Steve Lambert

is back from working with artists in Guinea, West Africa.

Yearly Archives: 2017

C4AA Workshop in Guinea, West Africa

The C4AA travelled to Guinea, West Africa in December to train local artists how they can use their practice to fight corruption in the region.

We worked with actors, comics, visual artists, poets, from Guinea, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and other neighboring countries. We ran a bi-lingual workshop through simultaneous interpretation in French, and translating all our written materials into French (see projection on right).

The wealth of natural resources in the region and how poorly distributed that wealth is can make anyone with a heart take another long look at socialism. Because of corruption, basic services in the largest city in the country like water and sewer, electricity, and trash collection don’t exist.

This beach was not exceptional – it’s the result of a lack of basic municipal services like garbage collection. It’s very frustrating to see.

All this has real effects on public health.

Don’t worry, my malaria medicine was preventative. But the public health threats are very real – Ebola killed over 2500 just a few years ago – and preventable as well.

Guinea has more natural resources, minerals, and fresh water than most countries on the continent. However, the wealth is exported along with the resources and what remains is in the hands of a few corrupt leaders. So the country remains criminally underdeveloped. On the first day there, I remember saying to the friend hosting us, “other countries have had revolutions over less than this.” They, of course, knew this.

As frustrating as it was to learn about, I was glad to be able to be helping those striving to make changes. Our curriculum is designed as a framework so those with the local knowledge and culture can adapt the foundational ideas to their context.

And we had fun.

In this group are some of the top comedians and actors in the region, dancers and choreographers, the founder of an all-female photographers association in Mali, and leaders of local theater and arts organizations. They will continue to use the work we did together and adapt it to the region and issues they’re working on.

The Discourses of Capitalism Book

I’m honored that my research with the capitalism sign was able to further research in the field of economics and linguistics. The Discourses of Capitalism: Everyday Economists and the Production of Common Sense “examines the discourses of capitalism taken up by people in their responses to a street art installation created by Steve Lambert, entitled Capitalism Works For Me! True/False.”

Christian W. Chun poured through the raw video interviews we recorded at Times Square, throughout London, Cedar Rapids, and Boston and uses that source material to consider several key questions, including:

  • How do everyday people view and make sense of capitalism and its role in their work and personal lives?
  • What are the discourses they use in their common-sense understandings of the economy to defend or reject capitalism as a system?

“Chun looks at how dominant discourses in social circulation operate to co-construct and support capitalism, and the accompanying counter-discourses that critique it.”

Get it: amazon, libary

Give us the Vote at Arts Westchester

I’ll be showing Wealth or Happiness and Defeat the Ghosts at Give us the Vote at Arts Westchester.

Give Us The Vote at Arts Westchester

Opening Reception:

Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 4-6PM
Honoring our Community Partner, The League of Women Voters of White Plains.
Suggested donation $10 at door


Natalie Baxter
Nicole Bricker
Robert Brush
Zoe Buckman
Tom Fruin
Laurel Garcia Colvin
Johanna Goodman
Gregg Guest
Carla Rae Johnson
Yashua Klos
Steve Lambert
Miguel Luciano
Ann Lewis
Rebecca Mushtare
Michele Pred
Lise Prown & Curt Belshe
Philippe Safire
Jeffrey Schrier
Richard Tomasello

On View: October 10 2017 – January 27, 2018

WHERE: ArtsWestchester Gallery
31 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY

Gallery Hours: Tue – Fri, 12-5pm | Sat 12-6pm

Opening Day Program: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 3pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 4-6pm

ArtsWestchester’s “Give Us The Vote” is inspired by the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State. This contemporary art exhibition in downtown White Plains examines the state of voting rights in America today.

The idea that American democracy is government “by the people, for the people” is fundamental to our national identity, yet the history of who has access to the ballot box in America is troubled. The right to vote is the most contested in American democracy. “Give Us the Vote” is a contemporary art exhibition inspired by the one hundredth anniversary of the victory for women’s voting rights in New York State, and examines the state of voting rights in America today.

The suffragist movement was one of the most powerful grassroots political movement of the 20th century. Women and men from all walks of life rallied together to win women an equal say in the democratic process and full recognition as citizens. The battle for the ballot raged through the Civil Rights Movement leading to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ensuring that the right to vote would not be denied on account of race or color. Still, not every citizen has equal access to the polls. Each election cycle reveals remaining disenfranchised populations and raises controversy about who should, can and does vote. In addition to recognizing the achievements of the suffragists, artworks will address the many enduring barriers to the ballot including gerrymandering, stringent voter registration requirements, voter registration roll purges, and revisions to the Voting Rights Act.

Eyeo 2017 Closing Talk

This summer I gave the closing talk at the 2017 Eyeo Festival in Minneapolis. I used the opportunity to ask the attendees – artists, engineers from tech companies, marketers – to volunteer their skills working with social movements. And I included some stories I’d been eager to tell about the 2016 AIDS Conference!

3 Workshops in April/May

I’m doing three free or low cost workshops in the next few weeks.

#1 How to get press

On May 5 Marisa Mazria Katz (Creative Time Reports) and I will be doing the next free Center for Artistic Activism webinar.

Why should you do it?

We’ve all been there: you’ve done a brilliant, funny, creative action but no one except some passersby and a handful of your Facebook friends have any idea it happened. Or maybe worse yet, you get some press coverage but the journalist completely missed the point. Well, we’re here to help. We’re bringing in the press expert Marisa Mazria Katz who will help us all understand how and when to connect with the press, how to communicate yourself and your campaign, how to write a great pitch or op-ed, and, very importantly, what NOT to do. Join us!

#2 & #3 Putting Your Skills to Work for Social Change

C4AA Board Chair, Patricia Jerido, Stephen Duncombe and I will be running a two part workshop for national arts organization, Creative Capital. You’re welcome to sign up for the first part or both.

Part A: FREE Webinar: Putting Your Skills to Work for Social Change, with Steve Lambert & Patricia Jerido
Wednesday, April 26, 7:00-8:30pm EST

“This free webinar gives practical guidelines on how to be an effective and resilient creative agent for social change. The webinar leaders, who have over 25 years of combined experience training people to plan and implement actions, will show how artists can best lend their expertise and perspectives to campaigns and movements that create real change in the world.”

More info and Registration

Part B: Artistic Activism: Making Art Work
Thursday, May 4, 6:30-9:15 pm
Creative Capital Offices in Lower Manhattan

“Discover how you can use your creative practice to organize communities, and make more engaging and impactful artworks. Through a series of local and international grass-roots case studies, you will learn the basics of cultural, cognitive, and behavioral theory that will help you move audiences from exposure to action. With hands-on exercises designed to give the necessary experience to make more affective and effective artwork, you will feel more confident in applying creative powers to reach social-change goals and more connected to local and global traditions of socially engaged art.”

More info and Registration