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Letter from Aziz

Etta Cetera

Image by Etta Cetera.

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.

Against a backdrop of relief-printed leaves, a dark cranberry red rectangular shape features dense text. A portion of the text states: “Even though there’s no trees inside the jail’s compound a few came over the gates during a rainstorm. As soon as as I seen it I thought about not having much outside contact, and how this leaf came from a free place. I chose to set it free again, hopefully while there’s still life in it. It probably won’t be green when you receive it, but it was a nice forest green when I snuck it in this cell. Me, mailing you this leaf symbolizes how I was cut from my family tree and whirled away into these deaf camps, hopefully once again to connect with the outside world.”

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