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Marking Time: Prison Arts & Activism (2014)

Institute for Research on Women
Year Grant Awarded 2013

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State > NJ Zip Code > 08901
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“Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism” was a multi-component project designed to bring together scholars, writers, artists, and activists from across the nation and from overseas to explore the cultural aspects of imprisonment through a focus on art produced by prisoners and in response to mass incarceration. The project consisted of a three-day conference on prison art and activism—the first of its kind—that included scholars, artists, activists, and community groups.

“Marking Time” had three primary goals: 1) to facilitate the development of networks and support for prisoners, artists, scholars, and organizations working in the field; 2) to promote the importance of prison artistic practices as vital components of contemporary culture and vernacular arts traditions; and 3) to provide a forum to examine the impact of prison systems on culture and specific populations.

Alongside the conference, we curated a month-long exhibition of art by current and formerly incarcerated individuals on six different sites throughout New Brunswick. In addition, the project incorporated two days of film screenings as well as presentations of collaborative works between community groups, nonprofit advocacy organizations, artists, and others impacted by incarceration.