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Visions of Abolition: Black Women's Fight to End Mass Incarceration

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Studying the art making and abolitionist practices of Black women

About this Event

Art historian and curator Nicole Fleetwood will join us to discuss art production and visual advocacy by Black women to abolish prisons and to end punitive governance. Her talk will expand on her recent book and exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, which focuses on aesthetic practices and media of incarcerated artists who use penal space, penal matter, and penal time to produce art about carcerality. Discussing Black women's centrality to the movement for prison abolition, she will focus on a visual archive of US prisons researched over a decade.

About the Speaker

Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood is a writer, curator, and professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is the author of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (2020), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in Criticism and selected as a best art book of 2020 by the New York Times, Artnews, and Art Newspaper. She is also curator of the exhibition Marking Time, currently on view at MoMA PS1 through April 4, 2021.   Her other books are On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (2015) and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (2011).  She is also co-editor of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation” issue, focusing on photography’s role in documenting mass incarceration, and co-curator of Aperture’s touring exhibition of the same name.  Fleetwood has co/curated exhibitions and programs on art and mass incarceration at the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture Foundation, Cleveland Public Library, Eastern State Penitentiary, MoMA PS1, Mural Arts Philadelphia, the Zimmerli Art Museum, and the Urban Justice Center.  Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, ACLS, Whiting Foundation, the Art for Justice Fund, Denniston Hill Residency, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NEH.

Image credit: Tameca Cole, Locked in a Dark Calm, 2016

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