zo 08 jan|
A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home"
Time & Location
08 jan 2023 17:00 – 23:00
Rotterdam, Van der Takstraat 102B, 3071 LM Rotterdam
About the event
A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home", 2022
Duration 00:89:33 min
This documentary - a collaborative project between Kirsten Leenaars and restorative justice organization Circles & Ciphers - focuses on conversations with young people and their experiences in jail and with the criminal justice system, reflecting on the notion of freedom within the context of America.
This project started with an open call for letters from individuals who were incarcerated in Cook County Jail, Chicago, at the time. They received 46 letters, and each letter writer was compensated for their creative efforts. They then collaborated closely with 15 selected letter writers to create this documentary video piece.
The documentary includes excerpts from the letters displayed on walls, buildings, and street surfaces throughout different neighborhoods in Chicago identified by the letter writers as their home communities; interviews with community members responding to the letters’ text; recorded audio of the letter writers reading their own letters over the phone while calling from Cook County Jail; and a performance by Circles & Ciphers youth of freestyle ‘serenades’ in front of the jail. All these moments are documented and edited together as a letter to the city, amplifying and echoing the deeply personal stories and experiences of young people that are often marginalized in this society.