Insiders’ Voices: Art and Writing by Incarcerated Women, Youth, and LGBTQ Folks

Insiders’ Voices: Art and Writing by Incarcerated Women, Youth, and LGBTQ Folks
Montgomery Ward Gallery, 2nd Floor, Student Center East

UIC’s Women’s Leadership and Research Center and Campus Advocacy Network, in partnership with Campus programs, invite you visit the Ward Gallery’s latest exhibit, Insiders’ Voices: Art and Writing by Incarcerated Women, Youth, and LGBTQ Folks. The goal for this exhibit is to give the public an opportunity to experience the humanity of those members of our community who are, or were, incarcerated. So much of what we learn about life inside jails and prisons comes from sensational fictions in mass media that do not reveal the complex humanity of the people inside America’s prison system. Insiders’ Voices creates space for members of the public to hear what life is like inside from those living inside.

The work presented in this exhibit is all created by currently or formerly incarcerated people speaking directly to those of us outside. Their words and images convey deep feelings of isolation, pain and fear and reveal inspiring resilience, resistance and personal power. We hope people will come this is exhibit, take in the art, take home some ‘zines.

Because women represent the fastest growing prison population, and LGBT people are significantly more vulnerable to sexual assault inside prison, and because 15% of young people incarcerated within the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice reported being sexually assaulted by staff or other detainees while incarcerated, we can no longer ignore the reality that incarceration within the US prison system often makes already vulnerable members of our communities [youth, women, and LGBTQ people] more vulnerable to violence and marginalization. This exhibit sheds light on experiences of interpersonal violence within a system that is massive, yet invisible to most of us on the outside.

WLRC/CAN are hosting a series of events in conjunction with these exhibits. All events are free and open to the public.

All events will take place in the Montgomery Ward Gallery, 2nd Floor, Student Center East unless otherwise stated.

26 August 2013: Exhibit Opens to the Public – This exhibit shares art and writing by women, youth, and LGBTQ people who are currently or were formerly incarcerated in the United States. The words and images within this exhibit highlight the humanity, resilience, and hope of a population too often ignored or vilified by those on the outside. The art and writing in this exhibit explores themes including state, sexual, domestic, and emotional violence which may be upsetting for some viewers.

18 September 2013: 5:30pm – 7:30pm –The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective will present an overview of the Prison Industrial Complex, its expansiveness, and its impact on communities. Immediately following, a representative from Pride Inside will speak about the impact incarceration on their life. Finally, Black and Pink Chicago will host a workshop focused on the importance of maintaining connections with incarcerated LGBTQ people through letter writing. There will be snacks.

23 October 2013: 4:30pm-5:30 – Members of Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers will discuss the intersection of domestic violence and incarceration. Light refreshments will be served.

7 November 2013: Show closes

Please contact Rachel Caidor [] at the Campus Advocacy Network for more information.

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