The Endless Possibilities of Paper Mache: Imagination vs. Armageddon in the Cold War
by Jo Swanson
Revolution is on the rise. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, people are joining together to protest oppression and greed, and in this renaissance of resistance one of the world’s fastest growing movements is Food Not Bombs. With no leaders or central organization, Food Not Bombs operates on three basic principles: nonviolence, consensus decision-making and free vegetarian food for all. As of 2011, the group counted more than 400 chapters world-wide. How did this movement begin? A fact that many of its members may not know is that FNB’s first meal was intended to be street theater, and the original group consisted mainly of artists, actors, dancers, musicians and clowns.
The Endless Possibilities of Paper Maché - Imagination vs. Armageddon in the Cold War, is Jo Swanson’s memoir of life as an actor and activist in Boston during the early 1980’s. It chronicles her experiences as a founding member of Food Not Bombs, director of Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, organizer with the Nuclear Free Cambridge Campaign, poet with the Underground Surrealists, puppeteer with the Northeast Kingdom Puppet Theater and inmate at Rockingham County Jail.
Believing that ‘the personal is political,’ Swanson also pursues inner salvation through avant-garde theater workshops, poetry and dreams. As the decade unfolds and the cold war escalates, she must face the age-old dilemma of pursuing her unlikely ideals or 'growing up and getting with the program.'
Recounted with humor and frequent stabs at the powers that be, The Endless Possibilities of Paper Maché is a fond memory of idealism, camaraderie and creativity in the face of imminent annihilation. Its message is for young people starting out in their efforts to save the world and for the old ones who never gave up.
Half the proceeds from this book will be donated to Food Not Bombs.
- Jo Swanson, February 2012
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