Parallel Fields: Alternative Economies



ABOG Fellow Fran Ilich‘s collaborative Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op project uses alternative currencies, barter and other methods to work with Zapatista coffee growers and forge connections with politically aligned creatives in New York and elsewhere. In this program, his use of art as a means of supporting an alternative economy will be contrasted with viewpoints from financial journalist and blogger Felix Salmon, who will discuss ways of working within, rather than outside, the current system to promote financial reform and more equitable monetary policy.

Fran Ilich

Fran Ilich is a media artist, essayist and novelist. His collaborative project, the Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op, aims to connect rural agricultural workers in Mexico’s Zapatista communities and service industry laborers in New York City by serving Zapatista-grown coffee at catered events throughout the city. Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op is additionally financed by Spacebank, an ongoing art project and virtual community investment bank founded by Ilich in 2005.

Felix Salmon

Felix Salmon is the senior editor at Fusion. A prominent writer on finance and social issues, he was a finance blogger for Reuter’s from 2009-2014 and has contributed to numerous publications including Wired, Slate, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and NY Magazine. He is the host of the Slate Money podcast and can be found online via his blog, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Parallel Fields is a discussion series that pairs an artist and a non-artist, both of whose work is socially engaged, to discuss with an audience how different professions are connected.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



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DecolonizationDiego de la Vega Coffee Co-opEthicsFran IlichLaborParallel Fieldsutopia
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