The Project

How Are We Free is a visual art exhibit that explores the nature of freedom and confinement through creative collaboration between people who have been sentenced to die in prison and visual artists outside the prison walls. Visual economies and regimes of power have been massively employed by the state and the media in order to criminalize people. This exhibit interrupts those regimes and instead invites viewers to investigate what actually creates conditions for safety, healing, justice, transformation, and liberation.

How Are We Free was produced by LifeLines: Voices Against the Other Death Penalty and will be traveling across the state of Pennsylvania throughout 2018. Check here for updates on where we’re headed next.

LifeLines is a media/cultural project conducted in extensive, long-term collaboration with eight people serving Life Sentences Without Parole or Death By Incarceration sentences in Pennsylvania. The project uses interviews, creative media interventions, and sound installations to support an emerging statewide campaign to abolish Death By Incarceration. We use the term “LifeLines” to refer to the fact that this project highlights the stories and analysis of those serving life/death sentences and to point toward the many collective relationships and infrastructures of support (familial, community, activist, and beyond) that are forged in resistance to mass imprisonment.

Thank you!

This project is a labor of love, and there are so many people without whom this exhibit never would have happened. First, huge thanks to the artists and LifeLines members whose collaborations are featured on these pages. We are so inspired to see this work come into the world, and so appreciate your time and labor in making this happen. Huge thanks also to Dave Onion for graphic design support (including this publication!), Karen Kirchhoff for photography, Chenda Cope for managing the creation of the display, the Institute of Contemporary Art for hosting our launch event, the Sparkplug Foundation for providing the initial funding, and to the many other people who have volunteered their time, energy, and expertise to make this project a reality.

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