The Stop Shopping Choir has been exploring the shape and time of song for twenty years- in movement building, direct action, community organizing, interventionist art, and performance. Here, Director Savitri D explores some intersections of their work with Assembly. In particular this is a meditation on song as an organizing tool and a practice toward decision-making, consensus building and Assembly. Using mostly cell phone footage and archival material she explains some of the extraordinary possibilities that arise when people sing together, especially in public space. Song as leader, teacher, protector, diviner, gatherer, unifier and Choir as an almost perfect example of imaginary possibility and prefigurative politics.
The Stop Shopping Choir is a radical performance community based in New York City, they are from many different creative and activist backgrounds and reflect many communities and homelands. The Choir has evolved a very particular sound and performance experience from the synthesis of their lived experience. The choir is grounded in the work of Justice and in service to the Earth. They love to sing together.
Savitri D is an activist. She is the director of Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir a 50 person radical performance community based in New York City. Since 2001 she has staged direct actions, interventions and spectacles in contested space all over the world and collaborated with communities to create paths of resistance and resilience. Most recently she has been deeply involved in issues of immigration, extinction and fossil fuel extraction.
She has lectured and led workshops on the topic of creative resistance at Universities & Festivals for more than 15 years and frequently offers trainings for activists in New York City. The Church of Stop Shopping is the recipient of an Obie Award, the Alpert award on the Arts and the Edwin Booth Award in Theater.
Reverend Billy is a writer and performer. He developed the character Reverend Billy in response to the Disneyfication of New York City in the late 90’s and has been active in movements opposing Consumerism in its broadest sense, especially Neo liberal economies and Militarism. Currently he is creating a weekly radio show Reverend Billy Radio and a LIVE! Talk show, Extinction Talk Radio.