Free Our Mamas! Sisters! Queens! (2020)

Design by Melanie Cervantes for Free Our Mamas

This limited-run portfolio calls attention to the economic, and human costs of incarceration on local communities and families, and channels the book and graphic arts towards social change.

The People’s Paper Co-Op, directed by artists Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist, blends art and advocacy as tools to change the practice of incarceration and to help communities in Philadelpia. By partnering with local lawyers, they’ve created clinics to help those previously incarcerated expunge their criminal records. As part of the process, participants in the clinics print out and destroy their old criminal records, pulping them to create handmade paper. That paper was then used to produce this portfolio of ten broadsides, featuring designs that bring awareness to the issues of freedom and redemption at stake in the process. The project aims to use the art to help formerly incarcerated women through the re-entry, as well as to leverage their expertise to push for reform in the criminal justice system.

“Restore Families” by Nicole Marroquin (2020)
Detail of paper made with pupled criminal records
Detail: Portions of shredded criminal records remain visible in the paper and show through the prints in the portfolio.

The People’s Paper Co-Op collaborated with local and national artists to produce the designs, some of which were then printed by fellows in the workshops. The project aims to use art to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women emotionally, socially, and financially.

Call Information

HV9306.P55 P46 2020

Click here to view this book in our library catalog.