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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Opening Reception for “Art and The Freedom Struggle: The Works of Mumia Abu-Jamal”

March 1 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Please join us for the opening reception of “Art and The Freedom Struggle: The Works of Mumia Abu-Jamal,” curated by Melaine Ferdinand-King, PhD Candidate in Africana Studies.Curatorial Statement”Art and The Freedom Struggle: The Works of Mumia Abu-Jamal” is a creative companion to the biographical “Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Portrait of Mass Incarceration” exhibit on view at the John Hay Library at Brown University. Inspired by Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 2012 essay, “Art & Incarceration,” this exhibition underscores the significance of creation under crisis.Known internationally as a political prisoner, Abu-Jamal warrants considerable attention as an artist and cultural critic. In depicting historical figures, pop culture icons, and personal visions, Abu-Jamal reveals how artistic production functions as a mode of self-expression, a junction between “inside” and “outside” worlds, and a powerful tool for social commentary. His paintings, drawings, poetry, and musical compositions disclose, in part, the interests and concerns of an outsider-observer committed to freedom and being free while making sense of a carceral state. Themes throughout the exhibition include abolition, Black liberation, community-building, music, and sports.The gallery also serves as an activation space. While experiencing the works on display, viewers are encouraged to reflect on Abu-Jamal’s story alongside their individual agency and relationship to the notion of struggle. We aim to spark engaged activity on the local level related to issues of mass incarceration and spirited dialogue on the importance of responding creatively in times of political duress.