The state of our union: prison, politics, and performance within a fragile democracy

Autores

  • Marena Dieden University of Michigan
  • Caroline Henderson University of Michigan
  • Ashley Munger University of Michigan
  • Steven Nicholson
  • Tyrone Reyes
  • Richard Strong
  • Raschid Zimmerman

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5965/14145731033920200105

Palavras-chave:

Escrita criativa, Encarceramento, Prisão, Política, Performance

Resumo

From September to December of 2017, four University of Michigan students trained by the Prison Creative Arts Project facilitated a creative writing workshop at G. Ronald Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan, USA. Twelve incarcerated men joined the four student facilitators for weekly workshop meetings which culminated in a performance of original creative writing. This article describes the workshop framework and training provided by the Prison Creative Arts Project, introduces the individuals participating in this particular, fall 2017 creative writing workshop, and describes how their creative processes evolved to include political discourse and critique. In conclusion, the article demonstrates how creative writing and theater provide the incarcerated population with the unique opportunity to fully express political opinions and attitudes within prison walls, and highlights parallels between the current events and politics of 2017 and those of 2020. In order to complete this article, the student facilitators wrote a letter describing the project and asking for interest in co-authorship and mailed it to the incarcerated participants. The student facilitators then compiled a questionnaire and mailed it to the incarcerated participants who were interested in co-authoring the article. The co-authors still residing in prison continued to correspond to those living outside of prison via mail, producing sections of the article and providing original writing from the 2017 workshop.

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Biografia do Autor

Marena Dieden, University of Michigan

Is a first-year law student at University of California School of Law. She plans to study Public Interest Law and Critical Race Studies. In May 2019 she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. During her time at the University of Michigan, Marena volunteered with the Prison Creative Arts Project for three and a half years facilitating creative writing workshops at Vista Maria, a court ordered youth residential program, and at Cotton Correctional Facility, a men's state prison. 

Caroline Henderson, University of Michigan

Is a Licensed Master Social Worker who provides mental health services and advocacy to those touched by criminal legal systems. In May 2018 she earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, where she volunteered and completed a field placement with the Prison Creative Arts Project. Prior to moving to Michigan for graduate school, Caroline worked at a youth development non-profit organization in New York City from 2014 to 2016. Caroline graduated from Columbia University in 2014, with a joint bachelor's degree in Human Rights Studies and English Literature

Ashley Munger, University of Michigan

Is from White Lake, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan (2019) for her undergraduate studies and Boston University for her master’s degree in education. She is now a public school teacher and hopes to attend law school to become a criminal defense attorney. 

Steven Nicholson

Is a writer who has been a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project since 2016.

Tyrone Reyes

Is a writer who has been a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project since 2016 and of the National Lifers Association (a leadership organization for people serving a life sentence in prison) since 2013.

Richard Strong

 Is a writer who has been a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project since 2016 and of the National Lifers Association (a leadership organization for people serving a life sentence in prison) since 2014.

Raschid Zimmerman

Is a writer who has been a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project since 2016.

Referências

CBS News. “Police in the U.S. Killed 164 Black People in the First 8 Months of 2020. These Are Their Names. (Part I: January-April).” CBS Interactive, September 10, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/black-people-killed-by-police-in-the-u-s-in-2020/.

The Marshall Project. “A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons.” The Marshall Project, October 12, 2020. https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/05/01/a-state-by-state-look-at-coronavirus-in-prisons.

NICHOLSON, Steven. Steven Nicholson to Ashley Lucas, June 19, 2020. Letter.

O'KANE, Caitlin. “The U.S. Has Had More Coronavirus Cases than Some Countries Have People.” CBS Interactive, August 10, 2020. https://www.cbsnews .com/news/coronavirus-usa-more-covid-cases-countries-people/.

REYES, Tyrone. Tyrone Reyes to Ashley Lucas, May 22, 2020. Letter.

STRONG, Richard. Richard Strong to Ashley Lucas, June 4, 2020. Letter.

STRONG, Richard. Richard Strong to Ashley Lucas, June 16, 2020. Letter.

STRONG, Richard. Richard Strong to Ashley Lucas, July 22, 2020. Letter.

ZIMMERMAN, Raschid. Raschid Zimmerman to Ashley Lucas, July 25, 2020. Letter.

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Publicado

2020-12-23

Como Citar

DIEDEN, M.; HENDERSON, C.; MUNGER, A.; NICHOLSON, S.; REYES, T.; STRONG, R.; ZIMMERMAN, R. The state of our union: prison, politics, and performance within a fragile democracy. Urdimento - Revista de Estudos em Artes Cênicas, Florianópolis, v. 3, n. 39, p. 1-20, 2020. DOI: 10.5965/14145731033920200105. Disponível em: https://revistas.udesc.br/index.php/urdimento/article/view/18865. Acesso em: 6 out. 2022.

Edição

Seção

Dossiê temático: Artes da Cena atrás das grades