Books Behind Bars documentary screening – March 31st

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.


Fundraiser Book Sale a Success!

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!

GELA Women’s Prison Committee Book Sale Fundraiser (May 8/9)

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

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.

The Bang You Feel

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

This video Produced by:
Bearpaw Media Productions, a division of Native Counselling Services  of Alberta

Prison Justice at the North of Nowhere Festival, Oct 16-31

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.