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8 Songs You Better Not Have Missed in 2014

Celebrating the year that protest music popped

Marvin Gaye’s 1971 conceptual masterwork What’s Going On? is as cohesive a statement of political and social dissatisfaction as has ever been recorded. Hearing Gaye at the height of his power decrying war (“What’s Happening Brother”), poverty (“Inner City Blues”), and the environmental crisis (“Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”) will hopefully never lose its considerable healing power. As we near the end of 2014, however, we should note the many musicians who saw fit to record their own statements against the current state of affairs. Only decades of repeated listening will tell whether any of these songs can hang with Gaye’s finest, but here, in no specific order, are a few of the songs we’re listening to these days, as we try to figure out just what the hell’s going on.

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Youth Defending The Dream: Taking On Conservative Powerhouse ALEC

In a time where human rights are under heavy attack, ALEC is the organization that's at the center of it all.

As the nation begins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech, young activists and leaders across the country are marching in solidarity to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

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In Istanbul, Temporary Architecture Becomes Lasting Symbol of Resistance

An examination of how architecture—no matter how impermanent—can affect protest, change, and define a movement.

Earlier this month demonstrators took over Istanbul's Gezi Park, speaking out against the state's proposal to turn the green space used by all into a shopping mall. While they protested this, and other abuses of power, temporary structures sprung up overnight in the square: shelters, libraries, stages, communal sitting areas. But when the occupation was eventually driven out by the opposition, little was left of these makeshift interventions. Fortunately, the nonprofit Herkes İçin Mimarlık (which translates to Architecture For All) documented many of these structures in order to examine how architecture—no matter how impermanent—can affect protest, change, and define a movement.

"The protests in Istanbul indicated one simple thing for architects (designers?): We need new definitions for architecture in situations when architecture is removed from architects. Each unique structure that we encounter in the streets and Gezi Park has its own in-situ design and implementation process. Documentation of these temporary structures is of huge importance for further examination, considering their limited life-cycle," Herkes Icin Mimarlik explain on their Tumblr page.

Their team not only archived photographs of structures seen throughout Gezi Park, but they also created illustrated renderings to act as a sort of mirror image to the photos.

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Occupy History: Will We Remember OWS as a Footnote or a Chapter?

Is "What did Occupy accomplish?" the right question?

Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a column in the New York Times calling Occupy Wall Street a "fad."

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What's Wrong With This Picture? When Juxtaposing Past and Present Sends the Wrong Message

When we juxtapose how it was then with how it is now, we dismiss all the time in between as irrelevant.

If you've been on the internet in the last two days, you may be aware that many people aren't too happy about North Carolina voters' decision to approve a constitutional amendment that strengthens the state's existing ban on gay marriage. And true to internet form, that sentiment resulted in plenty of memes, quotes, tweets, and GIFs.

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With the Billion Euro House, an Irish Artist Protests While Recycling

Shredded cash becomes the ultimate symbol of the economic crisis.


What happens to money after it's too old and worn to be in circulation? Most banks around the globe shred the cash, recycle it, or sell it as a novelty item. Irish artist Frank Buckley managed to both recycle and create a one-of-a-kind protest against the global economic crisis after he turned $1.4 billion Euros—about $1.8 billion U.S. dollars—into a house.

A decade ago Ireland's booming economy transformed it from a nation with staggering unemployment and poverty into a prosperous isle that was a magnet for international corporations. Buckley told the Irish Times that since the crash of the Celtic Tiger, he's seen too many suicides, including that of a close friend. And, like many Americans, before the downturn a bank granted him a 100 percent loan to buy a home, even though he had no income to pay the monthly mortgage. Bill collectors, says Buckley, have come after him and "terrorized" his family.

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