This image is from Celebrate People’s History/Iraq Veterans Against the War: Ten Years of Fighting for Peace and Justice, a portfolio that celebrated IVAW’s first ten years and was produced by Justseeds, IVAW, Booklyn, Repetitive Press, and the Civilian Soldier Alliance.
(IVAW is now known as About Face: Veterans Against the War)
The tedious, un-glamourous, day to day work of organizing: handing out flyers, knocking on doors, making phone calls, sending emails, meeting new people, seeing their strengths, asking them questions, carefully listening, and inviting them to set goals, make timelines, attend events, take on tasks, take on roles, to be supported, to give support, to be a part of a community and to be a leader.
The work of one-on-ones and community building: no movement can succeed without doing this deep, powerful, critical work. This is the work done out of love, for survival, healing, and the desire to stop injustice and be free.
Lily Hughes is co-founder of Civilian-Soldier Alliance, community organizer, youth educator, artist, and activist living and working in Philadelphia. She creates mixed media performance art with the Bareteeth Dance Collective and the Swarm Performance band. She is the Program Director at the urban Tree Connection where she runs farming, wellness, and art programing. She has worked with IVAW and Warrior Writers since 2006 supporting countless actions, initiatives, and the development of the IVAW organizing model and Field Organizing Program.
A green and black painting of tall plants, herbs, is the background to drawings, in black, of two women talking. Paper flies around them. Some pages have text in cursive written on them, like questionaires. One of the figures has the IVAW logo on her shoulder, which is an upright rifle with a helmet on it, and is also a reference to the Fallen Soldier icon.