This ambitious collaborative project is led by theater and puppetry collective Papel Machete, working-class cultural solidarity organization AgitArte, and master maskmaker, puppeteer, and performative artist Deborah Hunt, all based in Puerto Rico.
“This project is for individuals and communities most impacted by the prison industrial complex,” the artists write. “The US disproportionately imprisons and jails millions of Black, transgender, immigrant, Indigenous, Latinx, and poor people annually, significantly damaging the families and communities of those incarcerated. These communities both stand to gain the most from prison abolition and have the most knowledge through experience of how to organize and fight for transformations that bring us closer to abolition.”
The project centers the organizing efforts of current abolitionists as well as the voices of incarcerated people and families impacted by the criminal punishment system.
The artists will connect the project to Southerners On New Ground’s ongoing grassroots prison abolition work throughout the South. Through a partnership with Prison Radio, they are engaging with political prisoners and currently incarcerated artists, in addition to accessing materials created by incarcerated people in Prison Radio’s archives. They are also partnering with Sisters Unchained, a Boston-based program engaging women/femme-identified and trans youth with family members in the carceral system.