Whirl-Mart Ritual Resistance is a participatory experiment. It is art and action. It came into being in 2001 as a response to Adbusters magazine’s call for foolish action on the first of April. What began as a single happening in Troy, NY has over the course of a year evolved into a ritual activity that is performed across the U.S., and known around the world. It is a ritual during which a group gathers and silently pushes empty carts through the aisles of a superstore. Whirl-Mart utilizes tactics of occupation and reclamation of private consumer-dominated space for the purpose of creating a symbolic spectacle. some press from past ritual performances: Stockholm,Sweden | TimeOut NY | Adbusters | Metroland April 01 | DesMoines Register | Albany Times Union | Metroland Oct. 01 | Austin Chronicle July 02 | NY Times Jan. O1 | MetroActive | TimesLeader.com
international press contact: 518.573.7947 (USA)
Frequently Asked Questions: (& Answers): 1.when they approach, do i immediately say that i am in the midst of a non-violent protest and list my views on wal-mart, or do i avoid the topic and say i am just browsing?? well, if you want to get kicked out, immediately state your views etc., we usually say that its a 'consumption awareness ritual' or we are looking to see if we want to buy anything. dont mention anything about 'protest' (at least in the US..). protesting is only allowed outside the store. 2.can i write the address of your website on my t-shirt, or would that be soliciting? its fine with us. and probably a good idea, but we just havent done it yet.
its not soliciting to where a shirt with a message. pro-union activists do a thing where they wear blatantly pro-union messages on shirts and just enter and pruchase things 3.where can i find out about the canadian laws of protesting, my rights, what wal-mart can do to me, and what not? i am not sure. wal-mart has never done anything against whirlers. we usually even talk our way into continuing when they tell us to leave. (which usually takes about 40 min.) one time cops showed up without warning, but they just told us to leave. it was quite a spectacle though....actually strengthened the performance i think. 4.i would fully intend on bringing my camera, taking pictures, and above all trying to hide it. if they found my camera, i understand they can't take the camera, but what would i do? offer them the film? hm. good question. i dont know if cameras are actually allowed or not, but they certainly dont like them. ive heard of cameras being taken, but its never happened to me. ive been caught a couple times. ultimately, they are taping your every move, you should be allowed to video tape. 5.can they kick me out of the store if i am peaceful, say that i am shopping and whatnot? no. i mean they may try. but if you challenge them you'll probably win. the best tactic is if you sense that people are approaching you or whatever, just split up. once everyone is on there own there is nothing they can say to you. then gradually, the group comes back together. you all will have fun. you'll see. its a whole new experience of the space.