CATEGORY: Mass Incarceration
In the Fall of 2016, Amplifier and Brooklyn-based artist Josh MacPhee worked with the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice to produce a one day workshop to brainstorm and imagine new art, graphics, and other cultural forms which can be produced to support a then nascent campaign in New York City to close the Rikers Island jail complex. Members of organizations supporting the #CLOSErikers campaign, as well as other activists around issues of mass incarceration and independent artists and designers gathered on Sunday, August 7, 2016 to discuss the campaign, analyze the power dynamics that need to shift to close the jail, build language and imagery to support the campaign, and finally conceptualize and draft a cultural component of the overall organizing strategy.
Coming out of that session, MacPhee conceptualized foam fist protest props which Amplifier produced, and were used to great effect in a community march through Queens to Rikers Island in November, 2016. Since then MacPhee has continued to work closely with the campaign, most recently designing new logos and helping print T-shirts to be distributed across New York City.