“What makes us visible?” “Is it possible not to disappear?” These opening questions framed Ways To Disappear (November 2016, San Quentin Prison), which explores the experience of being disappeared through a system of mass incarceration. People’s names disappear under numbers. People disappear behind walls that separate them from family and friends, and disappear inside disenfranchisement during a crucial election–as many as 10 million votes lost to felon disenfranchisement.
Ways to Disappear uses poetic language and intensely physical choreography to demand that the world see us. We are fathers. We are brothers. We are artists. During the creation, we developed new skills in prop and set design; for the first time, we transmitted artistic structures from the inside members to outside groups in conferences and schools. This project launched our collaboration with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
Photos by Peter Merts.