Arts, Lectures

Re: Debtor's Prison

When: Sat., Aug. 6, 1 p.m. 2016

The pernicious effects of debtor's prisons were exposed following the Department of Justice's review of Ferguson's municipal government practices, but it's not just Ferguson's problem. When a city views its citizens as ATMs to be drained through ticky-tacky fines and heavy penalties for missed payments, poor people go to jail just for being poor. Blake Strode, a staff attorney for ArchCity Defenders, discusses the problem in the program Re: Debtor's Prison. Strode is joined by Qiana Williams, who has been caught in the wheels of the debt/prison/bail cycle in St. Louis for years. The talk is held in conjunction with Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford's mural, Receive Calls on Your Cell Phone From Jail. This grid of paintings is made from posters that inform detainees of the difficulties of receiving prison phone calls on a cell phone — many service providers restrict collect calls from being received on cell phones. The piece sheds light on another way poor people are drained of money, time and their freedom through systems no one is allowed to vote down. Re: Debtor's Prison takes place at 1 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). Admission is free, but the museum asks that you register through the website if you wish to attend.

Paul Friswold

Price: free admission