Eighteen months ago, I was contacted by artist, activist Jeff Greenspan and Andy Tider with an outline of The Captured Project and a request to help them find incarcerated artists to participate. After further discussion and our ensuing love affair of each other’s good brains, I was brought on to write the forward of the book.
I’ve written a lot of stuff. Not sure anything I’ve written has ever been as meaningful to me as this. It’s one of the proudest things I’ve had the honor of participating in.
The website and book include an extremely provocative collection of portraits and statistics that literally illustrate the double standard of our justice system, one we’ve come to accept without question, and support with our (necessary and unnecessary) financial decisions.
The crime of the artist is listed alogside the crimes (as the project artists describe them) of the subject of the portraits. People such as the Koch Brothers, Hugh Grant; CEO of Monsanto, and more. Though definitely uncomfortable, it is both fascinating and incredibly moving to see these things side by side. But this is one of the most important functions of art, no? To translate our culture so we can understand where we are and take actions to further ourselves in the direction we want to go?
Critical thought and the opportunity to view humans through a just comparative filter is crucial to being awake. In this case, to understanding systemic racism and the ways that crime masquerades as commerce.
The art work is phenomenal and emotional. The site is interactive and expertly designed. The book is remarkable, moving, beautifully crafted with a forward written by ME (!).
1000 copies of the book are available to sale. (I believe half are left so get yours now! Also my forward is only available in the art quality book of portraits.)
Jeff and Andy spent months deciding where to donate the proceeds of this project. As they are strong supporters of Bernie Sanders and believe that his strategies are the most focused on tempering corporate corruption, they decided to donate proceeds to his campaign. I want to note that the original intention of this book was more passion than politics, and encourage you to engage regardless of your personal presidential preferences. I am confident that the message of this project is more timeless than our elections.
Here is a fantastic article about the project in Good Magazine. Which includes more information on the donations.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this, and are willing to share with people you think will be interested. There are so many facets here for discussion and connection. And it’s such a beautiful opportunity to remember that the health of us all is *truly* dependent on the health of our planet, and the health of the most helpless among us.
Let us be human together. And let us be kind.
Together, we got this.