The Art as Resistance Virtual Gallery seeks to highlight the creative contributions of individuals fighting for the opportunity to design their own freedom and liberation from within the confines of incarceration as well as within the confines that constrict from outside of the prison walls.
In United States prisons where individuals who speak out against an unjust system are silenced through the use of solitary confinement, art can be a tool to subvert all forms of state sanctioned silencing. The Art as Resistance virtual gallery pulls together the work of those most impacted by policing and prisons as well as community organizers to lift up the voices of those who have been silenced and our communities.
This year’s theme, Continuity and Change, Past, Present and Future of Reentry, will explore the journey of liberation as telling our story and being heard. We gain ownership of our stories by expressing for ourselves the change and also the continuity between our past and our future. When we hold the power to forge our stories by establishing that continuum between our past, present and future, when we are heard by our community, we recapture the narrative of our lives. We have power in our redemption and our growth. From this can come the changing of systems and changing of the world.
Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collective Duo will transport us with their drumming and spoken word performance.
We are re-imagining the present-day system of mass incarceration, looking at the bigger picture themes and historical ideas underpinning this system. The art for this day also looks at some of these systems and sparks the imagination about how we might move beyond it.
We are discussing how to grow and strengthen our communities, from the youth to the elders and everywhere in between. The art showcased for this day also looks at the impact of mass incarceration on young people and from the lens of how when we build ourselves up, we also build up our community.
We look at healthcare, how the trauma of mass incarceration can’t be overcome without conscious, intentional effort put toward healing, and how we need to value our health, as individuals, communities and as a society as a whole. The art for this day looks at the lasting impact of mass incarceration on the health and well-being of people currently in jail as well as outside the walls, still working through the experience.