96 Acres is a series of community-engaged, site-responsive art projects that address the impact of the Cook County Jail on Chicago’s West Side. We aim to generate alternative narratives reflecting on power, and to present creative projects that reflect the community’s vision of transformation.
In Fall 2014, 96 Acres' Education Initiative hosted three workshops to address the ways in which power is manifested through place. Place could be determined as physical space, imagined space, or internalized space. The questions were created over the course of several Education Initiative meetings, where educators, activists, and artists met with the purpose of engaging praxis, or critical reflection and action on power and place with a broader community.
1) How do we celebrate radical love and empower for action?
2) What does power look like?
3) What is the relationship between individual and systemic power?
Each workshop was documented and then turned into a toolkit that educators, activists, artists could use to continue having those conversations. Each toolkit includes actions (tasks, "assignments," or activities) and guided reflection questions for further engagement.
The value of having conversations around power and place with students, youth, and educators is to form a space where people can critically engage in dialogue and radically imagine new narratives that allow us to actively participate in the transformation of our communities, particularly as we address how incarceration predominantly affects black and brown people. The purpose is to activate alliances, build solidarity, and continue working towards creating alternative and socially just spaces.
Toolkit pdf's are available upon request. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
A contribution is suggested for the work to continuously grow.