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Event

A Deeper Look into Solitary Confinement and Mass Incarceration

Event Date:

October 7, 2020 | 4:00 PM EDT
Participants:
United States Penitentiary sign Alcatraz. Image by Elisa Day / Shutterstock. United States, 2019.
English

A historic performance of The Box, a piece of transformational theater based on a journalist’s...

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The BOX, a play about solitary confinement, performed at San Francisco’s Z Space in 2016. Image by Todd Sanchioni. United States, 2019.
The BOX, a play about solitary confinement, performed at San Francisco’s Z Space in 2016. Image by Todd Sanchioni. United States, 2019.

Virtual performances of The BOX in October set the stage for deeper conversations on solitary confinement and mass incarceration. To build on those performances, please join the Pulitzer Center for a deep dive with playwright Sarah Shourd and actor Dameion Brown on Wednesday, October 7.

Shourd, a survivor of solitary confinement, wrote The Box in collaboration with other survivors, including Brown. Based on a three-year investigation by Shourd into the horrors of solitary confinement, The Box is a piece of transformational theater that asks us to re-examine long-held notions of punishment. 

The conversation digs into those notions, and our unique place in history while living through a global pandemic—when that very experience of being separated from loved ones, of being quarantined, of living through a crisis of epic proportions with no clear end in sight—can be a window into the ongoing suffering, deprivation, and resilience of our incarcerated population. These stories offer insights into the resilience that has kept these men and women alive. 

In addition to solitary confinement and mass incarceration, the conversation will explore issues of the theater itself during this time. Though Zoom and other platforms can never be a substitute for performing in physical proximity to audiences, they harness their own kind of rawness and intimacy by being live-streamed directly to an audience across the globe.

Liz Ogbu will moderate the conversation between Shourd and Brown. Ogbu is a designer, urbanist, and spatial justice activist focused on engaging and transforming unjust urban environments. 

Register today!

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