For A World Without Prisons: Visual Resistance as Abolitionist Strategy

Presented in collaboration with Winter artist in residence gloria galvez, For A World Without Prisons: Visual Resistance as Abolitionist Strategy consists of a co-curated flyer, photo, banner, t-shirt, flag and poster array from the archive of Critical Resistance, a grassroots organization working to build a mass movement across the nation to abolish the Prison-industrial-complex.

The imagery of these items captivate over two decades (1997-2018) of visual strategies utilized by CR members, staff and coalitions in their campaigns and projects to stop prison and jail expansion, eliminate the violence of policing, and build a movement for abolition. Each optical item highlights key abolitionist interventions, demands, grievances, and desires towards a world without prisons.

With the opening of the installation, Critical Resistance will host a “Tearing Down the Walls From Both Sides” release party for Issue 30 of their newspaper ​The Abolitionist.​ ​The Abolitionist is a bilingual (English/Spanish) publication launched in the spring of 2005 that is dedicated to the strategy and practice of prison-industrial-complex abolition. It is distributed absolutely free of charge to over 6,500 people in prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the US who, in turn, share the paper with many more of their fellow prisoners.

Elements of the party will include a Take Action table for guests to send personalized cards to imprisoned subscribers of the newspaper, a presentation of CR’s use of visual materials in abolitionist campaigns, and updates from local campaigns fighting imprisonment and jail construction.

Throughout the exhibition, Critical Resistance, its local CR Los Angeles chapter, and guest partners will facilitate a creative and celebratory series of abolitionist education, outreach, fundraising and networking programs at WCCW. 

For A World Without Prisons: Visual Resistance as Abolitionist Strategy is on view Feb. 1-10 at the WCCW.

Intro to Prison Industrial Complex & Prison Abolition: Saturday, Feb 2, 11am-3pm

Abolition of Policing: Saturday, Feb 9, 11am-2pm

Closing event: Sunday, Feb. 10, 7-10pm

Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope. More on Critical Resistance at criticalresistance.org and on Twitter @C_resistance on Twitter.

gloria galvez maintains a practice of disrupting, subverting, and dismantling bland and oppressive status-quo norms and realities. Within this theme, her current focus is invoking alternate and simultaneous realities that prompt questions to the social-political conditions of things—both living and nonliving things—both human and non-human things. From such a body of work, the notion of a counterintuitive political solidarity and inter-identification with all living things (human & non-human) and non-living things (natural & non-natural) has risen. She holds an MFA in Photo & Media from CalArts and a BA in Chicanx and Latinx Studies from CSULB and is a 2019 student of the Mountain School of the Arts (MSA^). galvez has organized with Critical Resistance, Youth Justice Coalition, at land’s edge and currently with Mutual Aid Action Los Angeles (M.A.A.L.A). And her work has been exhibited at various Los Angeles art and community venues. galvez is the artist in residence at the WCCW for the Winter 2019 quarter.

Accessibility information for this event: WCCW has a 36” wide ramp at our front entrance and a stairway with 8 steps and a rail. There are 2 gender neutral restrooms. One restroom is wheelchair accessible, with a handrail. We provide scent free soaps and encourage guests to attend our events scent free. If you require ASL interpretation, CART, interpretation for a language other than English, supervised childcare, or have any other access needs or questions, please contact info@wccw.us at least two weeks in advance. It is our practice to do everything we can to create a safe and accessible space.

This event is part of our Winter quarter theme, Sweaty Concepts. Read more about this theme and view all related programming here.