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(Un)Documenting the Prison, two public events designed to foster conversation about incarceration: its histories, forms, and manifold destructive effects. The events will take place at the Staircase Theatre in Hamilton on April 19 and 20 2018, and will feature light refreshments. Entry is free to all.

On April 19, at 7 pm, we will screen Brett Story’s 2016 film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (87 minutes), a non-fiction film about the prison in which we never see an actual penitentiary. Dr. Story will join us after the film for a brief discussion.

*More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history, yet the prison itself has never felt further away or more out of sight. A meditation on the prison’s disappearance in the era of mass incarceration, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes unfolds a cinematic journey through a series of ordinary places across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives: from a California mountainside where female prisoners fight the region’s raging wildfires, to a warehouse in the Bronx full of goods specially produced to meet the arcane regulations of the state correctional system, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs.*

On April 20, at 5 pm, poets Cecily Nicholson and Jordan Scott and multidisciplinary artist Tings Chak will discuss their experiences working in prisons as artists, activists, advocates, and intimates.

*Nicholson is the author of TriageFrom the Poplars, and Wayside Sang, and administrator for the artist-run centre and mental-health resource Gallery Gachet in Vancouver. Scott has published numerous poetry collections, including two chapbooks (Clearance Process and Lanterns at Guantánamo) in which he reflects on his visit to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in 2015. Finally, Chak is a Hong Kong-born and Toronto-raised multidisciplinary artist, trained in architecture, whose recent graphic novel Undocumented explores the role of architectural design and representation in mass incarceration. Works by all three will be available for purchase at the event (cash only).*

We hope you will be able to join us for these important conversations! Please feel free to share this email and/or the attached posters with your networks; apologies for cross-posting. Queries can be directed to Nadine Attewell at
Sponsored by McMaster University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.