Inside Out: Reflections on incarceration in Louisiana presented by Level Artist Collective. Featuring Keith Calhoun, Glenn Ford, Ana Hernandez, Maria Hinds, Chandra McCormick, Brandan Odums, Sheila Phipps, Rontherin Ratliff, John Isiah Walton, and Carl Joe Williams.
3024-3026 St. Claude Ave.
April 14-May 6, 2018
Opening reception: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 5-8 p.m.
Gallery hours: Saturday & Sunday 12-5 or by appointment
Louisiana currently has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the United States (and the world), with 816 people in prison for every 100,000 residents. That’s nearly double the national average. Since the late 1970’s the number of people in prison has grown 30 times faster than the state’s population.
While New Orleans celebrates its “Tricentennial,” Inside Out seeks to recognize our incarcerated populations and provide insights into their lived experiences. Every day in the state of Louisiana thousands of people are enduring dangerous, torturous and inhumane conditions of confinement that have long lasting physical and psychological effects. Their voices are often marginalized, yet their resilience, creativity and experiences have much to contribute to the narrative of American life and history.
Much of this exhibit relates to Angola prison or LSP (Louisiana State Penitentiary), an 18,000 acre maximum security prison located on the banks of the Mississippi river in central Louisiana on land formally occupied by slave plantations. Also known as ‘The Farm’, Angola houses 6300 incarcerated men, most of whom have life sentences among whom most will die in the prison. The Department of Corrections paired with a racially biased legal system, perpetuates a legacy of slavery by disproportionately targeting black, brown and poor white people for incarceration, the majority of whom are housed in for-profit facilities. One in eighty-six adult Louisianians are incarcerated, nearly double the national average. Among black men from New Orleans, one in fourteen are behind bars; one in seven are either in prison, on parole or on probation.
Inside Out offers an opportunity to recognize people who are affected by mass incarceration, whose lives and voices can teach us much about the American condition and ongoing histories of struggle for equitable social justice.