Reimagining Prisons: Art, Imagination, and an Abolitionist Future

Bruno Mallart - Abolition and Environmentalism

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*

Location: Living Room

Address will be shared with attendees.

Living Room Salons are members only and take place in an apartment to provide an intimate learning environment.

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Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.

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Other upcoming Olios

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Mar 28

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Mar 29

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Mar 30

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Taught by No Professor Weekend
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Apr 5

OlioMuse | Beethoven's Minor Mood

Taught by Gil Harel
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 7

Olio Breakfast Club | Death & Bagels on a Sunday Morning

Taught by Jeanne Proust
10:30 a.m. at North 3rd St. Market - Williamsburg

Sign Up - $25

Apr 9

Madame(s) X: Muses, Makers, & Shifting Identities

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Apr 13

OlioHouse | Music & The Feast for Senses

Taught by Whitney George
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Apr 23

The Death of Art, The Rise of the Image

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Apr 27

OlioHouse | Found Poetry: Composting Words

Taught by Heather O'Neill
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

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