How We Heal by Adrienne Skye Roberts and Sara Yassky with Dagmar Hesker, Sandra Johnson, Samantha Rogers, Mira Stern, and LaSonya Wells of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
How We Heal is an unfolding collaboration among members of California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) exploring somatic and/or embodied practices as a way to heal from the Prison Industrial Complex; specifically our experiences as survivors of the prison system and witnesses of our loved ones inside. How We Heal began as a one-day workshop for members of CCWP focusing on trauma endured by the PIC; how this trauma is registered in our bodies, and how we collectively heal in order to continue fighting against this inhumane system. The project includes documentation of this workshop, including audio, video and performative elements.
The 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.