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 take place in a Think Olio member's apartment to provide an intimate learning environment. We'll email you the exact address upon rsvp.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


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


May 22

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Taught by Massimo Pigliucci
7:30 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

May 22

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Taught by Geoff Klock
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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May 24

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Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 25

OlioHouse | The Production of Nature

Taught by Lauren Hudson
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

Sign Up - $20

May 30

Painting the Apocalypse: Haring, Basquiat and the Eighties

Taught by Charles Riley
7 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Jun 2

New York City: From Reconstruction to Universal Rent Control

Taught by Lauren Hudson
2 p.m. at Grant's Tomb

Sign Up - $0

Jun 8

OlioHouse | Words, Labels, & Power

Taught by Jeanne Proust
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 14

The Emergence of Sexuality

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 26

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


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