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An exhibit featuring works by incarcerated artists opens this weekend and runs through September. The show, put together by local prison abolitionist groups Black and Pink and Boston Anarchist Black Cross, will be on display at Somerville’s Papercut Zine Library, located at 226 Pearl St. The space is open Saturdays and Sundays 2-7PM and by appointment. There will be a closing party Saturday September 17th at 7PM.

Highlighting prisoners’ own experiences, the exhibit sheds light on the conditions in which an ever-growing number of Americans find themselves. Incarcerating 2.3 million people, or nearly 1% of its population, the United States incarcerates a larger number and percentage of its populace than any other nation, beating out both China and Soviet Russia. 7.2 million, or around 3% of the US population, are under some form of punitive supervision. Courts disproportionately dole out punitive sentences to racial and/or sexual minorities. Black adult males, for instance, are almost 7 times more likely to be imprisoned than white male defendants. Exhibited alongside the art are these and other statistics to provide an objective context for the works.

Part of the show focuses on works by incarcerated LGBTQ people. Trans and queer people are more likely to be imprisoned than straight people and, once behind bars, encounter rampant harassment and abuse. Taken as a whole, the artwork displays a breadth of emotion and subject matter. Ranging from political indictments to some light-hearted moments, the works offer a window into how individuals can use art and creation as tools of survival in the midst of degrading and potentially violent conditions.

Given that parole in Massachusetts is in precipitous decline in the wake of the Parole Board’s gutting, there is a need to ask basic questions about our state, the values it’s founded on, and where to go from here. Boston ABC and Black and Pink hope this exhibit can provide an opportunity to ask these questions, and inspire action.

For more information on the groups behind this exhibit:

Selected Sources:

Repro Health and ZINES! Saturday!

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Saturday May 28th, 2PM at the Somerville Public Library!

Another in Papercut Zine Library’s workshop series, magnanimously funded by the Somerville Arts Council, this time held uphill from Papercut at Somerville Public Library.

Even with the advent of the internet, zines remain one of the best sources of non-corporate reproductive health information. Our presenters will hold an open discussion, bring some of Papercut’s impressive holdings on menstruation, fertility, abortion, contraception, some props, show and tell, and several decades of experience with enduring and treating everything from cramps to yeasties to UTIs, BV and more! Info sharing fest.

This is as real as it gets!

Note: we will be talking about vulvae, vaginae, cervices & uteri because that’s what we know and got. Our expert presenters have lived with these parts for 75 years and have been menstruating for 40 of them. Funsies!

Bonus: you can follow us downhill after the workshop and imbibe the full amazingness of Papercut till 7PM.

On the facebook.

Closed the weekend of 16th-17th


What's kraken?

Between our librarians’ exciting lives, the Easthampton Ladyfest, and the Boston Skillshare, there won’t be anyone holding down the library in Somerville.  So come check out the skillshare!  Our initiative brings you, once more, how to make zines! Or if you’re further West, go check out the Ladyfest– we’ll have a ziney presence there, too!

We open back up on Monday the 18th.

Upcoming film screening! 1966 surrealist Czech flick, Daisies

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Friday, February 18th this is happening!  7PM at the library!

Two young women team up and prank the world in this surrealist, arguably feminist film. Banned by the Czech government, this is 74 minutes of awesome.

We sent out that survey a while back asking what you wanted to see us to do, and y’all said movies. So come out and watch this! We’ll bring the snacks and you should feel free to bring donations of $2-20. We won’t turn you away for lack of moneyz, but we certainly won’t down larger donations, either– rent’s gotta get paid somehow!

Assuming this goes well, we’re gonna try this thing where each month a different librarian picks and organizes a movie night. Adrienne starts us off with this tribute to rebellion grrrl style.DIE DIE DIE

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