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Visualizing Abolition: Art, Abolition, and the University
Visualizing Abolition presents artist Ashley Hunt in conversation with MJ Hart, Joshua Solis, Alberto Lule, Ryan Flaco Rising, and Rodrigo Vazquez of the Underground Scholars Initiative. The Underground Scholars Initiative supports formerly incarcerated students at UC Santa Cruz and system impacted students in the transition experience and beyond. For Art, Abolition, and the University, Hunt and the Underground Scholars will talk about their collaboration of a broadsheet for the Barring Freedom exhibition. They will also discuss the roles of the university in struggles for abolition and what they call the prison to school pipeline.

Ashley Hunt and the Underground Scholars have produced a broad sheet about their experiences, if you are interested in receiving a hard copy mailed to you, please enter your address below.

For the 2020/21 year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, & others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, & other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see & understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, & policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, & other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

Mar 2, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Ashley Hunt
Artist, Writer and Teacher
Ashley Hunt is an artist, writer and teacher based in Los Angeles. In works like Corrections Documentary Project (2001–10), Prison Maps (2002), A World Map in Which We See… (2004–07), Notes on the Emptying of a City (2006–10), and Degrees of Visibility (2010–present), Hunt works in dialogue with movement building & grassroots organizations, including Critical Resistance, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Citizens for Quality Education, Southerners on New Ground, and Friends and Family of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children. His works have shown in venues ranging from community centers and prisons to museums, including Pitzer Art Galleries, the Museum of Modern Art, Project Row Houses, the Hammer Museum, the Tate Modern, Documenta 12, and Sinopale Biennial in Turkey. His writings include the book Notes on the Emptying of a City, and have appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, & the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Missy “MJ” Hart
Artist and Abolitionist
Missy “MJ” Hart is an artist and abolitionist born and bred in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, CA. Gang member turned activist after growing up criminalized, institutionalized and surviving the horrors of the criminal injustice system. In rebuilding their life, MJ learned to transmute the negativity of their past into seeds of positivity for the future through weaponizing their mind, developing a critical consciousness, and putting in the work to manifest transformation healing. MJ is a Workshop Facilitator, Columnist and Creator of “Rozes Among Thorns” with The Beat Within, a San Francisco based org providing incarcerated youth and adults with a ​weekly writing, art and conversation workshop that gives them a safe space to share their ideas and experiences while promoting literacy, expression, critical thinking skills, and supportive relationships with the community. MJ is helping to establish the Underground Scholars Initiative at UCSC while completing their BA in Psychology.
Joshua Solis
Program Coordinator for the Underground Scholars Initiative @UC Santa Cruz
Joshua Solis is a first generation formerly incarcerated alumnus from UCSC. After spending over 11 years incarcerated he is now a leader and advocate for formerly incarcerated and system impacted students in California. Earning his GED at Salinas Adult School, he has since gone on to earn an Associates degree at Hartnell Community College, a BA in Sociology at UCSC, and is currently pursuing his Masters. Joshua is now the Program Coordinator for the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Santa Cruz. Through comprehensive collaboration, program coordination, and program outreach his efforts serve to continue the prison to school pipeline.