NO SELVES TO DEFEND: CRIMINALIZING WOMEN OF COLOR – July & August 2014 – Art In These Times
Opening Reception: Friday July 18th from 6 to 9 p.m.
In the words of writer Mychal Denzel Smith, “Marissa Alexander was just trying to save her life” when she was assaulted and threatened (again) by her estranged husband. When she retrieved a gun and fired a warning shot in self-defense, she could not have imagined being convicted and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison. Yet we know from history that too often women who protect themselves from unrelenting violence are criminalized.
‘No Selves to Defend’ features the stories of women of color who have been criminalized for self-defense. The exhibition examines the contested meanings and historical and contemporary understandings of self-defense. It seeks to locate Marissa Alexander’s story within a broader historical context and legacy. The exhibition also addresses the campaigns and mobilizations that emerged to resist their criminalization and demand their freedom. Finally, it considers how we can support current survivors of violence who have been criminalized for self-defense.
The exhibition includes original art by Micah Bazant, Molly Crabapple, Billy Dee, Bianca Diaz, Rachel Galindo, Lex Non Scripta, Caitlin Seidler, and Ariel Springfield. It also includes ephemera and artifacts from Mariame Kaba’s collection.
The exhibition is organized by Project NIA, Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Women & Girls, and the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander. It is co-curated by Rachel Caidor and Mariame Kaba. The exhibition is made possible by individual donors who contributed to a summer fundraiser. The exhibition will be accompanied by discussions and other events. Everyone is invited to participate. See http://noselves2defend.tumblr.com/