Freedom book

Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, editor of “The Freedom Book”

Art

“The book is a conversation about freedom that seeks to inspire the reader to think for themselves about what freedom means to them. “


Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of "The book of freedom" 1

How did the idea come about?
Basically I wanted to make a difference in the world not by telling people what to think, but rather by asking them what they thought… to create a forum for an investigation into “what is freedom” . The book is a conversation about freedom that seeks to inspire the reader to think for themselves about what freedom means to them. I also wanted the book to benefit a youth arts organization. I chose the Upward Bound Visual and Performing Arts Program in San Francisco. As far as the creation of the book goes, I was living in San Francisco and that was during the months before the US bombing of Iraq. There has been so much talk of “freedom” on the part of politicians and protesters as a way of thinking and motivating people to act. Millions of people have gathered on the streets of the United States (and the world) in the name of “peace”. Stand up and come together in the name of “freedom”. Come together and communicate that “the people have an opinion on whether or not the administration should bomb another country in the name of freedom and democracy”. It was all pretty inspiring.
As an artist, I have seen that freedom is the essence of artistic expression. I thought “let’s ask artists what they think of freedom”. I started to invite artists to participate in the book. I set a production date to send the book to the printer, which called me to action to collect artwork for the book. It took three months to collect and store the art, and three months for production, printing, and shipping.

I wanted the finished book to be in the hands of people all over the world and I picked a book release date six months into the future and then I went for it. We had an amazing book release event in San Francisco on June 27, 2003. Artists from San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong participated. It was a great feeling. We raised money for the youth arts program, which was great. Shortly after the release event, I secured a worldwide distribution deal with Last Gasp Publishing in San Francisco. Fortunately, the book is now found all over the world.

Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of "The book of freedom" 2

Freedom?

Ursula Xanthe Young

San Francisco, California

Do you think the topic now has special significance?
Freedom affects everyone. It’s an election year and the United States is at war, so people are keenly aware that there are choices being made “in the name of freedom.” National security is the hot topic, and messages of propaganda and fear are the norm in the mainstream culture. The book “Freedom” seeks to get people to think for themselves at a time when media savvy politicians are dictating what freedom is and how it should be best preserved.

Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of "The book of freedom" 3

Illusion

Nick silberman

San Francisco, California

What surprised you about the submissions?
It was a wonderful surprise to see how deeply people feel… to come into contact with how much human energy and art can be ignited by an inquiry.

Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of "The book of freedom" 4

Eat it all

Matt Dong

San Francisco, California

Will there be future books on “Freedom”? How will they differ?
The next book will bring together artists from several countries. It will have a wonderful international flavor. I just returned from Tokyo and it was super inspiring. There is such an abundance of wonderful art to be preserved. Also, the next book of freedom will allow the reader to discover more about the personalities of the participating artists.

Interview with Jimmy Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of "The book of freedom" 5

I need opportunities

Lin “Quik” Felton

New York, New York


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