The GELA Women’s Prison Library and Reintegration Subcommittee and the Edmonton Public Library invite you to attend the screening of Books Behind Bars on March 31 at 7 pm in the Theatre of the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton.
Books Behind Bars is a short documentary film that follows the development and growth of the library, its programs, and the people inside the only multi-level women’s prison facility in Western Canada.
Over the past few years, the Subcommittee has grown from a group of four librarians to a group of over twenty active volunteers, who organize many projects, such as books clubs, book drives, and borrowing projects. Among these is the Storybook Project, where the volunteers record women reading to their children, and send the recordings, along with the books, to their children.”
A panel discussion will follow the presentation. This event is being held as a fundraiser to support the on-going library projects at the prison and to purchase materials for the prison library – anyone can attend for free but the suggested donation is $10 or whatever you can afford. Other donations will also be gratefully accepted.
Our recent fundraiser over the Mother’s Day weekend was a success. We raised $546.00 for our various projects and garnered some media attention too! Check out the Edmonton Sun article and the CTV news item (starts at about 14:09) covering the event. A big thank you to our volunteers and all those who stopped by to chat and donate to the EIFW library. And thanks to the weather for cooperating–especially on Saturday!
The Greater Edmonton Library Association (GELA) Women’s Prison and Reintegration Subcommittee is having a Book Sale May 8 and 9, from 10 am – 6 pm (weather permitting) to raise funds for the EIFW library. Feel free to drop by, even to just to say hi and learn more about our committee.
There will be several of us volunteering, but the more, the merrier. Bring friends, distribute our poster, and feel free to invite anyone that we’ve missed!
If you are on Facebook – you can check out our event page for the booksale.
Thank you for your support!
Presumed Guilty, a story of a man caught in a justice system and fighting to regain his freedom, will be shown as a part of Edmonton’s DocSoup festival, presented by Global Visions Film Festival and Hot Docs.
Under Mexican law, one is guilty until proven innocent. José Antonio Zuñiga of Mexico City was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years based on the testimony of a single eye witness. The film follows Zuñiga and his two lawyers as they undertake the seemingly impossible task of having the case re-tried. “Through one man’s extraordinary two-year struggle to regain his freedom, Presumed Guilty documents the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes guilt.”
Presumed Guilty shows how [Zuñiga]‘s strength and creativity help him through nearly three years of wrongful imprisonment. Courtroom scenes chillingly call to mind Kafka’s The Trial, so absurd is the mindless bureaucracy in the judicial process. Toño is retried by the same judge who condemned him. The prosecutor is concerned only with the previous case file and has no interest in new information. The police officers refuse to co-operate, insisting they do not remember Toño’s arrest. It is revealed that the only witness to implicate Toño had himself originally been accused of the crime, then learned of Toño through the police. Hernández and Negrete uncover a frustrating, labyrinthine legal system defended by mediocre civil servants and corrupt police officers. (TIFF)
Presumed Guilty will be screened on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Metro Cinema, Zeidler Hall in the Citadel Theatre, 9828 – 101A Avenue.
Tickets are $10 at the door.
Originally posted at Blogosaurus Lex.
There will be a showing of “The Bang You Feel” on Friday, November 6 at noon. Several of us had the privilege of seeing this powerful film in March, and I recommend going to see it if you have the chance.
Here’s the info:
Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations Proudly Presents:
“The BANG You Feel”
“a DISQUIETING dose of reality”
“Anyone and everyone working with women NEEDS to see this film.”
‘The BANG You Feel’ is a 40 minute documentary that follows the stories of three aboriginal women attempting to rebuild their lives after leaving prison. Set in Edmonton, Alberta, ‘The BANG You Feel is a compelling look at addiction, support and hope.
Come Join us on Friday, November 6th, 2009 at noon
#4, 10865-96 Street Edmonton, Alberta
RSVP to Trevor Gladue @ 780-425-4644 ext.113 or by email email@example.com
This video Produced by:
Bearpaw Media Productions, a division of Native Counselling Services of Alberta
The Edmonton Small Press Association presents the North of Nowhere Expo (NoN), “a non-profit and volunteer-operated activist-arts festival that is committed to fostering the awareness of the arts as tools for positive social change.”
Running from October 16 – 31, NoN will be bringing films, speakers, art and more to Edmonton. Topics include Food Security, a Palestine Film Fest, Media Democracy, and Prison Justice.
The focus on Prison Justice includes an art exhibt, Voices from Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex (hours); film screenings on Monday, October 19 and Wednesday, October 21 ; and on Thursday, October 29, there will be a panel on Restorative Justice which will include Chris Hay of Alberta’s John Howard Society.
You can check out a summary of the program here and a very detailed program here (pdf).
The schedule for the prison series is here.
Crossposted at Blogosarus Lex.
Tune in to Adamant Eve this Friday at 5:30 on CJSR 88.5 FM or on www.cjsr.com! We’re airing excerpts from my interview with Vikki Law, keynote speaker at the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair.
Law (who I blogged about here) is an activist who supports women in prisons. She has worked to bring books to prisoners for many years and in 2003 released the first issue of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison. Issue #18 of Tenacious was recently released, and it continues to be a way for women to express themselves and have their voices heard, as well as a way to know they are not alone in their struggles. Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcertaed Women, Law’s new book, was released in March of this year and chronicles the history of women’s resistance, the issues facing women in prison, and how women continue to resist the oppressive conditions of prisons today. In our interview, Law cited supporting GELA and the Prison Subcommittee as a way people in Edmonton can be involved in supporting prisoners!
