The Detroit Justice Center believes that creativity and art are essential to imagining and building a world where every human life is valued with equal care and consideration and disposing of people is no longer considered justice. As attorneys and advocates, we are inundated by words, concepts, figures, and statistics that are intended to demonstrate the possibility of abolition and create ever tighter coalitions to express its urgency. Data in many ways is the currency of social justice and economic equity, but it cannot evoke the sense of possibility, wonder, and imagination that art and media can.
Inspired by Detroit’s long history of arts and activism, and thanks to a generous donation from PolicyLink, we are continuing our artist residency for artists living in Wayne County, MI. We are asking applicants to submit a project proposal that grapples with the question:
What would it feel like to exist in a world without the police and incarceration, without jails, prisons, and detention centers? What would be the textures and sensations of that world? What patterns of interactions and relationships would transform for the communities that would be born as we realize these demands of structural change?
Applicants may work in any artistic medium, and may submit four work samples as part of the application process. We ask that applicants who used time-based mediums (such as dance, music, and video) limit their work samples to no more than 20 minutes total. Anyone submitting written work is asked to limit their work sample to no more than 15 pages total.
The artist whose project is chosen by our panelists will receive $10,000 and will have until the end of 2022 to create and execute the proposed project.
We strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and individuals with past involvement in the criminal punishment system or who have loved ones currently or formerly in the criminal punishment system to apply.