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Darealprisonart, a Leader in the Movement to End Mass Incarceration Through Art




by Samavia Aamir   September 14, 2020

Since the early part of the last decade, Darealprisonart has been sharing with the world, the visual Works of artists behind the wall. In the middle of the decade, working with the online print platforms, Fine Art America, and Pixels, it made these Works available in a wide variety of wall art, from canvas, in frames, to wood. These Works are also available on t-shirts, tote bags, greeting cards, iPhone case covers, and other products.

Shortly thereafter, it began a website for prisoner poets. Mprisond Poetz (poetry by thoz in prison), is an online poetry source to find the poetic writings of prisoners.

Another website, Mprisond Thotz (thotz from thoz mprisond), is the online source to find nonpoetic writings by prisoners.

Some of the artists it first brought to the Public’s attention have gone on to be recognized by mainstream institutions. In 2019, Darealprisonart helped Eric Davis, aka San’i, to get his poem Little Brother submitted to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), inaugural weekend Spring Art Festival, Connecting Art and Law for Liberation (CALL). Speakers at the event included actor Danny Glover; Los Angeles Poet Laureate 2014-2016, Luis J. Rodriguez; Hip-Hop artist of Public Enemy, and Prophets of Rage, Chuck D; and author and former prisoner Donna Hylton. Little Brother was published by the university as a part of its online promotion of the event.

Imprisoned poet Darryl Burnside, now in his 30s, came to prison as a juvenile. The 2019 Parkland school shooting spurred him to craft the poem No More Massacres, an homage to victims of gun violence from Columbine to Parkland. His poem on mental health, Trapped Inside A Pill, is one of Darealprisonart’s, most pinned, and clicked through pins on Pinterest.

Darealprisonart met 3rd year fashion design student at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Mackenzie Styles, on Reddit. They intoduced her to prisoner-artist, Donald “C-Note” Hooker []. Working with the artist, and given access to Darealprisonart’s library of prison art images, her fashion line Mercy, became the first fashion line in the schools 141-year-old history to be based on prison art. Covid-19 prevented this fashion line from walking the catwalk at the 2020 CCAD Fashion Show, and making it the first time models would have worn outfits designed from prison art in the Global history of fashion.

2019 saw its entry into a Daily news publication, Da Real Prison Art: mass incarceration Daily. It is now the #1 digital news source, combining the politics of prisons, with prison art.

Since 2014, Darealprisonart still does in depth blogging on wordpress; making it one of the leaders in the movement to end mass incarceration through Art.

[Samavia Aamir is an international freelance writer who writes on architect, interior design, art, and culture.]

From television to the internet platform, Greg switched his journey in digital media with California Herald. After serving as a journalist for popular news channels he currently contributes his experience for California Herald by writing latest and trending Politics news.

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