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Announcement
October 12, 2020

Visualizing Abolition

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz

View of jackie sumell, Solitary Garden, UC Santa Cruz.

Visualizing Abolition is an online event series highlighting the creative practices and critical dialogue currently underway to imagine and create a world beyond prisons and policing. The events are all free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required.

Program (via Zoom)
Visualizing Abolition:
October 20, 4–5:30pm, Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent
Images, Memory, and Justice: October 27, 4–5:30pm, Bryan Stevenson
Visuality and Carceral Formations: November 17, 4–5:30pm, Nicole Fleetwood, Herman Gray, Nicholas Mirzoeff
Abolition Then and Now: December 1, 4–5:30pm, Isaac Julien and Robin D.G. Kelley
Prisons, Histories, Erasures: January 19, 4–5:30pm, Kelly Lytle Hernández, Joanne Barker, and Maria Gaspar
Prisons and Poetics: January 26, 4–5:30pm, Reginald Dwayne Betts
Surveillance and Cinematics: February 2, 4–5:30pm, American Artist, Simone Browne, Ruha Benjamin
Material and Memory: February 9, 4–5:30pm, Sanford Biggers and Leigh Raiford
Abolitionist Feminisms: February 23, 4–5:30pm, Sonya Clark, Erica Meiners, Beth Richie
(Re)Enacting Revolution: April 20, 4–5:30pm, Dread Scott and Erin Gray
Documenting Justice: May 4, 4–5:30pm, Film screening and Q&A curated by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
Futures: May 11, 4–5:30pm, Sora Han, adrienne maree brown, and Savannah Shange

Calls for abolition in the United States and around the globe have been amplified as people react to the racial and economic inequalities exposed by seemingly ceaseless incidents of police brutality, the uneven effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a divisive US presidential election, and the unfolding climate crisis. The idea of defunding and/or abolishing the police and prisons is now finding its way into the mainstream media and political debates, as the U.S. public's hunger grows for a society which is not centered on prisons, policing, racial oppression, and economic inequities. With ideas once specific to abolitionist movements are taking hold of the popular imagination, Visualizing Abolition brings together artists, scholars, and activists to together highlight the roles of art, aesthetics, and the imagination in the pursuit of abolition.

A conversation with noted activists and scholars Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent will launch the online event series October 20, 2020, 4–5:30pm PST. Events will follow on a regular basis until May 11, 2021.

Visualizing Aboltion is part of UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences' 2020/21 programmatic initiative on art, prisons, policing, and justice. Featuring also Barring Freedom, a contemporary art exhibition organized with San José Museum of Art and Solitary Garden, a public art project at UC Santa Cruz, the year-long arts-based initiative brings together artists, activists, and scholars to creatively engage critical national issues of mass incarceration, policing, and the ongoing struggles for racial and economic justice.

Barring Freedom and Visualizing Abolition are organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences in collaboration with San José Museum of Art and Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery. The series has been generously funded by the Nion McEvoy Family Trust, Ford Foundation, Future Justice Fund, Wanda Kownacki, Peter Coha, James L. Gunderson, Rowland and Pat Rebele, Porter College, UCSC Foundation, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

Partners include: Howard University School of Law, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, Indexical, UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, The Humanities Institute, University Library, University Relations, Institute for Social Transformation, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Porter College, the Center for Cultural Studies, the Center for Creative Ecologies, and Media and Society, Kresge College.

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