Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief

Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief

"This intimate, moving, and timely collection of essays points the way to a world in which the burden of grief is shared, and pain is reconfigured into a powerful force for social change and collective healing." —Astra Taylor, author The People's Platform"A primary message here is that from tears comes the resolve for the struggle ahead." —Ron Jacobs, author of Daydream...

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Title:Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief
Author:Cindy Milstein
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Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief Reviews

  • Audacia Ray

    This book really pushed me to fully grapple with the idea that being present in movement work is doing grief work. For much of my activist life I’ve pushed down and away my feelings of grief, sadness, and anger or channeled them into overwork - via writing, vigils, protests, campaign planning. I believed that feelings are weakness and not helpful or productive. But in the last few years I’ve been thinking about the utility of feelings (ugh even putting it that way is wrong) in a different way,

    This book really pushed me to fully grapple with the idea that being present in movement work is doing grief work. For much of my activist life I’ve pushed down and away my feelings of grief, sadness, and anger or channeled them into overwork - via writing, vigils, protests, campaign planning. I believed that feelings are weakness and not helpful or productive. But in the last few years I’ve been thinking about the utility of feelings (ugh even putting it that way is wrong) in a different way, and this book really spoke to that. We must be able to bring our full, messy, grieving selves into movement and not treat the work like a space to be professionalized and sanitized of emotion.

  • Sean Estelle

    What a lovely collection. Very intense, as the subject matter would suggest, but still absolutely worth the read. Covered some struggles I knew a lot about, some I didn't - and the range of formats was also great.

    (On a logistical note, this is not the correct number of pages in the book...)

  • Maud

    Okay this book was 412 pages not 200 JUST SO YOU KNOW I read a REALLY LONG BOOK

    but it didn't feel like it because every essay was so awesome. Spans from about the time of the 80s AIDS crisis (Sarah Schulman, David Wojnarowicz) through coal country struggles, Palestine, Black Lives Matter, police shootings, to disability studies - so mostly pretty recent issues.

    Written by those deeply invested in the struggles, most essays are very touching. They are sorrowful but strong. The general thesis of

    Okay this book was 412 pages not 200 JUST SO YOU KNOW I read a REALLY LONG BOOK

    but it didn't feel like it because every essay was so awesome. Spans from about the time of the 80s AIDS crisis (Sarah Schulman, David Wojnarowicz) through coal country struggles, Palestine, Black Lives Matter, police shootings, to disability studies - so mostly pretty recent issues.

    Written by those deeply invested in the struggles, most essays are very touching. They are sorrowful but strong. The general thesis of the book - that we can overcome anything if we are honest, open, and deliberate about working together - is one I firmly agree with. It is certainly not always easy but I took a lot of heart from this collection and I think everyone will be able to find at least one piece that deeply resonates, and hopefully spurs them into action.

    <3<3

  • Michelle Pawlak

    Beautiful collection, edited together in a way that lets each story of grief into the next. A beautiful reminder we grieve together.

  • Madeleine

    helpful and critical intervention in a needed discussion of the ways that affect and vulnerability need to factor into our organizing strategies. reckoning with how to cope with the state of being haunted in a way that doesn't explain away our pain but gives hope for submitting to the process of being tranformed :'(

  • sylas

    Book bingo hua-silo winter 2018: political bent

  • Amy Layton

    This was a beautiful, touching, visceral book. Filled with collections of essays, experiences, interviews, and photographs, this anthology makes for a read like no other. Cindy Milstein and the other authors discuss their experiences surrounding tragedies such as border-crossing, the AIDS epidemic, Fukushima, Palestine, incarceration. Such events and experiences are traumatic, filled with death, yet they argue that as a community, such tragedies can be acknowledged and worked through

    This was a beautiful, touching, visceral book.  Filled with collections of essays, experiences, interviews, and photographs, this anthology makes for a read like no other.  Cindy Milstein and the other authors discuss their experiences surrounding tragedies such as border-crossing, the AIDS epidemic, Fukushima, Palestine, incarceration.  Such events and experiences are traumatic, filled with death, yet they argue that as a community, such tragedies can be acknowledged and worked through collectively.  But how?

    For some, that "how" is through activism.  My personal favorite essay, "Dust of the Desert", discusses the traumatic experiences of those who have illegally crossed the Mexican-USA border in order to find a better life.  It's too hot, too cold, and they're too hungry, too thirsty.  And the stories that we receive and learn about are from those who actually made it to the other side.  What of those left behind?  What bodies are in the midst of the desert?  And how does one begin to work through that?  What does it feel like to be the keeper of those stories?

    The design of this text is phenomenal, and all of the stories are hard in their own ways, but spaced out just enough so that reading them isn't draining.  Rebellious Mourning is truly a non-fiction anthology unlike anything else I've read.  This is an astounding read, and absolutely worth delving into.

    Review cross-listed

    !

  • Sølvi Goard

    I think I wanted a strategy for grief from this, and it felt uncomfortable adjusting to the fact that it wasn't going to do that. It made me cry, a lot. Not just from the tragedy, the sadness, but in the richness and fullness of emotional tools that we build to approach injustice and loss.

  • Sarah Landis

    "We need to recognize both when sadness is keeping us from moving and when the urgency of movement is blocking our need to feel grief."

    This is a POWERFUL book. It covers a vast amount of topics- Transgender rights, what it means to survive sexual abuse, living with AIDS, the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and so, so many more.

    It discusses how and why we feel sadness and grief. It discusses how we process it on a personal and community level, and it

    "We need to recognize both when sadness is keeping us from moving and when the urgency of movement is blocking our need to feel grief."

    This is a POWERFUL book. It covers a vast amount of topics- Transgender rights, what it means to survive sexual abuse, living with AIDS, the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and so, so many more.

    It discusses how and why we feel sadness and grief. It discusses how we process it on a personal and community level, and it discusses how we can use our grief in a movement towards more justice or even revolution.

    I recommend this book to ANYONE.

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