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News :: GLBT/Queer : Human Rights
PRISON ART EXHIBIT OPENS IN SOMERVILLE
by Boston ABC
11 Aug 2011
An exhibit featuring works by incarcerated artists opens this weekend and
runs through September. The show, put together by local anti-prison groups
Black and Pink and Boston Anarchist Black Cross, will be on display at
Somerville's Papercut Zine Library, located at 226 Pearl St. The space is
open Saturdays and Sundays 2-7PM and by appointment. There will be a
closing party Thursday September 15th at 7PM.
Highlighting prisoners' own experiences, the exhibit sheds light on the
conditions in which an ever-growing number of Americans find themselves.
Incarcerating 2.3 million people, or nearly 1% of its population, the United
States incarcerates a larger number and percentage of its populace than any
other nation, beating out both China and Soviet Russia. 7.2 million, or
around 3% of the US population, are under some form of punitive
supervision. Courts disproportionately dole out punitive sentences to
racial and/or sexual minorities. Black adult males, for instance, are
almost 7 times more likely to be imprisoned than white male defendants.
Exhibited alongside the art are these and other statistics to provide an
objective context for the works.
Part of the show focuses on works by incarcerated LGBTQ people. Trans and
queer people are more likely to be imprisoned than straight people and, once
behind bars, encounter rampant harassment and abuse. Taken as a whole, the
artwork displays a breadth of emotion and subject matter. Ranging from
political indictments to light-hearted moments, the works offer a window
into how individuals can use art and creation as tools of survival in the
midst of degrading and potentially violent conditions.
Given that parole in Massachusetts in precipitous decline in the wake of the
Parole Board's gutting, there is a need to ask basic questions about our
state, the values it's founded on, and where to go from here. Boston ABC
and Black and Pink hope this exhibit can provide an opportunity to ask these
questions, and inspire action.
For more information on the groups behind this exhibit:
This work is in the public domain