9/20/19 How Are We Free: Collaborative Art Across Prison Walls

Join the LifeLines Project at Vox Populi for a panel discussion on artistic collaboration across prison walls.

From September 6, 2019 – Sunday, October 13, the How Are We Free exhibit will be on display at Vox Populi. How Are We Free explores the nature of freedom and confinement through creative collaboration between people who have been sentenced to die in prison and visual artists outside the prison walls. Visual economies and regimes of power have been massively employed by the state and the media in order to criminalize people. This exhibit interrupts those regimes and instead invites viewers to investigate what actually creates conditions for safety, healing, justice, transformation, and liberation.

The event will feature a panel discussion with artists, incarcerated LifeLines members, and activists. The event will take place from 6:30 – 8:30 on Friday, September 20 at Vox (319 N 11th Street in Philadelphia).

Panelists include artists Gb Kim and Makeba Rainy. They will be joined via prerecorded audio from prison by LifeLines members Avis Lee and Charles Boyd.

Gb Kim is an artist and interdisciplinary scholar, working with scientists in hospitals and institutions throughout the U.S. and internationally. While the primary pursuit of her scholarship has been art, science, medicine, and technology have always informed her practice. She is currently interested in science fiction particularly as it functions as a space of creative exchange between science politics and the imaginative act. She is invested in art as a proposition and agentive vehicle that draws our attention to the politics of our technology, examines the social effects of science, and both creates and destroys these imagined social barriers. She currently works at the organizations, iBiology and the Ligo Project. Learn more at http://www.gbkim.com/

Makeba “KEEBS” Rainey is a Harlem native inspired by her community and fellow emerging visual and performance artists. She is the founder of Black Capital Coalition (BCC), which promotes both visual and performance artists from Harlem through creative collaborations between artists, businesses, and cultural institutions. BCC directs attention to young Harlem artists by teaming up with other young creatives; videographers, musicians, performing artists, and writers; to merge audiences andincrease their collective fan-base. She currently lives in Philadelphia. Learn more at http://www.justcallmekeebs.com/.

Charles Boyd has been fighting a Death By Incarceration (DBI) sentence for the past thirty-five years. He is co-founder of the Let’s Circle Up (LCU) Restorative Justice project and the internal coordinator for the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), which focuses on community building and conflict resolution. He has been a member of the Graterford Inside-Out Think Tank for fifteen years. He volunteers as a Hospice Caretaker and works in the Alcohol and Other Drugs department as a Certified Peer Supporter. Charles has a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Villanova University. He is an environmentalist who loves music, art, and creating safe spaces where people can discover their personal and collective sense of agency. He is committed to ending the inhumane practices of DBI sentences and mass incarceration in general.

Avis Lee is a certified Braille translator, currently working as a Peer Assistant in the Therapeutic Community program. She is a member of Let’s Get Free: Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, and the coauthor of the play Chin to the Sky. She also serves on Decarcerate PA’s Advisory Board. Avis was born in Altoona, PA, grew up in Pittsburgh, and has been serving a Death By Incarceration sentence for the last 38 years. She enjoys genealogy, knitting, crocheting, and gardening.

The participating artists are: Makeba Rainey (Philadelphia), Noelle Lorraine Williams (New Jersey), Matice Moore (Baltimore), Alma Sheppard-Matsuo (Philadelphia), Gb Kim (Brooklyn), Robin Markle (Philadelphia), and Kate DeCiccio (Washington DC). Their collaborators on the inside are Clinton Walker, Terri Harper, Felix “Phill” Rosado, Avis Lee, David “Dawud” Lee, Marie “Mechie” Scott, and Charles Boyd. The exhibit is curated by Layne Mullett and Emily Abendroth.

Can’t make the event? The gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 6pm.

You can also check out the digital version of the exhibit at http://howarewefree.org.

Accessibility info: Please note that Vox Populi is located on the third floor of a historic warehouse building at 319 N. 11th Street and that there are five steps leading from the street-level to the first-floor landing where the passenger elevator picks-up/drops-off. The entry into/out of the elevator is 29-inches wide, so may not accommodate all wheelchairs or motorized chairs. Any individual requiring a ramp to navigate this entryway is encouraged to get in touch with Vox Populi ahead of time to coordinate ramp-access and discuss accessibility details. Our ramps may not be suitable for all wheelchairs or motorized chairs, so we strongly encourage anyone requiring a ramp to be in touch at: events@voxpopuligallery.org or 215.238.1236

How Are We Free was produced by LifeLines: Voices Against the Other Death Penalty. The LifeLines Project is a media project conducted across the prison walls to highlight the voices and analysis of those serving Death By Incarceration sentences, more commonly known as Life Without Parole. More at http://Lifelines-Project.org.

Find the facebook event here.

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