Join Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent, noted antiprison activists, scholars, and educators, for an online conversation about critical issues in the arts, visual culture, and abolition. This is the first in a series of events that questions what it means to think of abolitionism as a vision—one that challenges the social, economic, and political worldviews that prisons promote.
Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent
October 20, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m.
For the 2020/21 academic year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Gina Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, and other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see and understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, and policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, and other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.
The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, and other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 30, 2020-March 21, 2021. Simultaneously on view at UC Santa Cruz is Solitary Garden, a public art project about mass incarceration and solitary confinement. Barring Freedom travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.
Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, UCSC, is a renowned activist and scholar. For decades, Dr. Davis has been at the forefront in our nation’s quest for economic, racial, and gender equality and social justice. She is the author of nine books, including her most recent book of essays called The Meaning of Freedom.
Gina Dent, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies, UCSC, is a committed activist, scholar, and educator. Abolition. Feminism. Now. (March 2021, Haymarket Press) co-authored by Dent with Angela Davis, Beth Richie, and Erica Meiners, grows out of her work as an advocate for human rights and prison abolition. She is the editor of Black Popular Culture, and author of numerous articles on race, feminism, popular culture, and visual art.
Visualizing Abolition is 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, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Indexical, 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.