Law will be speaking at the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair at 7pm on Friday, October 2nd at the Ukrainian Centre, 11018 97 Street. She will also be leading a workshop at the Bookfair on how to support women in prison on Saturday from 2:30-3:30pm. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come to both events. She’ll be bringing our presence to the audience’s attention, so let’s have lots of people there!
Cross posted on Blogosarus Lex.
Hey everyone! You should all come to the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair on October 2 at 7pm. Not only are there books, the keynote speaker this year is Vikki Law, an activist who, among many other things, supports women in prisons. Law works with women to get their writing out and her own writing brings attention the struggles and resistance of women prisoners. She will be speaking on “Women’s Resistance and Organising in Prison”. From her bio at PM Press:
After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives.
I really recommend that you come and hear her speak. I’ve been reading about her this week as I’m hoping to interview her for CJSR’s Adamant Eve (Edmonton’s only feminist news radio show! Listen Fridays at 5:30 on CJSR 88.5 FM or online at www.cjsr.com!) and the work she does is really incredible. In facilitating Tenacious, she has given women a voice and forum. Her writing criticizes past research which has ignored uprising in women’s prisons and brings attention to issues facing women prisoners in the US, everything from the cost of tampons to the lack of jobs to the fact that the women lose all parental rights if their children have been in foster care for more than 15 months.
This Bitch interview (pdf) provides background information on Vikki Law’s work in prisons, while this interview with Grassroots Feminism provides more information about her work on Tenacious. And be sure to read Law’s own words on how Incarcerated Women Create Their Own Media.
I think creating a zine is something the committee should keep in mind for a potential future project. There are, of course, some questions around it. Do you think EIFW would let us? What would it look like if we did? What would producing it entail? Some of these questions may be answered in the lecture, and if they’re not we can ask!
The Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair will be held on October 2-4 at the Edmonton Ukrainian Centre, 11018 97 Street. Law speaks at 7pm on the Friday, October 2nd. See you there!
Richard and Masha just passed along this exciting news that FLIF has been nominated for the
UofA Senate’s Beyond these Halls community service recognition program. Congratulations to FLIF members past and present!!!
Here is their message to me to be passed along to all of you:
FLIF is pleased to inform you that our student group has been
nominated for the University of Alberta Senate’s Beyond These Halls
community service recognition program
This Senate distinction recognizes the community service efforts of
all groups and individuals that are nominated, but they also select
certain individuals/groups to acknowledge at a celebration event. We
have recently been informed that the Senate has selected FLIF as one
of the groups to be specifically recognized at this ceremony.
Masha and I plan to attend as FLIF representatives, but the organizers
have told us that any and all group members, supporters, and guests
may join the festivities. Any FLIF committee members and anyone from
the School or community wanting to attend are welcome.
The celebration event is:
Wednesday, March 25th
Timms Centre for the Arts
The Senate office has requested RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masha and I want everyone to know that it is the commitment of our
members and FLIF supporters that make us a strong student group, one
able to give back to our community. It is nice to have the efforts of
*past and present* FLIF committee members and efforts recognized in
this fashion, and our thanks go out to everyone for their
encouragement. Finally, we feel that the partnerships we’ve forged
with the CLA Student Chapter and the members of GELA’s advocacy and
outreach subcommittees have created unique opportunities for FLIF. We
hope that these groups and their members will share this distinction
with us, as their excellent contributions make us the group we are
Thank you, and maybe we’ll see you on Wednesday,
Masha and Richard
FLIF Co-chairs, 2008/09
I have 2 tickets left for the documentary premiere of The Bang you Feel.
Let me know asap if you’d like them! Email me: email@example.com
I just received some tickets for the documentary premiere of “The Bang You Feel” – presented by the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation and Bearpaw Media Productions (a division of Native Counselling Services of Alberta.)
The movie follows three women who leave the Edmonton Institution for Women and reintegrate (or not) back into society. From the movie:
“You just get this pressure in your chest. You’re out and it’s like, BANG!! Who out here is for me? Who out here is against me? Can I make it? Will I make it? That’s the bang you feel.”
Thursday, March 12, 2009 at the Royal Alberta Museum (12845-102 Ave)
6:00 pm Community Agency Displays, Food and refreshments
7:15 pm Program – hosted by NDHR
7:30 pm Docuemtnary Premiere
8:15 pm Question and Answer Session
Let me know if you’d like tickets – I have a limited supply!
I recieved the following email from Leanne Key (a Social Program Officer at the prison). If you are attending the training session, please make sure to email her by this Friday.
- tanya ________________________________________________________________
I will be running Anatomy of a Set-up Training on Tuesday, February 3rd 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Edmonton Institution for Women, can you please confirm if you’re able to attend by Friday, January 30th.
Social Program Officer
Edmonton Institution For Women
I’m thinking that it’s time to coordinate the ‘Anatomy of a Setup’ training at the prison. Could everyone who needs the training let me know what days in January DO NOT work for you, and what days are preferable?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Restorative Justice Week 2008 will be celebrated November 16-23 with the theme:“Fostering a Restorative Worldview”
From the Corrections Canada website: “Restorative justice is about giving all parties involved in a conflict the opportunity to take an active role in a safe and respectful process that allows open dialogue between the victim, offender and the community. For offenders, it is about taking responsibility and being held accountable for the harm caused. For victims, it provides an opportunity to talk about the harm caused and ask questions that may be necessary as a part of the healing process. For communities surrounding the victim and offender, it provides an understanding of the root causes of the conflict.”
Every year, the Edmonton Insitution for Women hosts a day-long event and we have all been invited to participate. The event will be held on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2008 from 09:00 am to 3:00 pm with Keynote Speaker: Annette Stanwick
Please RSVP By November 14th, 2008 to: Amanda Coley at 780-495-8971 E-mail – email@example.com