This is one of those times where about a month worth of events is being compressed into a single week. I've got a poster to print with a deadline, my husband's 40th birthday, a film to take into a prison, and more! John Carvalho asked what I meant by taking a film into a prison, so I'll tell you all. For about a year I have been taking social justice films into the Columbia River Correctional Facility here in Portland, for a reading group called Liberation Literacy. Someone from the group (the group is composed of inside and outside people) came to a screening I was putting on of an old documentary about Malcolm X by Gil Noble, and they later contacted me to see if they could borrow the movie. I said "well, no, not really because it's on 16mm film, but I could bring it in, if that is allowed." And with that I started taking in films.
I have to email the prison a list of equipment, down to each cord, and it takes about an hour to get inside, with all the counting of cords. The first time I went I was so nervous, having never been to a prison, but after a year of going, I have friends there. They have now formed an outside group so the people who have been released can continue the work of education and reform, and one of the outside founders and one of the inside founders spoke recently at Harvard's Beyone the Gates seminar. The reading list is pretty serious; I can get you a list of titles if you are interested.
The paths that life can take you on are so interesting, and education never ends if you stay open to learning. Somehow, my love of experimental film led me to prison, where I am learning so much. Did you know that incarcerated people are not allowed to vote (except Vermont and Maine), but yet they are counted in population numbers that decide how many house representatives a state has, and determines the electoral college? So this encourages states to have prisons to boost their numbers without representation, a reprise of the old 3/5th law, where slaves were counted as 3/5ths of a person. Six million people were unable to vote in our last election, over twice the amount of popular votes that Trump lost by.
In the face of facts like that, a late bundle is no big deal, but I apologize, and Ivan and I will bundle and mail it on June 12th. This still gives you time to get something to me if you act with haste.
Your mailer, Heather
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