Speakeast with - Jess Bowling

Key organizer for ACA student protest

At just 25, Jess Bowling has the vision, the chutzpah and the smarts to make you believe in the future instead of fearing it. He's a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art, an experimental video artist and the cinematic mix-master for the band Shock Cinema. Oh, and he's also an activist. Bowling was a key organizer for the ACA student protest to that school's merger with the Savannah College of Art and Design, and he continues to "fight the power" as the media spokesperson for ACA students mounting a legal battle against the merger.

Were you always politically active?

I've been an activist probably since I was 15 or 16 years old. I've been involved with all kinds of local, national and even international causes, ranging from animal rights to democratic control of corporate entities to anti-war activism.

What is the status of the ACA lawsuit?

The thing for me about getting an injunction to stop the merger this late in the game was more for symbolic purposes than anything else. I thought we needed to get it on the record that the opposition was so strong and so stiff that we decided to take it into a legal arena and say, "This is wrong. It needs to be stopped." It is looking like it's going to court.

What will you miss most about ACA now that you've graduated?

First and foremost, the intimacy. In comparison to other art schools, ACA didn't have a massive enrollment, and I could develop relationships that I thought were very meaningful with just about all of my instructors, both inside and outside the classroom. I think that's what I'm going to miss the most — that sense of family.

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