Photos: 1. Amy Masters, 2-3. Catherine Akins

Touching Revolution: Radial Visions and Creative Responses to Mass Incarceration, 2015

Using Skype and other virtual platforms, Touching Revolution brought together activists, artists, and communities from around the country who use artistic strategies and cultural production to confront and radically re-imagine criminal justice issues.  Working collaboratively artists Mark Strandquist, Courtney Bowles and Sale designed the 90-minute live program to mirror the structure of a ‘talk show’ as means to host short conversations, interactive performances, and demonstrations.  The program created space for voices within prison reform movements that are often less considered within the context of the 2015 Open Engagement: Place and Revolution conference, co-presented by A Blade of Grass, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

Individual and organizational participants included Jeff Blackburn (Texas Innocence Project Amarillo), Maria Gaspar and Anderson Chavez (96-Acres, Chicago), Dominique Bell and Chip Warren (Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Los Angeles), Faith Diggs (People’s Paper Co-Op) and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, and Bec Young and Shaun Slifer (Just Seeds Artist Co-operative, Pittsburgh) with technical support from Catherine Akins, Linh Lam and Will Taylor. 

Meet the participants! For Open Engagement, the collaborators created a limited run of handmade zines including paper made from criminal records (thanks People’s Paper Co-op!).