A conversation with Alberto Lule, Guadalupe Rosales, Phal Sok, and Rojas
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Moderated by richie reseda
Introduced by MOCA and Kyle Stephan, IPS Cultural Partnerships and Programming
Join us for the third panel in a series of public programs from In Plain Sight, a collaborative artist project dedicated to abolishing immigrant detention and the culture of incarceration. This panel will discuss the relationship between the prison industrial complex and the immigrant detention system, and how the personal and familial experiences of incarceration inform the art and activism of its featured speakers, many of whom participated in the In Plain Sight artist intervention over July 4 weekend.
RSVP in advance for this panel here as space is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis.
About In Plain Sight:
In Plain Sight is a coalition of 80 artists lead by Cassils and rafa esparza, united to create an artwork dedicated to the abolition of immigrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. A highly orchestrated mediagenic spectacle and poetic action, this project is conceived in five parts: a poetic elegy enacted on a national scale, an interactive website an anthology docuseries, accessible actions for the public to take to join the movement against immigrant detention, and cultural partnerships producing arts-related education and engagement.
Over Independence Day weekend and into the Fall 2020, In Plain Sight (IPS) will continue to launch the nation’s sky typing fleets to write eighty artist-generated messages in the sky over detention facilities, immigration courts, border, and other sites of historic relevance in the United States. As the planes soar, they made visible what is too often unseen and unspoken on the ground: the appalling, profoundly immoral imprisonment of immigrants. Each celestial message is followed by #XMAP, a hashtag that directs viewers to an interactive website that locates immigrant detention centers in their vicinity and connects them to on-the-ground campaigns of organizational partners fighting against immigrant detention. Dedicated to amplifying immigrant voices inside and outside of detention centers, IPS will continue with additional flight paths, social impact campaign through 2022, augmented reality exhibitions, an anthology documentary series, and arts-related cultural partnerships and educational programming on issues of immigrant justice.
Follow @inplainsightmap for additional information and updates on activations.
Freed from prison in 2018, richie reseda (@richiereseda) is a producer and abolitionist-feminist organizer. He founded Question Culture, a social-impact record label who recently teamed up with JusticeLA, Schools Not Prisons, and Reform LA Jails to produce Defund The Sheriff (The Album) to bring national support to #DefundTheSheriff Campaigns across LA County, invest in alternatives to incarceration, end the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for Sheriff lawsuits, and stop the criminalization and incarceration of Black and brown people. He also founded Success Stories, a transformational feminist program for incarcerated men chronicled in the CNN documentary "The Feminist on Cell Block Y;" and co-founded Initiate Justice, which organizes people directly impacted by mass incarceration to change laws to end it. He works closely with Black Lives Matter, Inspire Justice and more, to transform narratives and upend systems of oppression.
Alberto Lule (@tierrabuenatattoos) is currently enrolled as an undergraduate art major at UCLA. Alberto came to identify as an artist while serving a thirteen year sentence in a California prison. About 4 years into his sentence he began to look for ways that would take him out of the prison space mentally. He noticed that a lot of inmates would exercise in the yard, so he began doing that, too. But, what really took him of the prison space was drawing. It was art that made the prison walls disappear. The routine of drawing led to his greater passion for art in general which led to his curiosity and quest for knowledge through reading philosophy, and eventually taking college correspondence courses. Lule’s current artwork focuses on mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex in the United States, particularly the California prison system. Using his own experience of going through the system, he aims to make visible the connections between the prison industrial complex to issues that include immigration, homelessness, drug addiction, and mental health as well as drawing parallels between how other institutions function including educational ones such as the one he’s currently enrolled in. Alberto is active on campus at UCLA he is the cochair The Underground Scholars Initiative who is a group of students composed of formerly incarcerated students as well as students that have been impacted directly by the California prison system.
Guadalupe Rosales (@veteranas_and_rucas) is a Los Angeles-based artist who received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 and was the 2019 recipient of Gordon Parks Foundation fellowship and 2020 USA Artist Award fellow. She is the founder and operator of Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz, two digital archives accessible through Instagram with over 250k subscribers. Aside from these two digital archives on Instagram, Rosales runs and preserves a physical archive containing vernacular photographs, flyers, magazines and other types of ephemera of the 1990’s connected to Latinx youth culture in Southern California and goes as far as the 1940's. Guided by an instinct to create counter-narratives, Rosales tells the stories of communities often underrepresented in public record and official memory. By preserving artifacts and memorabilia, Rosales’ reframes marginalized histories, offering platforms of self-representation. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Aperture Foundation, The Vincent Price Art Museum, Commonwealth and Council, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Spazio Maiocchi, the Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, and others. She has lectured at numerous museums and institutions, including UCLA, MoCA (Los Angeles), the Getty Museum, the New Museum, NYU, and Yale. Rosales’s work has been featured by the New Yorker, the LA Times, the NY Times, ArtNews, Artsy, and Artforum.
Phal Sok (@youthjusticela) is an organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition in Los Angeles, CA. The child of Cambodian refugees, Phal was incarcerated for 17 years, only to find himself ensnared in the immigration enforcement system upon his early release. In 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown acknowledged all of his civic engagement efforts, pardoning him and allowing him to remain in his community and help others. Recently, Phal has helped organize young people in a successful campaign urging the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to establish a strong oversight commission that will hold the probation department accountable to both youth and adults. He is dedicated to transforming the systems that restricted his freedom for most of his adult life. He sees the intersections between his experiences as a Cambodian refugee pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline and all the other communities of color facing both criminalization and deportation.
Rojas (@stacyrojas81) is co-founder of #metoobehindbars, lead plaintiff in Rojas v Brown lawsuit again CDCR, and IPS participant. #MeTooBehindBars is a campaign to expose and end gender-based violence against trans, gender non-conforming, and queer people inside California prisons. The campaign began following a lawsuit was filed against the CDCR by four plaintiffs who, at the time, were incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility. The plaintiffs all identify as transgender, gender non-conforming or queer. The M2BB lawsuit and broader campaign aims to recognize these assaults as part of a larger pattern of excessive force by prison staff targeting gender and sexual deviance, and prisons themselves as a form of gender-based and sexual violence. It also aims to create a platform for currently and formerly incarcerated people to connect and respond to this type of violence.
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