The Space Between: Lives and Deaths in Prison

Jose Luis Benavides
Erica R. Meiners
Therese Quinn
Matthew Yasuoka

The Illinois Deaths in Custody Project (IDCP), an initiative including artists, scholars, and community-based organizations, documents, archives, mourns and researches the deaths of all people in custody in Illinois. By inviting the online submission of death reports, eulogies, and other testimonies and documents, partnering with organizations doing related work and offering workshops that prepare participants to gain and share reports and stories about those dying while incarcerated IDCP harnesses digital tools to reshape the meanings, practices and boundaries of public mourning, and challenge the carceral state. The Space Between has two elements: The first is a potluck bringing together key groups to share materials, experiences and resources, build power and create a counter history to the state’s narrative of text as threat. In particular this project will create a textual form of trace evidence that illustrates to wider audiences what the carceral or security state has marked as a threat, some of the ways organizations “work around,” and the long term consequences of this dynamic. The second is our Follow the Body Project that documents what happens to a person leaving prison through reentry and death. IDCP’s lead artist, Jose Luis Benavides, will research and document (photography, video) the spaces, paths, institutions, and processes that constitute these experiences. This documentation, along with materials collected at the potluck, will culminate in an exhibition in 2019.

link to project site