The Intercept, together with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Intercept senior correspondent Naomi Klein (“The Shock Doctrine”) are proud to present “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” a 7-minute animated film featuring art by award-winning illustrator Molly Crabapple (“Brothers of the Gun”), co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis (“This Changes Everything”) and co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt. The film is narrated by Ocasio-Cortez.
Following their collaboration with Jay-Z and Dream Hampton on a viral short film about the epic fail of the War on Drugs, Crabapple, Boekbinder and Batt have turned their talents towards the Green New Deal, partnering with Ocasio-Cortez and creating a unique response to the most common critiques of the Green New Deal.
“It is such a pleasure to collaborate with this team of artists and filmmakers, who are helping us imagine the beautiful, safe and inclusive future that so many tell us is impossible,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “Before we can win a Green New Deal,” she added, “we need to be able to close our eyes and imagine it. We can be whatever we have the courage to see.”
Intercept Story by Naomi Klein:
This hybrid of fact, fiction, and art is set at a time when the Green New Deal is a reality and human beings have come together to tackle the global climate crisis in a fair and equitable manner. In this alternative (but entirely possible) timeline, the 2020 presidential election jumpstarted the “Decade of the Green New Deal” and a flurry of legislation kicked off a series of social and ecological transformations to save the planet.
“We wanted to work on art about the Green New Deal because fundamentally the Green New Deal is about hope,” said Molly Crabapple. “Despite all the horrors of climate change that we have seen and continue to see, we can save ourselves, accomplish brave, beautiful and world-changing things.”
For months now, the Green New Deal has been under attack from all sides of the political spectrum – and many have tried to paint this proposed stimulus program as “unrealistic” or “too ambitious.”
But while transforming our economy and entertaining solutions on the scale of the climate crisis, without leaving anyone behind, takes both courage and imagination, this hopeful future isn’t at all utopian. In fact, as Naomi Kleinnotes in today’sIntercept story about the project, the New Deal was also the target of similar attacks. In the case of the New Deal, art making – and art funding – was an intrinsic part of the recipe that helped Americans overcome their fears and embrace bold collective measures aimed at helping the entire country.
“The biggest obstacle to the kind of transformative change the Green New Deal envisions is overcoming the idea that we are all too selfish, shortsighted and Twitter-addled to pull off something on this scale,” said Intercept senior correspondent Naomi Klein. “This beautiful film helps us imagine a different version of ourselves, and a future in which we decided to come together in the face of crisis, rather than surrender and fall apart.”
Justice Democrats, a small-dollar funded progressive organization that recruited and helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is a partner on the film’s release. The organization launched the campaign for a Green New Deal alongside her and Sunrise Movement at a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office in November 2018.
“Many people remember the famous posters and murals from the New Deal era sponsored by the Works Progress Administration that helped Americans imagine a vision for the country beyond depression and inequality,” said Alexandra Rojas, Executive Director, Justice Democrats. “Art will play a major role in the fight for the Green New Deal because we have to be able to imagine and see the new social contract and future we’re building together.”
“A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” will also screen during Sunrise Movement’s “Road to the Green New Deal” tour, with eight major national stops and over 100 town halls across America. The tour begins Thursday, April 18, with a gathering at The Strand Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. For additional info on the Sunrise tour, visit their official site.
About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes the eastern part of The Bronx and portions of north-central Queens in New York City. She was the first NY-14 Democratic challenger in a generation; the first NY-14 candidate to run without any lobbyist money in modern history; and the first woman of color to *ever* run in NY-14 (a district that’s 70% people of color).
About Molly Crabapple:
Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer whose inspirations include Diego Rivera and Goya’s The Disasters of War. Her newest publication project, “Brothers of the Gun,” an illustrated collaboration with Syrian war journalist Marwan Hisham, was published by Chris Jackson’s One World imprint at Penguin Random House in May 2018 and has been longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. Her memoir, “Drawing Blood,” received global praise and attention. Crabapple’s reportage has been published in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, VICE, and elsewhere. She is currently the Spring 2019 artist in residence at NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.
About Naomi Klein:
Naomi Klein is a senior correspondent at The Intercept and the inaugural Gloria Steinem endowed chair of media, culture and feminist studies at Rutgers University. She is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, most recently of “The Battle for Paradise.” She has also written “No Is Not Enough,” “This Changes Everything,” “The Shock Doctrine,” and “No Logo.”
About Avi Lewis:
Avi Lewis is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and lecturer in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. His 25-year journalism career has spanned award-winning theatrically-released documentaries to local news reporting, and has appeared on television networks worldwide. In 2017, he co-founded and is now Strategic Director of The Leap – an organization launched to upend our collective response to the crises of climate, inequality and racism.
About The Intercept:
The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Its in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more.