The idea is simple.
Anarchism is beautiful. How would you embody that beauty in a circle A?
To expand on that a bit, how would you illustrate the best of anarchism’s vision—its dreamy promises and/or life-affirming, liberatory practices—within the form of a circle A? How would you depict elements of the kind of beautifully anarchistic world that you’d want to live in with others, and/or already do in certain ways? Or to put it another way, I’m looking for circle As that portray what anarchism is “for” rather than “against.” I want to highlight the forms of freedom that we believe are not only possible but also desirable in our social relationships and social organization.
This is a call for circle A artwork to be published in a small but sweet book, tentatively titled Try Anarchism for Life, consisting of a series of picture-prose. Each circle A drawing will be done by a different anarchist artist or graphic designer, or artistic anarchist. All the words, or mini essays, will be penned by me. I’ll both glean inspiration from what I see and feel in each image, and portray what to my mind makes anarchism so beautiful. The book will include some two-dozen or so gorgeous illustrations, each one coupled with what I hope is my equally gorgeous wordsmithing. (For examples of my picture-prose, see my Instagram, @cindymilstein.) I’ll of course credit all art makers, including their names, a brief bio, and a line or two about what their artwork means to them.
Try Anarchism for Life is meant as a gift to everyone who is anarcho-curious, new to anarchism, or has long been an anarchist—or continually aspires to be one. Given the renewed visibility of anarchism, it will serve as an implicit refutation of those who negatively depict or even dangerously target anarchism. But more important, the book is explicitly geared toward highlighting that despite or in response to this ugly time period, we’re already (and always) bringing other messy beautiful worlds to life, carving out magical and egalitarian spaces of self-organization, collective care, and solidarity. It is aimed at “drawing out” some of the many compelling reasons to embrace anarchism’s ethics, aspirations, and prefigurative forms of freedom.
As for the artwork itself, it should be high-resolution black and white. For each piece, I’m looking for a single circle A that can be reproduced as a square shape, even if the “square” is implied by the space around the circle, as in the examples above and below. I prefer artwork that does not include words at all, or especially not as prominent parts of the illustration. If you have further questions, get in touch.
To submit a circle A illustration(s)—either ones you’ve already done or new artwork—or run an idea(s)/sketch(es) by me first—so that you don’t go to too much trouble before I let you know if it’s going to be workable for this book—email me at cbmilstein [at] yahoo [dot] com. I’ll say “yes” or “not a good fit but beautiful” as I get submissions so that I can start drafting essays to go with them. That means that the deadline is a rolling one; I’d love to begin seeing your imaginative creations soon!
Please note: This project, like all my other books, is a labor of love. Neither myself nor any of the art makers will get any money, although everyone will get a copy of the finished book.
Rolling deadline: now through February 15, 2021.
Illustrations: (top), beautiful circle A by Landon Sheely; (bottom): beautiful circle A by N.O. Bonzo. Both will be included in the book.