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Explore Bay Area Social Movement History

January-May 2016

Free Public Talks

Wednesday evenings 7:30-9:30 unless otherwise noted. At Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia, near 16th Street, San Francisco

A place to meet and talk unmediated by corporations, official spokespeople, religion, political parties, or dogma. Download a pdf of the Spring 2016 calendar here.

Partly underwritten by Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, City Lights Foundation, and the Other Avenues Grocery Cooperative.

Archive of past talks

Online audio archive of past talks, listed by type:

podcast subscription To subscribe to our Talks as a podcast, paste the link into your favorite podcast software (iTunes, Podcast Addict, etc.)

Confused about podcast subscribing? Go here for an explanation on how to do it.

February 10
New (Old) Paradigms in Medicine

A discussion of our changing relationship with medical care from medieval times to today. Including long-term care at Laguna Honda, a pop-up clinic based on DIY herbalism, nutrition and self-care for Tenderloin seniors, and a small Mission District clinic serving the undocumented. with Ivy McClelland, author of God’s Hotel Dr. Victoria Sweet, Dr. Rupa Marya, and Marina Lazzara.

February 24
Art & Politics: Mauro Ffortissimo with Dean Mermell

While squatting a South Park Gulch apartment in the 1990s and experimenting with urban guerrilla art, at some point Argentinian-born artist Mauro Ffortissimo began collecting pianos. He took them apart, pushed them off rooftops, and set one ablaze on the bluffs of Half Moon Bay after a series of sunset performances. Together, Mauro and Dean Mermell now bring pianos to the streets and gardens of San Francisco. Including an excerpt of Twelve Pianos.

Saturday, March 5, 11 am–5 pm &
Sunday, March 6, 11 am–4 pm
San Francisco History Days

at the Old Mint

Come to the Old Mint at 88 5th Street to enjoy 100 local history groups sharing the venerable old building to present their multitudinous efforts to preserve and present local history. Shaping San Francisco will be there with a table, as will many of our associated community history groups in our recently christened "Department of Memory".

March 9
Rise and Fall of Third Worldism

How the Non-Aligned Movement founded at the 1961 Belgrade Conference in Yugoslavia challenged the post-WWII world system based on the bipolar US-USSR Cold War. Yugoslavia, Indonesia, African decolonization struggles, Indian independence and partition, nationalism, third world socialism, and more. with Eddie Yuen, Andrej Grubacic, and Walter Turner.

March 16
Street Names, Streetcars, and

Street Life

A deeply informed, irreverent tour through San Francisco before the automobile took over half the City’s physical terrain. Historic photos illustrate many stories, including how Haight Street was named, the City was dominated by steam-powered rail, and San Franciscans lived before parking was an issue! with Angus Macfarlane, Emiliano Echeverria, and David Gallagher.

April 13
Synthetic Biology: DIY Tinkering Meets Big Capital

In the midst of the ongoing tech boom in the Bay Area, the biotech industry gets less attention than social media and “sharing” unicorns. What is going on with the push for “synthetic biology”? What are the implications for politics, manufacturing, medicine? Will the boundary between life and artifice persist? How do embedded paradigms reflect deeper assumptions about the structure of modern life? with Marcy Darnovsky, Pete Shanks, and Tito Jankowski.

Offsite: April 20, 6 pm
San Francisco 1960s & 70s: Cultural Ecology and Experimentation

Held at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street

A panel discussion with Ten Years That Shook the City and authors as part of a CHS series on the role of Lawrence and Nina Halprin on San Francisco's culture, landscape, and politics.

Here's the link for tickets to the event ($5 CHS members, $10 non-members)

April 27
Oil, Soil, and (Climate) Turmoil

Decades after the Alaska oil pipeline began, we’ve gone through repeated booms and busts in oil production and prices. Antonia Juhasz has studied the history of the oil business and is one of the world’s best-informed critics of the industry. She is joined by Leila Salazar-Lopez of Amazon Watch, a group confronting oil giants in the Amazon, and by Joshua Kahn-Russell, author of A Line in the Tar Sands. All three explain the current balance of forces, and the prospects for keeping the “oil in the soil.”

May 11
What’s Going Right with the

Global Environment!

Will Grant has spent the past year developing new curricula for high school students and has put together a tour of the surprising things he learned. Meanwhile, Tom Athanasiou directs Eco-Equity, a small but vital contributor to the global negotiations over climate change. Enthusiastic hope and acerbic realism meet head-to-head in this panorama of environmentalist politics and practice.

May 25
Audible Cities

What can sounds tell us about the geography, people, and politics of a particular place? This panel explores the role sounds play in our everyday lives as well as how they can attune us to below-the-radar experiences and often “off the map” histories of the urban. Discover the intersection between sound and history with Jeremiah Moore and Sound Mappers Bruno Ruviaro and Christina Zanfagna.