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Exhibit: Freedom & Captivity
Art in Captivity: Inside Out
Portland Public Library has partnered with Freedom & Captivity to create an exhibit of photographs of art created by current inmates in Maine. These photographs by Séan Alonzo Harris, Lesley MacVane and Trent Bell from inside Maine’s Correctional Facilities reveal the human necessity to create art. On view in the Congress Street windows at Portland Public Library from September 15 – October 15, 2021.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Friday, October 1.
Freedom & Captivity is a state-wide public humanities initiative during Fall 2021 to bring critical perspectives from the humanities to the interrogation of incarceration. Recognizing that mass incarceration is fueled by racism and profit-generating mechanisms that tear apart communities and families, the project offers opportunities for public engagement about imagining prison abolition and the redirection of resources toward community investments, the repair of racial and gender injustice, intergenerational trauma, and eldercare for the aging population in Maine’s prisons. The project, which includes art exhibitions, workshops, webinars, a podcast, research and creative production, public education materials, and linked courses taught across Maine’s campuses, aims to cultivate opportunities for imagining freedom in an abolitionist society. The project is conceived with the participation of people in Maine directly impacted by the carceral system.