AIDS Video Activism: Women and Incarceration

Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 3:00–5:00 PM

Location: West Hollywood City Council Chambers
625 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

This program is free and open to the public.

Spanning several generations within the AIDS activist and related video movements, this series focuses upon the stories, activism and struggles of women, particularly Black women and women of color, who organized and become activists around injustices facing incarcerated women. At the heart of these videos is a deeply feminist commitment to freedom and a linked understanding that those on the inside are part of life on the outside, even if structural and penal forces work to deny them these connections. Questions of faith, race, gender, sexuality, what-could-be and the weight of systemic violence on all people permeate the work. 

These videos honor the past and present of organizing work—its legacies, leaders and lessons—and offer insights into how activism of the not-so-distant past continues to inform contemporary movement work around incarceration. As part of the exhibition Metanoia: Transformation Through AIDS Archives and Activism, the videos also represent with power, beauty and eloquence, the transformative power of AIDS, activism and archives for women of color, prisoners and their allies. This event is organized by the ONE Archives Foundation and co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood.

Featuring the following films:

I’m You, You’re Me: Women Surviving Prison, Living with AIDS

(Catherine Saalfield-Gund and Debra Levine, 1992): 28 mins

Blind Eye to Justice

Directed and Edited by Carol Leigh. Produced by Cynthia Chandler (Women’s Positive Legal Action Network/ Justice NOW), 1998: 35 mins

Digital Stories

(From the Center/ Margaret Rhee, Isela Ford, and Allyse Gray, 2011): 15 mins

Followed by a conversation with longtime activist Judy Greenspan as well as  Taylor Lytle, an activist with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP); moderated by Katherine Cheairs & Alexandra Juhasz. 


Image: Still from “Miracle”,  filmmaker Helen Hall, courtesy of The Center: A New Media Initiative from the Forensic AIDS Project .
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