Bargeloads of art and exhibit materials have been going out to the former prison island of Alcatraz recently, all for an imprisonment- and human rights- and freedom of expression-themed exhibit
by Chinese activist dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who designed and directed the installation while remaining under detention in Beijing
. The barged materials include over a million Lego blocks
, assembled in San Francisco.
What Does Pussy Riot Mean Now?
"With all eyes on Russia, two members of the country’s most notorious band of shit-stirrers are free after nearly two years of political imprisonment and enjoying the rock-star treatment during their first trip to the U.S. But the group’s unlikely journey from art-school project to international icons shows just how rotten Russia has become and how much the mission has changed."
Artist Amy Elkinsbegan corresponding in 2009 with prisoners on death row in California. Of the seven men with whom Elkins made contact in June 2009, she remains in touch with only one, Freddy, who has been held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay since 1995, when he was 16 years of age. Freddy has been incarcerated since he was 13. Parting Words
is "a visual archive of the 500+ prisoners to date executed in the state of Texas."
'At Angola Prison in Louisiana, model inmates or "trustees" are encouraged to participate in "hobby craft" as a part of their rehabilitation. Hobby craft is an arts program that involves painting, wood & leather working, taxidermy, furniture building, and many other disciplines.In many cases, they are given special workshops, tools and even private studios to work in.The goods are sold to the public at the prison’s annual rodeo and art fair. The money raised is then split mainly between inmates' families and prison administration, with the inmates themselves receiving only a small amount to buy more materials for the next fair. A sad irony is that this rehabilitation will rarely benefit the prisoners in the outside world because 90% of them have life sentences, and will end up being laid to rest at "The Farm."' A photographic essay.
Watercolors of people on death row. Part I
, Part II
“There is nothing like this
in the United States," said Leone. "We’ve looked." The Workhouse Arts Center
near Occoquan, VA opened in September 2008 on the grounds of a former prison that was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt as a rehabilitation facility
for Washington, DC criminals. Its extensive agrarian projects
were intended to put them in touch with nature, but by 1917 security tightened and suffragettes
protesting before the White House endured harsh treatment
there. The city continued sending inmates to the overcrowded facility until Congress
ordered the prison to be shuttered. For years it stood empty
, but now the historic buildings are being transformed
into studios for local artists
You’d need years to really study
of Califonia’s history - the artist
certainly had a lot a free time to create them. You'd probably also need a special invitation to engage in a multi-year study in the gallery
- and you probably don't want one.
Burmese artist Htein Lin
was imprisoned by his country's military government from 1998 to 2004 on charges of planning opposition protests. In prison he was forced to improvise to continue painting
, using paints smuggled in by guards and white cotton prison uniforms as canvases. In place of brushes he used his fingers, cigarette lighters, syringes, pieces of netting, dinner plates, and blocks of soap. Burma Inside Out
(PDF), an exhibition of some of his prison work
, will be on display at the Asia House
Gallery in London from July 27 to October 13.