Arts & Culture » Visual Art

Take back the day



With the devastation down South, it’s hard to think about oneself right now. But a lot of good can come from a great venting session. And this week’s Aggro-Culture event, hosted by the quirky activist organization Upside Down Culture, is a prime place to purge – and get some perspective.

“What happened on September 11th is crucial to what this group is doing,” Upside Down Culture’s Jhon Clark says. “Our approach is to use creativity and self-expression as a way to deal with violence in the world.”

Always up for levity, Upside Down Culture has hosted previous events like Folk the War, The Donald Rumsfeld Memorial Rump Roast and Wrestling Extravaganza, and Fight the Party to the Right (a fund-raiser to send protesters to the Republican National Convention). On Sunday, in commemoration of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, Upside Down Culture has decided to, in their own words, “take the day back.” Instead of the usual maudlin displays of fair-weather patriotism, they’ll present Aggro-Culture as an alternative way to mourn 9/11.

Besides entertainment from Urban Folk Collective’s BLAIR and the Space Band (whose homemade instruments and puppet shows are always a hit at the Fourth Street Fair), Aggro-Culture will offer an open mic forum for spoken word and poetry. There also will be the Primal Rage Yelling Booth, where folks can shout their frustration away; a secure area to throw things and break bottles (surprisingly cathartic); and an interactive installation called The Self-Medicating Space, which consists of a La-Z-Boy, a TV set and some junk food. For those who choose to skip the Cheetos, activist organization Food not Bombs will supply a variety of vegetarian grub.

Clark says events like this are important because they draw attention to local arts and activism. His ethos is pure DIY: “By turning something like 9/11 ‘upside down,’ we can look at the root causes of such violence. Upside Down Culture tries to do this with creativity, bad humor and dancing, and with the very special use of a subversive science known as FSU – Fuck Shit Up.”

Ya gotta love ’em.


Aggro-Culture starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Trumbullplex, 4208 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-841-3799.

Eve Doster is the listings editor for Metro Times. Send comments to

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