Reimagining Prisons: Art, Imagination, and an Abolitionist Future

None at Living Room

Wed, Mar 20 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Join us for a living room salon where we question "What does a society without prisons actually look like?" What are the possibilities that will emerge when groups of individuals are called upon their own creativity to reimagine the world we currently inhabit?

Through the longtime efforts of activists and organizers across the United States focused on addressing the injustices of the criminal justice system, many U.S. Americans now recognize that the fight against mass incarceration is the new civil rights movement of our time. It has now become more recognizable across culture and media, through the work of activists and scholars from Angela Davis, to Michelle Alexander, and Bryan Stevenson, that the U.S. system of mass incarceration is completely intertwined with systemic racism. The current system, with the highest incarceration rate in the world, is finally understood by many as “a contemporary system of racial control” and that the deplorable legacy of slavery it is attached to “didn’t end [but rather has] evolved.”

Understanding that many U.S. Americans recognize the massive human rights problem of mass incarceration in this country, other criminal justice activists remain steadfast in advocating for prison abolition. Regardless of where one stands, all are left with the question, “what does a society without prisons actually look like?” Can we harness the creativity and imagination of members of U.S. society to rethink what alternatives to a carceral state might look like? In this interactive Olio, participants will explore the incarceration alternatives that currently exist in other regions of the world, be exposed to visionary art that challenges existing oppressive structures, and briefly create visual art that stimulates discussion on an abolitionist future. What are the possibilities that will emerge when groups of individuals are called upon their own creativity to reimagine the world we currently inhabit? What does it matter to create a world where all individuals are free?

*This Olio will take place in a member's Bed-Stuy apartment*

Teacher: Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario
Venue: Living Room

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.