WBEZ | School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Sullivan Galleries http://www.wbez.org/venues/school-art-institute-chicago-sullivan-galleries Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Solitary Confinement & Human Rights: An Evening of American Stories http://www.wbez.org/solitary-confinement-human-rights-evening-american-stories-103646 <p><p>Please join the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and the American Civil Liberties Union for an evening to consider the U.S.&rsquo;s use of solitary confinement. Through art and story, we will look at three regionally diverse cases.<br /><br />Keynote speakers for this event are Robert King, activist and author, and Tessa Murphy from Amnesty International. <strong>Heather Rice</strong> of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture gives the opening remarks.<br /><br />The stories will will tell surround the Angola 3, California Secure Housing Units, and Tamms supermax prison.<br /><br />Forty years ago, three men&mdash;the &quot;Angola 3&quot;&mdash;were convicted of murder and condemned to solitary confinement in Louisiana&rsquo;s Angola prison. Two have remained in isolation ever since. The third, <strong>Robert King</strong>, was released after 29 years and is committed to sharing his story with the world.<br /><br />Hundreds of prisoners have been confined in California&#39;s high-security segregation units for 10 or more years in conditions of severe isolation. The issue caught the public eye when, in 2011, inmates launched a hunger strike. <strong>Tessa Murphy</strong> will share Amnesty International&rsquo;s recent research on conditions in CA security housing units.<br /><br />Two hundred inmates in Illinois Tamms Closed Maximum Security Unit (CMAX) languish in prolonged solitary confinement. Governor Quinn blocked funding to the facility in July, 2012, but it remains open today. The story of Tamms will be told through the &ldquo;Tamms Year Ten Campaign Office&rdquo; exhibit at Sullivan Galleries.<br /><br />For more information about this event, contact Claire Leslie, cleslie@MidwestHumanRights.org. For details about the Sullivan Gallery human rights art exhibits, see their &ldquo;Current Schedule&rdquo; at <a href="http://www.saic.edu/sullivangalleries/">http://www.saic.edu/sullivangalleries/</a>.</p></p> Sun, 04 Nov 2012 13:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/solitary-confinement-human-rights-evening-american-stories-103646 Photo Requests from Solitary: Display and Discussion http://www.wbez.org/photo-requests-solitary-display-and-discussion-103643 <p><p>Tamms supermax is a prison in Southern Illinois designed for solitary confinement and sensory deprivation. Men never leave their cell except to shower or exercise alone in a concrete pen. Meals are pushed through a slot in the cell door. There are no jobs, communal activities, or contact visits. Suicide attempts, self-mutilation, psychosis, and serious mental disorders are common at Tamms, and are an expected consequence of long-term isolation.<br /><br />The U.N. Committee Against Torture considers such conditions to be cruel, inhuman, and degrading, and when the isolation is indefinite&mdash;as at Tamms&mdash;to be form of torture. Last year, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez called for a global ban on solitary confinement in excess of 15 days. This year, Governor Pat Quinn announced his plans to shut down the prison, but the closure has been halted because of lawsuits by the guard&#39;s union AFSCME.</p><p>Tamms Year Ten is a grassroots coalition formed in 2008 to persuade Illinois legislators and the governor to reform or close Tamms supermax prison. Tamms Year Ten asked the men housed at Tamms supermax prison&mdash;all of whom have been in isolation for years without human contact&mdash;to request a photograph of anything in the world, real or imagined.<br /><br />The requests include: a brown and white &quot;warmblood&quot; horse rearing in weather cold enough to see its breath; the Masonic temple in Washington, D.C.; what&#39;s left of the Robert Taylor Homes; a heartsick clown with a feather pen; one prisoner&#39;s mother in front of a mansion with money and a Hummer; Michelle Obama planting vegetables in the White House garden; any Muslim mosque or Moorish Science Temple in Chicago, Mecca, or Africa; and fallen autumn leaves.<br /><br />The resulting photographs will be on display, and participating photographers will discuss their experience making the photos. Men formerly in Tamms, the family members of current inmates, and other special guests will be on hand to respond to the project. The conversation will be facilitated by SAIC photography professor <strong>Claire Pentecost</strong>.<br /><br />Photo Requests From Solitary is supported by the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where the exhibit &quot;Tamms Year Ten Campaign Office&quot; is on display and in action. TY10 also received an Open Society Documentary Photography Audience Engagement Grant to expand this project to supermaxes in California and Virginia, in partnership with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.</p></p> Sun, 04 Nov 2012 12:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/photo-requests-solitary-display-and-discussion-103643