and Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam
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Ryan Martin: Why we get mad and why it’s healthy, TEDxFondduLac (08.2018)
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