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49295

Colin Matthes

Image by Colin Matthes.

Created for the Critical Resistance ten year anniversary conference in Oakland, California, which took place in 2008. Critical Resistance Ten was a gathering of activists, educators, and allies of prisoners who came together to promote organizing efforts against the US prison system.

Just seeds organized an art portfolio in collaboration with Critical Resistance Ten called Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex. The portfolio project involved twenty artists and one artist collective, with work coming from the US, Canada and Mexico. Each  print critiqued or addressed alternatives to the prison-industrial complex.

A scratchy drawing featuring a prisoner, shown from the shoulders down, wearing an identification number, “49295.” In the prisoner’s abdomen is a large barred window, and lighter figures can be seen inside. Below, hand-drawn text states: “My cousin was locked up in maximum security for a non-violent offense. Seeing stabbings, murders, and becoming a stronger fighter was his reform. When visiting I wait with wives in makeup, high heels and tissues. Mothers with their church outfits, children crawling across the visitor waiting room. It all seems so routine.”



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