Annie Banks is an organizer/artist in Berkeley, California, on Ohlone territories. Annie is an active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Anti Police-Terror Project and is a student at Goddard College. Annie has been a printmaker since high school. 

“The role of cultural workers is important in our movements for justice.” 

Print #2: "Where there is struggle II"

Print #2: "Where there is struggle II"

2. Where there is struggle.jpg

Artist's statement for "Where there is struggle II"

Title: “Where there is struggle II”

Medium: Original linocut print, ink on paper, 4 x 6 inches

Artist: Annie Banks

Date: September 2017

After receiving feedback from my adviser on my first linocut for the phrase inspired by my conversation with David Gilbert, “Where there is struggle, there is hope,” I decided to make a second print featuring the same words.

I chose to feature a person's face in response to the suggestion that this may encourage viewers to empathize more with the person behind bars. I chose to keep the original image of a butterfly emerging from it’s cocoon as I feel it represents the word “struggle” in David’s phrase - the butterfly, utterly transformed, fights for its' freedom and will no doubt leave the confines of the prison.

I did not want to reify our societal images of who is in or who belongs in prison by choosing to use the image of a Black woman. I did so rather to show the reality of Black women still being unjustly incarcerated at twice the rate of white women (The Sentencing Project, 2015) as a result of the racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic U.S. policing and prison systems.

My work with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and other groups composed of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and outside supporters has taught me that there are so many people inside and outside the walls who are fighting tirelessly for liberation. Onwards!

Sources:

Gilbert, D. (2017, September 1). Personal communication.

The Sentencing Project. (2015, November). Incarcerated women and girls. [Infographic]. From: http://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Incarcerated-Women-and-Girls.pdf

Interview #1: David Gilbert

Interview #1: David Gilbert

Print #1: "Where there is struggle..."

Print #1: "Where there is struggle..."