The Island: Post-Show with Alice Kim and Erica R. Meiners
Alice Kim is an activist, writer and cultural organizer. She is involved with a wide-range of movement-building social justice initiatives including ARC (A Movement Re-imagining Change), Ella's Daughters and Illinois Community Justice. She works with prisoners and their family members to work towards death penalty and prison abolition. She is on the editorial board of In These Times magazine and the advisory board of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University. She is the director of The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, which creates spaces for public conversations about cultural, social and political issues. She also teaches a course on gender at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Erica R. Meiners is involved with a number of local and national initiatives linked to justice, specifically anti-militarization campaigns, prison abolition and reform movements, and queer and immigrant rights. Most recently, she has worked as co-author with Therese Quinn of Flaunt It! Queers in the struggle for public education and justice. She is also the author of Right to be hostile: Schools, prisons and the making of public enemies. She is a member of Project 8, a feminist collective creating pathways for undocumented youth to access education, and a teacher/coordinator at St. Leonard's Adult High School for men and women who have been incarcerated. She is also a Professor of Education and Women's Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, a unionized urban public institution.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.
Recorded Saturday, February 27, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.