It is Our Duty to Fight, It is Our Duty to Win

IMG_5754The piece “It is our duty to fight, it is our duty to win / We must love each other and protect each other / We have nothing to loose but our chains,” is a collaboration with four prison survivors and members of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP).

For this piece, I interviewed Sam, Misty, Mary and Windy and asked them the following questions: How did you survive prison? What do you need to survive now that you are out? And what does a world without mass incarceration look like?

I created hand-painted protest signs based on the interviews, each offering only part of their stories. These signs were displayed in the gallery and accompanied by an audio track that contains excerpts from the interviews and audio from the Chowchilla Freedom Rally, a statewide rally organized by CCWP to protest the overcrowding at the Central California Women’s Facility. Also included in the installation were campaign postcards addressing the overcrowding and poor medical care in women’s prisons which many gallery visitors signed.

The audio interview can be heard below and an interview between myself and the curator was published here.

This piece was created for the group exhibition, Strange Bedfellows that features queer artists who work in collaboration. It was curated by Amy Cancelmo and on display at Root Division in San Francisco from June 5th to 29th, 2013. It will traveled to Samek Gallery Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA in the Fall of 2013 and the College Art Association Conference, Chicago in February 2014.

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