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Made in America: Unfree Labor in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Despite increasing media and scholarly attention to mass incarceration, many remain unaware of the complex and interrelated economic incentives that underlie this uniquely American phenomenon, a system “Made in America.” The exhibition 'Made in America' features the work of artists and activists, inside and outside prison, to explore tensions between exploitative prison labor and the creative and intellectual labor of incarcerated individuals. While the former profits state correctional services, private corporations, political interests, and consumers, the latter offers powerful articulations of subjecthood and resistance in the face of a dehumanizing system. 

Join us for an opening reception and meet local activists, organizers, carceral studies scholars, and exhibition artists from 5pm, with opening remarks at 6pm, as part of Amherst Arts Night. 

The exhibition features work by Sheila Pinkel, Jesse Krimes, Chelsea Hogue (UMass MFA), Sarah Rice, Jared Owens, Amie Dowling (choreographer), Bay Area performers in the short dance film Well Contested Sites, men incarcerated at the Franklin County Sheriff's office in Greenfield, MA, and incarcerated cartoonists and writers whose work is a part of the Real Cost of Prisons Project digital archive.

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Exhibition Dates: January 23-March 3, 2017, Hampshire College Art Gallery, Harold F. Johnson Library, Hampshire College. 
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday 10.30-4.30pm, Sunday 2-5pm. 


This event is offered as part of the Department of History's 2016-17 Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, "The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration." This year's series explores how state violence, mass incarceration, and mass criminalization have transformed the U.S. economy, culture and society. It features more than a dozen panels, performances, gallery exhibitions, and lectures by the nation's leading scholars, artists and activists. The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg ’67 and associates.

Supported in part by a grant from the Amherst Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Also funded in part by the Credit Data Service, Inc. Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.