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Call for Posters on Prison-Industrial Complex

July 12, 2005

Brandon Bauer sent us a call from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics for poster art related to the prison-industrial complex. The CPSG is a great institution that documents and supports contemporary political artists and the exhibition they’re planning sounds wonderful.
Check out the text of the call below, or download a PDF version here. And don’t forget the other two great projects that are still seeking submissions: Street Art Workers and Josh MacPhee’s Reproduce and Revolt!.

WANTED: Posters on the Prison Industrial Complex
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) will premiere an exhibition on the Prison Industrial Complex at the Watts Towers Art Center, Spring 2006. CSPG is asking artists, organizations and activists for poster donations to help develop this exhibition.
We also are looking for artists to make posters for organizations doing prison work. The United States has the largest prison population in the world—over two million inmates. In California, 32 prisons house over 160,000 men and women at an annual cost of $6 billion. Since the 1970s, the rate of most serious crimes has dropped or remained stagnant, yet prisons have been filled at double capacity. People of color, the poor, the illiterate, the mentally ill, youth, and women are the primary occupants. One in three black men between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine will spend time in prison or jail. The majority of those entering prison are convicted on non-violent drug charges.

Under the California three-strikes laws, many prisoners are serving life sentences for petty theft convictions. In California, 80% of incoming prisoners are returning on parole violations. The number of women in U.S. prisons multiplied more than seven times between 1980 and 2003, from 13,400 to over 100,000. Valley State Prison for Women, in Chowchilla, California, holds over 3500 women—twice its capacity—and is the largest women’s prison in the world. This phenomenal growth is due to mandatory drug sentencing laws, conspiracy provisions, a dysfunctional parole system, inadequate legal representation, and huge profits made by the multinational corporations servicing the prisons.
The posters in CSPG’s prison exhibition will cover many of the critical issues surrounding this system of mass incarceration including: the death penalty, Three Strikes, racism, women’s right to self defense, access to education and health care, sweatshop labor, divestment, privatization,
torture, and re-entry into the community.
Posters should be submitted by January 30, 2006. Criteria for posters CSPG collects: 1). It must be produced in multiples such as silkscreen, offset, stencil, litho, digital output etc. 2). The poster must have overt political content. If you would like to create a poster for an organization doing prison work or to donate posters, please contact:
Center fo rthe Study of Political Graphics
8124 West Third Street, Suite 211
Los Angeles, CA
tel: 323.653.4662
fax: 323.653.6991
With more than 50,000 posters, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics has the largest collection of Post World War II graphics in the U.S. Through traveling exhibitions, online photo albums, internships, and volunteer opportunities CSPG actively shares this valuable resource with a broader public. CSPG is reclaiming the power of art to educate, agitate and inspire action.

Image at top from the Street Art Workers‘ 2002 campaign, Art vs. Prisons.


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