Meeting ID: 822 3407 1679
Artists and educators who teach in prison often talk about their work as “humanizing” or giving voice to” vulnerable groups through creative and educational work. What is being said when well-meaning educators and artists frame their work as “humanizing” people who are already fully human? In this talk Sarah Ross, Assistant Professor in the Art Education Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), discusses recent writing and projects working with artists in prison and tries to trouble the humanizing discourse, flipping the script to ask who needs humanizing. Through her collaborative, coalitional and community based practices she shares recent work that aims to embody a humanist discourse from an abolitionist perspective.
Sarah Ross is an artist whose work is centered on the spatial politics of race, gender, class and control. Her projects use narrative and the body to address spatial concerns as they relate to access, class, anxiety and activism. Since 2006, Sarah has been working with incarcerated artists in IL prisons. In 2011, Sarah co-founded the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP), a cultural project that brings together artists, writers and scholars in and outside Stateville prison to create public projects. During this time, Sarah has worked closely with local artists, activists, lawyers, torture survivors and scholars on Chicago Torture Justice Memorials—a recent campaign for reparations for survivors of Chicago police torture. This project developed, in part, as a call to artists to imagine a memorial, and ended with a historic reparations package for survivors of torture by Chicago Police under former Commander Jon Burge. In other collaborative projects, Sarah has worked with Ryan Griffis to produce videos, photos and installation around the social and political impacts of land use issue and global agriculture. Her work has exhibited Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Copenhagen, Rio De Janeiro, among other places. Sarah is a Soros Justice Media Fellow and a recipient of the Leaders for a New Chicago award from the MacArthur and Field Foundations. She has been awarded grants from the Propeller Fund, Graham Foundation, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts and the Illinois Art Council. She is a faculty in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.