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!