Last Wednesday was the culminating event for our six-session Fictions of Self workshop, in which students learned to reinvent themselves, think outside the box, and just generally mess with people. Taught by the effervescent Jessi Holler and her slightly-more-serious cohort Josh Blanchard, workshop participants looked at everything from the internet to Bob Dylan as a way of shaking things up.
What was the culminating event? I’m glad you asked! The students staged a protest! What were they protesting? Nothing! But, you know, in a really intelligent, thoughtful way. Carrying signs all around Ann Arbor that touted things like: “Down With This Sort of Thing,” the League of Prevention and Discouragement (occasionally going by the acronym AP) handed out pamphlets urging people to stop, think, and protest. It was all very well thought out, while at the same time all very vague, which is, I’m sure you can imagine, hard to pull off.
My favorite part? I was on the phone with someone working at Shaman Drum, an awesome independent bookstore on State Street, when the protesters went by the store. “Oh, weird,” my friend Annie said, and paused. “There’s another small protest going down State Street, which is not weird, but it’s, like, kids. And I can’t really tell what they’re protesting.” Well done, my friends. Well done.
Many thanks to the amazing Jessi and Josh, whom we hope to talk into doing “this sort of thing” again. And many thanks to the workshop participants, who, as usual, wowed and amazed us with their creativity, ingeniousness, and passion.